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George Shirley


George Shirley, a 2015 recipient of the National Medal of Arts, is one of America's most versatile tenors, in demand across the globe as a performer, teacher, and lecturer. As a performer he has won international acclaim for his performances with The Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera Covent Garden, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Teatro Colòn, De Nederlandse Opera, L'Opéra, New York City Opera, Scottish Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, San Francisco Opera, Washington Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, Glyndebourne Festival, and Santa Fe Opera, among many others. He was the first African American tenor and second African American male to sing leading roles with The Metropolitan Opera, where he remained for eleven years as a leading artist. Mr. Shirley began his full academic career as Professor of Voice at the University of Maryland in 1980, and joined the faculty of the University of Michigan in 1987 where he was appointed Director of the Vocal Arts Division of the School of Music in 1999. He was granted emeritus status upon his retirement from The University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance in May, 2007. He continues to teach on a part-time basis at the school as well as privately, and presents masterclasses both in the United States and abroad.

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