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Tue, 12.29.1931

Thomas Carey, Vocalist born

Thomas Carey

*Thomas Carey was born on this date in 1931.  He was a Black operatic baritone vocalist.  Born in Bennettsville, South Carolina, he served in the United States military during the Korean War.  

After leaving the service, he studied singing at the Henry Street Settlement and City College of New York. In 1970, he performed the role of Mel in the world premiere of Michael Tippett's The Knot Garden at the Royal Opera House in London. He appeared in the second London West End revival of Show Boat in the role of Joe, which premiered in 1971.   

During his career, Carey performed worldwide, singing the roles of Porgy and Sportin’ Life with the Belgium Symphony Orchestra; appearing as Absalom in the German premiere of Lost in the Stars (1963); as Joe in the London production of Show Boat (1971); and in the role of Porgy in Porgy and Bess at the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera and Atlanta (1974).  He was married for many years to the contralto Carol Brice, who predeceased him in 1985.  Thomas Carey came to teach at the University of Oklahoma in 1969 and was one of the school’s first Black faculty members; he stayed there until his death on January 23, 2002. 

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