Obituary: Metropolitan Opera & Juilliard Mentor Robert Cowart Passes Away

By Francisco Salazar

Robert Cowart, the head of linguistic studies at the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann program has passed away.

Born in Philadelphia, Robert Cowart studied at the University of Pennsylvania and Queens College. In 1981 he became a vocal coach at the Metropolitan Opera and later became the head of linguistic studies in the Met’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program.

In 1992, he joined as Juilliard faculty and went on to teach all aspects of languages for singers, the spoken language, detailed interpretation of text, diction, and phonetics. He went on to teach master classes in France, Australia, Belgium, Israel, Latin America, and throughout the United States.

Cowart also taught at the Curtis Institute of Music, Mannes College of Music, and the Manhattan School of Music. He was also a teacher at the Israeli Vocal Arts Institute and at the Chautauqua Institution.

Many opera singers are mourning the loss of Cowart such as Stephanie Blythe who stated that “he taught me and countless other young artists at the MET all about the Italian language. He made language study fun, and even when I was having a lesson and all I needed to do was air my fears or frustrations, we would do it in Italian.”

Meanwhile, Dimitri Pittas noted, “Bob Cowart was an ultimate educator and inspiration through my young artist years at the Met.”