Death of a US bass-baritone, 55

Death of a US bass-baritone, 55


norman lebrecht

May 30, 2017

The death has been communicated of Christopher Roselli, an artist with a busy opera career who also taught at the New School in New York.

Chris sang in Robert Wilson’s Metropolitan Opera Lohengrin, Julie Taymor’s production of Grendel, Peter Sellars’ Tristan Project, Sir Jonathan Miller’s staging of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, Mark Morris’ production of Four Saints in Three Acts and Marthe Keller’s Tosca at the Verbier Music Festival.

In all, he sang 40 roles with US opera companies, as well as many concert performances abroad. He was Voice and Speech Coordinator at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute/NYU Program, and Chair of the Voice and Music Department at CAP21 as well as part-time Professor of Voice at Mannes Next and The New School.


He is survived by his parents, a sister and two brothers.


  • Peter Freeman says:

    Lovely voice and singing! Cause of death?

  • Ungeheuer says:

    Sad. RIP.

  • Robert says:

    He was a dear person and great artist. He sang in 1997 at my wedding and brought the house down. Goodbye, my friend.

  • Kit says:

    A major loss of a great colleague and friend.

  • Jamesay says:

    A sad loss to the musical world. Heard that he was also a beautiful person.
    Why do people ask for cause of death. Is it anyone’s business. I detest such prurient questions. A musician, a person, has died at a young age. Accept that fact. Let them rest in peace. Boundaries!

    • Rowena says:

      I couldn’t disagree with you more. Of course people need to know the cause of death when anyone dies, especially someone so young. It should be required to include it in all obits.

      • Jamesay says:

        You may disagree with BUT
        1. Who are these “people” you consider “entitled” to know the cost of a person who chose a performance career.
        IMHO the family are the only ones “.entitled” to know this.
        “required”?? Where do you get off?
        Anyone, like you, insisting that they know the cause of death of such a person are prurient and have no boundaries or class.
        In short your behaviour and values behind your thinking demonstrate a bloody intrusive and rude line of thinking. Tasteless and thoughtless.

  • Albrecht Graf Wickenburg says:

    Tief im Schatten alter Rüstern,
    Starren Kreuze hier am düstern
    Aber keine Epitaphe
    Sagen uns, wer unten schlafe,
    Kühl im Sand.

    Still ist’s in den weiten Auen.
    Selbst die Donau ihre blauen
    Wogen hemmt.
    Denn sie schlafen hier gemeinsam,
    Die, die Fluten still und einsam,

    Alle, die sich hier gesellen,
    Trieb Verzweiflung in der Wellen
    Kalten Schoß.
    Drum die Kreuze, die da ragen,
    Wie das Kreuz, das sie getragen,