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Greek-American Opera Singer Theodore Lambrinos Passes Away

Theodore Lambrinos
Theodore Lambrinos as Alfio in Cavalleria Rusticana at the Metropolitan Opera. Credit: Facebook/ Theodore Lambrinos

Theodore Lambrinos, the renowned Greek-American baritone opera singer who was known as one of the finest Verdi baritones in the entire world, passed away in his hometown of Brooklyn, New York, on March 29, 2021 due to complications from Covid-19 at the age of 85.

The baritone who sang over 60 major roles with the Metropolitan Opera, was also very passionate about Greek music, according to his devoted son, Ted Lambrinos.

His memorial service is taking place this Friday at St. John the Theologian church in Tenafly, NJ.

A loving father and family man, he is survived by his wife Hallie Neill L ambrinos, daughter Kari Lambrinos, son Ted Lambrinos and his wife Marissa, grandsons Alexander and Nichols Lambrinos, and his sister Clara Paul and her husband Nick Paul. He was predeceased by his first wife of 31 years, Parthena Lambrinos.

Theodore Lambrinos
Lambrinos and wife Hallie Neill Lambrinos as Nelson Eddy and Jeannette MacDonald in A Scandalous Affair. Credit: Facebook/ Theodore Lambrinos

Theodore Lambrinos had long, varied career spanning many decades

Theodore Lambrinos won the Metropolitan Opera National Council Audition in 1965. He ended singing for such luminaries as Indira Gandhi and Queen Sirikit in Thailand.

Lambrinos had a passion for Classical Greek music. He produced and sang in the Musical Salute to the Hellenic Spirit Concert at Avery Fisher Hall, which provided young Greek singers the opportunity to perform. He frequently sang in Greek Orthodox churches and released the album Theodore Lambrinos Sings Hellenic Songs.

He also sang as a soloist on the album “YA’SOO! Sing Along in Greek with Demetrios Pappas and The Amphion Choir.

The great baritone sang at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center and with opera companies throughout the United States and internationally. His appearance at the Metropolitan Opera in the title role of Rigoletto was described by the New Jersey Star Ledger as a “gripping performance that brought down the house”.

Theodore Lambrinos playing Nicola Sacco in Sacco and Vanzetti. Credit: Facebook/ Theodore Lambrinos

Following ovations in Beijing, China, he was honored to perform Rigoletto in the historical first-ever performance of opera in Hanoi, Vietnam. He also created the role of Carlo Tresca in the world premiere of Anton Coppola’s Sacco and Vanzetti for Opera Tampa.

Lambrinos sang nearly 200 performances of Rigoletto, Nabucco, Il Trovatore, Cavalerria Rusticana and Pagliacci, Aida and Tosca with the European touring company Teatro Lirico d’Europa throughout Europe and the US.

His performances took him from the Middle East to the Far East and he performed with such luminaries as Placido Domingo and Renee Fleming.

With his wife, soprano Hallie Neill, he appeared in opera/Broadway concerts around the world, and in Neill’s original operetta “A Scandalous Affair.” The CD of this musical was featured on the 50th Annual Grammy Awards first ballot in the category of “Best Musical Show Album.”

Traveled to more than 20 countries as operatic ambassador

Lambrinos also traveled with the Ambassadors of Opera as part of a quartet performing opera in Broadway concerts in over 20 countries including command performances for Indira Gandhi in India, and for Queen Sirikit, Bangkok, Thailand, for Imelda Marcos In Manila, Philippines and for Sheiks, Emirs and princesses in Bahrain, Dubai, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi and in all of the Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia and Cairo.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, after his parents immigrated from Greece, Lambrinos began his career as soloist with the famed Russian Don Cossack Chorus throughout the US and Canada and appearing in musicals On and Off-Broadway and in Summer Stock.

He also maintained an active voice studio in New York City, sharing his vast experience with pupils.

Reviews Lambrinos received from all over the world applauded his thrilling baritone voice.“Theodore Lambrinos wove his own special magic with a voice that switched, with spectacular ease, from grand opera to the best of Broadway.” — Royal Gazette (Bermuda)

“As Nabucco, he proved that there is a place for refinement and elegance in the world of early Verdi” — The New York Times

A funeral liturgy will be offered on Friday, April 16 at 11:30 AM at the Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral St. John the Theologian, 353 East Clinton Avenue in Tenafly, New Jersey. The service for the great baritone will also be livestreamed from the Cathedral via their website.

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