Obituary: Baritone Barry McDaniel Dies at 87

By Francisco Salazar

The Deutsche Oper Berlin has announced the death of baritone Barry McDaniel.

The Kansas born baritone, who won a Fulbright in 1953 and spent the rest of his life singing in Germany, was part of the Deutsche Oper from 1962 to 1999.

Born to musical parents McDaniel’s took up piano at the age of nine and would go on to study at the University of Kansas and at the Juilliard School of Music. He would go on to study at the Stuttgart Music Conservatory on a Fullbright scholarship.

McDaniel then made his debut at Opera Mainz where he performed from 1954-55 before two years of military service in the U.S. Army. In 1957, he signed a contract with the Stuttgart State Opera and in 1959 performed at the Karlsruhe opera.  His outstanding performances caught the attention of the Deutsche Oper Berlin where he would become one of the company’s most distinguished artists.

He would go on to perform with such stars as Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Elisabeth Grümmer, Josef Greindl, Ernst Haefliger, James King, Pilar Lorengar, and Edith Mathis. among others, and would perform over 98 roles, which included works by Gluck and Mozart. He also performed Bel Canto repertoire as well as the works of Richard Strauss and many contemporary operas.

McDaniel would also go on to perform at such renowned houses as the Bayreuth Festival, the Metropolitan Opera, and the Munich Opera Festival. He also performed in Vienna, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Geneva, Amsterdam, Mexico, and Japan.

In 1970, the baritone was awarded the title of ”Berliner Kammersänger” by the Senate of Berlin.

Here are some memorable performances by McDaniel.