Andy Anselmo, 98, ‘voice teacher for the stars’ | Featured Obituaries


“At 16, he continues, I started studying voice at what is now Buffalo’s Community Music School. I earned the $2 a week for tuition by delivering newspapers at dawn each morning.

Studying at Canisius College on a scholarship during World War II, he performed with a 12-piece orchestra on “Armed Forces Mail Call”, a radio show for American soldiers. After graduating from pre-law in 1945, he was encouraged by his voice teacher to enroll at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston and study with William L. Whitney, who had taught many singers in leading opera. From Whitney he learned the classic Italian style of bel canto, which emphasizes beautiful sound. He obtained his master’s degree in bel canto in 1949.

Mr. Anselmo moved from Boston to New York in 1961, appeared in Broadway musical “The Golden Apple”, toured with Phyllis Diller and sang in cabarets. He starred in television variety shows hosted by Diller, Jackie Gleason and Merv Griffin.

At the request of the famous theater teacher Lee Strasberg, he developed the voice program at the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute. In 1970, he received a Community Service Award from New York City Mayor John Lindsay for his work with the Everyman Street Theater Company. But nightclub work was exhausting her.

“It was at the Fontainebleau in Miami Beach in the 1970s that I knew I had to recharge my batteries,” he told The New York Times in 1993.

He returned to New York and in 1978, with his longtime partner, pianist, singer and composer John Albert Harris, opened the Singers’ Forum and ran it for many years. The Times described it as “a non-profit center that runs vocal technique classes, vocal jazz and opera workshops, musical theatre, power talk and ‘singing for people who think they can not “. ”

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