Born: October 8, 1909 - Celeste, Texas, USA
Died: January 29, 1960 - Dallas, Texas, USA
The distinguished American baritone, Mack Harrell, studied violin and voice at the Juilliard School of Music in New York.
In 1938 Mack Harrell made his concert debut at New York’s Town Hall. After winning the Metropolitan Opera Auditions in 1938, he made his debut with the company in New York in December 1939 as Biterolf in Tannhäuser. He remained on the roster until 1948, and returned there for the 1949-1950, 1952-1954, and 1957-1958 seasons. At the Met he sang a wide repertory and in his 13 seasons there appeared in 156 performances, 23 roles, and 18 works. In May 1944 he made his first appearance at the New York City Opera as Germont in La Traviata, and returned there in 1948, 1951-1952, and 1959. He also sang at Chicago and San Francisco. He also pursued a notably successful concert career.
Mack Harrell’s voice was one of remarkable lyrical beauty. Among his operatic roles were Papageno, Kothner, Amfortas, Jochanaan, Wozzeck, and Nick Shadow in The Rake’s Progress, which role he created in its USA premiere at the Metropolitan Opera in February 1953. This was probably his best known role. He also created Samson in Bernard Rogers's The Warrior (1947), and took part in the USA premières of Milhaud's Christophe Colomb (1952, Carnegie Hall); and his David (1956, Hollywood Bowl).
From 1945 to 1956 Mack Harrell taught voice at the Juilliard School of Music. He published The Sacred Hour of Song (New York, 1938). Mack Harrell is the father of the outstanding American cellist, Lynn Harrell.