WILMINGTON, MA — Doris Marion Carlino, Opera Singer, Composer, Loving Sister and Friend, a soprano who enjoyed a long career in concert, radio, and recordings, died peacefully on April 23 at Woodbriar Health Center in Wilmington, Massachusetts. She was 95.
She was born Doris Carpenter in Boston on July 3, 1924, to Orlando Carpenter and Florence (Parsons), both of whom were musical. She grew up in Everett, where she attended the public schools, graduating from Everett High School in 1941. She received her first piano lessons from her mother (age 9) and her first voice lessons from Ruth Streeter. She graduated St. Petersburg Junior College (Florida) in 1943. From there she enrolled as a voice major at the Conservatory of the College of the Pacific (now the University of the Pacific) in Stockton, California, graduating in 1949. Her most important coach and mentor at the Pacific was Felix Underwood, who taught her her first complete operatic roles. From 1951 to 1953, she was on the roster of the San Francisco Opera Company, where she made her solo debut in Puccini’s “Suor Angelica” (September 26, 1952). Her most important mentor at SFOC was Kurt Herbert Adler, chorus master and later general manager.
For 25 years (1961-1986), Ms. Marion lived in Europe, where she performed in opera and concert and made numerous recordings for the radio (a selection of which were compiled in 2000 on the AFKA compact disc, “Affections of My Heart”). In Nuremberg, she studied voice with Adolf Richter (former leading tenor at the Prague Opera House) and coached with Constantine Callinicos (Mario Lanza’s former accompanist). In 1963, Ms. Marion married Bruno Droste (1918-1969), an important composer and conductor of light music in East Germany (about whose life Ms. Marion produced the 2012 documentary “Bruno Droste: an artist’s flight to freedom”). Ms. Marion made recordings for many European radio stations, including Radio Salzburg (Austria), NCRV and AVRO Radio (Holland), Radio Frankfurt and Bavarian Radio (Germany), and BRT and RTB Radio (Belgium). She made three recordings of the “Hermit Songs” by Samuel Barber, who wrote her a letter complimenting her interpretation (1964). In 1964 Ms. Marion moved to Brussels, where she appeared frequently in recital for the French and Flemish radio, and on recordings for radio stations in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Cologne, Nuremberg, and Berlin, and on television in Luxembourg. She collaborated with many prominent Belgian composers of the day, including Victor Legley and René Bernier (who called her “mon interprète”). Ms. Marion’s most important coaches during her 22 years in Belgium were Frédéric Anspach, Madeleine Farrère, and Lira LeNoir. She had a long musical partnership with British-born pianist Pyta Shrager. In 1976, she married Italian tenor Tonino Carlino.
In 1986, Ms. Marion returned to Everett, Massachusetts, where she continued to perform a wide variety of music, as well as teach and mentor a new generation of musicians.
Ms. Marion was the sister of Margery Warford, Muriel Ross, and the late June Semon; the stepmother of Sabrina Carlino; and the loving aunt of Garry, Jack, Kevin, and Shawn Warford; Donna, Daine, and Judy Roos; Marc, Kim, and Kirk Semon; and many grandnephews and nieces.
Services will be held privately.
(NOTE: The above obituary first appeared in the Boston Globe.)
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