Obituary: Legendary Voice Teacher Anthony Frisell Dies

By Francisco Salazar

Legendary voice teacher Anthony Frisell has died.

The voice teacher died on Feb. 27 and will be remembered for for his contributions to the opera community, particularly his acclaimed book series.

Born in New Orleans to Italian parents, the voice teacher went on to direct operas with Dorothy Kirsten, Zinka Milanov, Mario Del Monaco, Leonard Warren, Victoria de los Angeles and Richard Tucker. He also went on to write the widely acclaimed books “The Tenor Voice,” “The Soprano Voice,” “The Baritone Voice,” “A Singers Notebook” and “Flow of Breath.”

Frisell was praised by critics with Conrad L. Osborne of OPERA NEWS noting “his view (on voice training) cannot be dismissed lightly. It is roughly that espoused by the great teachers of the eighteenth century, and if valid it cuts the ground from under a good 90 percent of contemporary instruction.”

Meanwhile Walter Allen Stults, Past President of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, Inc noted that his book “The Tenor Voice” was “a most effective manner of applying one of the so called ‘Old Italian School’s’ treasured pedagogical precepts!” Today the books have been fundamental to vocal training and are widely used in voice education.