Shirley-Quirk, John Stanton

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John Stanton Shirley-Quirk, 1931–2014, British bass-baritone. He began his career as a chemistry teacher, turning permanently to music in 1961. Acclaimed for his fine tone, diction, and phrasing, he was best known for the many parts composed for him by Benjamin Britten, whose English Opera Group he joined in 1964. He also specialized in works by Bach, Handel, Delius, Vaughan Williams, and Elgar, and was renowned for his performances of English art songs and oratorios. He appeared in opera houses and recital halls throughout the world, debuting at New York's Metropolitan Opera in the American premiere (1974) of Britten's Death in Venice.