The Sunday Magazine

Remembering Stuart Hamilton

The renowned vocal coach, former "Saturday Afternoon at the Opera" host, and long-time contributor to the New York Metropolitan's opera quiz, died on New Year's Day at the age of 87. He talked to Michael when his memoir was published in 2012; we'll hear a hilarious excerpt from that conversation.
Legendary Toronto vocal coach Stuart Hamilton passed away on January 1. (William Porquet)

When Stuart Hamilton died on New Year's Day, Canada lost one of its most passionate and colourful champions of classical music — particularly opera. 

He began as a solo pianist, but found his true vocation as an accompanist and vocal coach. He collaborated with many of this country's greatest singers — such as Maureen Forrester and Lois Marshall. He accompanied Isabel Bayrakdarian when she made her Carnegie Hall debut.

In 1985, Stuart Hamilton became the host of CBC Radio's "Saturday Afternoon at the Opera". His quick wit and astonishing knowledge of operatic plots and performers, meant he was a frequent guest and moderator on the opera-quiz panel at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.

In person, Stuart was warm, generous and a startlingly original dresser, frequently wearing leather from head to toe...up to and including his jodhpurs. A brilliant and tireless conversationalist, he had a somewhat bawdy sense of the absurd.

In January 2013, Stuart came to our studio to talk about his memoir, Opening Windows. You can hear his conversation with Michael here. 

A feature interview with the esteemed Canadian vocal coach and accompanist ... who has worked with superstar sopranos like Maureen Forrester, Elizabeth Benson Guy, Isabel Bayrakdarian, and Lois Marshall.


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