Obituary: Sanford Sylvan, baritone, 65

Posted on: February 1, 2019

“The beloved American baritone Sanford Sylvan died Tuesday at his home in Manhattan,” writes Tom Huizenga on Thursday’s (1/31) at National Public Radio. “Marc Mandel, a close family friend and director of program publications at the Boston Symphony Orchestra, said that the death was ‘entirely sudden’ and that it was ‘deemed to be of natural causes.’ Sylvan was 65. Sylvan may be best remembered …  for his arresting performances in [Peter Sellars’s] decidedly modern takes on Mozart’s Cosí fan tutte and The Marriage of Figaro.… He … focused on singing with small forces, including performing many Bach cantatas at [Boston’s] Emmanuel Church…. Sylvan became widely praised as a recitalist….  Sylvan’s warm, agile baritone, and the way he used it, made him an uncommonly communicative singer…. Sylvan … was raised in New York [and] entered the Manhattan School of Music after high school…. Sylvan shined in … the wheelchair-bound lead role in [John] Adams’ opera The Death of Klinghoffer in 1991 and as Chou En-lai in Adams’ first opera, 1987’s Nixon In China…. In recent years, Sylvan concentrated on his teaching…. He was a faculty member at the Juilliard School since 2012.” Survivors include his mother, Leonore Sylvan, sister, Gwen Sylvan, and brother, Seth Sylvan.

Posted February 1, 2019