|Year of Birth:||1927|
|Year of Death:||1983|
Donald John Gramm (February 26, 1927 – June 2, 1983) was an American bass-baritone whose career was divided between opera and concert performances. His appearances were primarily limited to the United States, which at the time was unusual for an American singer. John Rockwell of The New York Times described Gramm as follows: "He had an unusually rich, noble tone, and although its volume may not have been large, it penetrated even the biggest theaters easily. Technically, he could handle bel-canto ornamentation fluently. But his real strengths lay in his aristocratic musicianship (impeccable phrasing that he polished by accompanying himself at the piano, and an easy command of five languages) and his instinctive acting." Among the most notable of his many operatic roles were the title role in Verdi's Falstaff, Leporello in Mozart's Don Giovanni, and Dr. Schön and Jack the Ripper in Berg's Lulu.
Gramm was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin of German ancestry with the surname Grambsch, which he later changed to Gramm. He received his early musical training at the Wisconsin College Conservatory of Music (1933–1944) and sang his operatic debut at age 17 at Chicago's Eighth Street Theater as Raimondo in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor. He later studied at the Chicago Musical College and with Martial Singher.
Donald Gramm lived for over 25 years, until his death, with his life partner Donald Dervin in New York City. They shared two connected brownstones on Park Avenue with the renown theatrical and arts philanthropist, Robert L. B. Tobin. They also spent time at their houses in Connecticut and Santa Fe, where he performed with the Santa Fe Opera.