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Seymour Schwartzman

Seymour Schwartzman was an American cantor and opera singer. He was a principal baritone at New York City Opera where he sang over thirty roles and also performed internationally in opera houses and on the concert stage. Among the synagogues where he served as cantor was the Beth Sholom Congregation in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania.

On November 12, 1965 Schwartzman made his debut with New York City Opera as Giorgio Germont in La traviata, and remained with the company until 1975, singing leading baritone roles including Lord Nottingham in Roberto Devereux, Scarpia in Tosca, Tonio in Pagliacci, Michele in Il tabarro, Lord Ashton in Lucia di Lammermoor, Marcello in La bohème, Sharpless in Madame Butterfly, and the title role in Rigoletto. In 1968, he sang the role of John Sorel in Gian Carlo Menotti‘s The Consul at the Israel Music Festival inTel Aviv, a role he would reprise in 1969 for San Francisco Opera and in 1971 for Connecticut Opera. Schwartzman had also appeared at San Francisco Opera as Giorgio Germont in La traviata (1967), Tonio in Pagliacci (1967), and Rigoletto (1968).

Schwartzman’s appearances on the concert stage often centered on the performance of music by Jewish composers. He sang Ernest Bloch‘s Sacred Service at the Grant ParkConcerts in Chicago and the Philharmonic Hall in New York in 1967 and appeared at Mexico City’s Palacio de Bellas Artes for the Festival of Jewish Music (Festival de Música Judía) in 1969 and 1972. His 1973 performance in Sholom Secunda‘s oratorio Yizkor with Richard Tucker (tenor), Bianca Sauler (soprano), and Howard da Silva (narrator) was broadcast by the ABC television network to mark the 30th anniversary of the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto.

After his retirement from the opera stage Schwartzman returned to the cantorate, while giving occasional concerts. He became the cantor at Temple Beth Sholom in Roslyn Heights, New York in 1978 and served there for the next ten years.

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