Baritone Frederick Burchinal, a continuous presence at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City since his debut as Macbeth in 1988, has been named the first recipient of the Wyatt and Margaret Anderson Professorship in the Arts in the Hugh Hodgson School of Music.
This endowed professorship in UGA’s Franklin College of Arts and Sciences is selected from art, music, theater or dance and honors a person with an outstanding national reputation. Anderson, former dean of the Franklin College, and his wife, Margaret, made a major contribution to the professorship and numerous others also contributed.
The professorship will enrich an already strong arts program across campus, according to Garnett S. Stokes, dean of the Franklin College.
“It is endowed gifts such as the Anderson Professorship that allow the college to recruit and retain top-notch faculty in the arts,” she said. “We are delighted that a performer of Frederick Burchinal’s stature is joining the Hodgson School of Music to share with our students his obvious talents and wide-ranging experience.”
Burchinal’s repertoire at the Metropolitan Opera has included performances of the title roles in Macbeth, Simon Boccanegra, Nabucco and Rigoletto, as well as Iago in Otello, Alfio in Cavalleria Rusticana, Tonio in Pagliacci, Amonasro in Aida, Gerard in Andrea Chenier, Golaud in Pelleas et Melisande and Baron Scarpia in Tosca.
During the Metropolitan Opera’s most recent season, Burchinal sang at the opera’s opening night gala as the Grand Pretre in Samson et Dalila with Placido Domingo and Denyce Graves and conducted by James Levine. Burchinal also sang performances of Rigoletto conducted by Domingo and Tosca conducted by James Conlon. He also appeared in the new production of Romeo et Juliette as Father Capulet with Ramon Vargas and Natalie Dessay, which was presented on a worldwide Saturday afternoon radio broadcast. Last season, Burchinal also sang worldwide broadcasts of Otello conducted by James Levine and Cavalleria Rusticana conducted by Dennis Russell Davis. While fulfilling his commitment to UGA, Burchinal will continue to pursue his operatic engagements with the Metropolitan Opera and with theaters and orchestras worldwide.
Burchinal’s discography includes the world premiere recording of an opera written especially for him that he created, recorded and subsequently filmed in London; the role of Scrooge in Thea Musgrave’s A Christmas Carol and the American premiere recording of Kurt Weill’s Die Buergschaft. Burchinal also won acclaim on Broadway in The Most Happy Fella.
“It is clear from Frederick Burchinal’s impressive and long list of prominent roles at the Metropolitan Opera that both the Hodgson School of Music and UGA are extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to offer him the Anderson Professorship,” said Donald Lowe, director of the music school. “We are thrilled to welcome Frederick to campus.”
“I am so pleased to join the distinguished faculty at the Hodgson School as the inaugural Wyatt and Margaret Anderson Professor. Their generosity in establishing the professorship and their stalwart support of the arts are inspiring,” Burchinal said.
“I am honored to represent the Andersons’ dreams for the future of the university and to have the opportunity to share my years of performance and experience with the students of UGA to facilitate their own dreams and hopes of entering the world of singing and opera.”