His voice was his instrument- Dr Gary Ellsworth Burgess

Dr. Gary Ellsworth Burgess was the eldest of seven children born in 1938.Like most Bermudian born children he had been given the nickname ‘Buddy’. Gary came up with his extended family of uncles and aunts. He seem to display the gift for music at an early age. He attended the Berkeley Institute and upon graduation left Bermuda to attend an overseas university. He made his home in Buffalo New York  and became a professor at the University of New York. Gary became a professional musician  his voice became his instrument. He performed as an Opera Singer on several continents and most of the major opera houses of the world. His extensive musical education earned him degrees from Wilberforce University, the Julliard School of Music, Academia di Santa Cecelia, Indiana University and the Curtis Institute of Music. He was a master Teacher in Bratislava, Prague, Sao Paulo, Ottawa,  for most of the major Universities across the United States. He was director of the Opera Department, Music Director of Theatre Department and Drama and professor of Voice during his tenure in Buffalo, New York. He staged and directed more than 40 Operas. Dr. Burgess  made his first American Debut as a Tenor in 1973 with the San Francisco Opera Company singing seven roles in the same season.Debuts followed at the Metropolitan Opera in New York among others. In 1973 he made a debut in Europe with the Greek National Opera singing the leading Tenor roles. When Dr. Burgess retired in 1998 he returned to Bermuda and took a post with the Ministry of Cultural Affairs as a programme Director and Director of the Bermuda Philharmonic Society during that tenure  he wrote and premiered two Symphonies for the Philharmonic Orchestra. “Dawn of a New Day.’ and The Bermuda Symphony based on the discovery of Bermuda. He founded and directed the Boys Choir at the Bermuda Cathedral for six years. He retired for the second time. He received the National Opera Association Legacy Award for his contribution to music and Opera. In 2005 Dr. Burgess was engaged by the Chinese Government to be one of the directors to open  the New Center for performing Arts in Beijing directing ‘Puccini’s madam Butterfly.’ That same year he was invited  to serve on an International panel of judges for the Ningbo International Vocal Competition. In 2008 he was guest soloist with the Ensemble Singers while touring in Barbados. It is a great feeling to know that this individual who accomplished so much in life well deserves to be recorded as a part of our history. He was a next door neighbour in the well-known area of North Village Pembroke. I’ve never doubted good can come out  of North Village if we never squander the opportunities that come our way. Great work Dr. Burgess thanks for the contributions to our Island.

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