Robert Honeysucker

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Robert E. Honeysucker, Jr. (January 14, 1943 – October 7, 2017) was an American baritone.

Biography[edit]

Robert E. Honeysucker, Jr. was born in Memphis, Tennessee. His father, Robert E. Honeysucker,[1] was a preacher.[2] He was one of four children of Robert Sr. and Willa Ann Honeysucker.[1]

Honeysucker grew up in the South in the 1960s, becoming an activist for social change at an early age. He joined the youth division of the NAACP and worked to register voters in order to help the election of John F. Kennedy, and befriended activist Medgar Evers.[3] He later earned his bachelor's degree in music education from Tougaloo College and his master's degree from Miami University of Ohio.[3] After completing his graduate studies, he returned to Mississippi to teach and conduct a choir at Tougaloo College. He moved to Boston, Massachusetts in 1972 for additional graduate work at Boston University.[3]

Performing career[edit]

Honeysucker was known for his versatility as a performer in Boston's classical music scene, with the Boston Globe noting that he had “performed at one time or another with nearly all of the region’s major classical music and opera organizations, as well as with national and international ensembles.”[3] Beginning in the 1980s, he was a regularly featured performer with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops.[3] By the 1990s, he was also a regular at the Boston Lyric Opera, performing roles such as Stephen Kumalo in Lost in the Stars, by Kurt Weill and Maxwell Anderson; Master Ford in Verdi's Falstaff; and Escamillo in Carmen on the Common, a public park production of Bizet's Carmen performed for an estimated 140,000 people.[4]

Other roles Honeysucker was known for include Rigoletto, Sharpless, Germont, and Iago.[3] As an oratorio singer, he was known for performances in Mendelssohn's Elijah and Handel’s Messiah.[3] He was also passionate about the Great American Songbook, presenting an annual concert of this material for many years.

Honeysucker was also a voice teacher who taught on the faculties of the Boston Conservatory and the Longy School of Music.[3]

Discography[edit]

Honeysucker's recording work includes a collaboration with Videmus to record five discs featuring the works of African-American composers:

  1. Music of William Grant Still (New World)
  2. Watch and Pray (Koch International)
  3. More Still (Cambria)
  4. Highway 1, USA (Wm. Grant Still, released by Albany Records)
  5. Good News (Videmus Records)[5]

Press mentions[edit]

Honeysucker was hailed by the Boston Globe as “a fixture of Boston’s musical landscape over some four decades.”[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Robert Honeysucker Obituary". The Boston Globe. 11 October 2017 – via Legacy.com.
  2. ^ Eiseman, Lee (9 October 2017). "Robert Honeysucker: We Will Always Feel the Spirit". The Boston Musical Intelligencer.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Eichler, Jeremy (22 October 2017). "Robert Honeysucker, 74, baritone who overcame barriers". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 12 October 2019.
  4. ^ "Remembering Robert Honeysucker". Boston Lyric Opera. 12 October 2017. Retrieved 12 October 2019.
  5. ^ "Robert Honeysucker, Baritone" (PDF). Boston Classical Review. Retrieved 12 October 2019 – via classical-scene.com.