|Year of Birth:||1929|
John Macurdy (né John Edward McCurdy, in Detroit, Michigan, on March 18, 1929) is an esteemed American operatic bass. Among his teachers was the contralto Elisabeth Wood, who was also the pedagogue of Norman Treigle.
Macurdy made his formal debut with the New Orleans Opera Association on the opening night of the 1952-53 season, as the Old Hebrew in Samson et Dalila, with Ramón Vinay and Blanche Thebom in the cast, which was conducted by Walter Herbert and staged by Wilhelm von Wymetal. He went on to appear with that company until 1959, in Thaïs, Die Entführung aus dem Serail (conducted by Julius Rudel), The Consul and Norma. He was to return to New Orleans for Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, in 1979. During those years, he also occasionally performed with other companies, notably portraying Mr Earnshaw in the world premiere of Carlisle Floyd's Wuthering Heights, at the Santa Fe Opera in 1958.
In 1959, Macurdy made his New York City Opera debut, as Dr Wilson in Street Scene (opera). Among his other roles there, until 1962, were Jabez Stone in The Devil and Daniel Webster, the Basso Cantante in Six Characters in Search of an Author (world premiere, with Beverly Sills), William Jennings Bryan in The Ballad of Baby Doe, Mr Earnshaw in Wuthering Heights (opposite Phyllis Curtin and Patricia Neway), Créon in Œdipus rex (conducted by Leopold Stokowski), Colline in La bohème, Timur in Turandot, President Prexy in The Cradle Will Rock, a Priest in Il prigioniero (with Treigle), Sparafucile in Rigoletto, Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte, the King of Egypt (later Ramfis) in Aïda, Reb Bashevi in Abraham Ellstein's The Golem (world premiere), and the Reverend John Hale in The Crucible (opera) (with Chester Ludgin). He made a return to that ensemble in 1979, for a single performance of Raimondo Bidebent in Lucia di Lammermoor.