Obituary: American Tenor Louis Roney Dies, Aged 96

By Logan Martell

American tenor Louis Roney has passed away as of Nov. 5, 2017.

After serving five years as a commended gunnery officer for the U.S. Navy in World War II, Roney went on to make his debut at age 27 as Cavaradossi in “Tosca” with the New York Philharmonic. Roney was also among the very first Americans to sing in Italy’s Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in the year 1957 and in 1976 he played Jesus in Massenet’s “Marie Magdalene” at Lincoln Center.

For forty years Roney was a leading tenor who sang throughout the world in France, Germany, Italy, and Canada, and as a soloist he performed with symphony orchestras in New York, San Francisco, New Orleans, Montreal, Florence, and Vancouver.

In 2012, Roney was honored by the state of Florida for the enormous work he did in bringing and supporting the performing arts within the state, being inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame. He was given letters of commendation from the Governors of Florida and Massachusetts, multiple Senators, Congressmen, Secretaries of State, and the President of Harvard for his contributions in music, and given tribute in the Congressional Record of the 112th Congress of the United States. Roney and his wife, Joy, founded and headed the Orlando Festival of Orchestras for 17 years, bringing world-class orchestras from around the globe to Central Florida. For 24 years he served as Distinguished Professor of Music and Artist in Residence at the University of Central Florida.

Roney’s generous attitude was summed up best when he said: “The artist’s life is a ‘giving’ proposition, and if giving is more blessed than receiving, the artist is more blessed than those who enjoy his art.”

Louis Roney is survived by his wife, Joy, daughters Beverley Huskes and Madeleine Eckert, and grandson Eric Harrison. On Nov. 18 there will be an Open House at the Roney residence for those wishing to pay their respects.