Robert P. Mitchell
Long before the Rev. Robert P. Mitchell was a “reverend,” he sang opera for over forty years. He appeared in fifteen productions with New York’s Amato Opera Company alone, and in numerous productions with fourteen other “minor league” companies in the NY-NJ metropolitan area. His most prestigious appearance occurred on Saturday, January 31, 1987 as Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly with Opera Classics of New Jersey at the Orrie de Nooyer Auditorium in Hackensack, New Jersey, with Maestro Anton Coppola conducting. The author was the only non-Metropolitan Opera or non-New York City Opera singer in the cast. That performance led to singing with the late Maestro Alfredo Silipini, then Artistic Director of the New Jersey State Opera.
Rev. Mitchell was born in 1939 in the small village of McVeytown, in south central Pennsylvania. By the time he was ready for school, the Mitchell family had moved to the north central Pennsylvania town of Lock Haven. He grew up there, graduated with honors, and attended both Lock Haven State Teachers College and Mansfield STC before he went to New York City to begin serious operatic studies at the Mannes College of Music. On the day he registered, he met his future wife, who happened to be on the other side of the registration desk. They married in 1962. In 2012 they celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary. They have two sons and three grandchildren, and now live in the scenic Delaware Water Gap region of northeastern Pennsylvania.
In addition to his singing career, Rev. Mitchell worked for The New York State Employment Service, the T. J. Lipton Company, and Scholastic, Inc., the New York-based educational publisher. From 1968 to 1998 he enjoyed a career with Scholastic as a manger, first in the Personnel Department, and later in Marketing Systems Management. Alongside his Scholastic career, he performed full productions of more than thirty opera roles and some musicals, sang each weekend in churches and synagogues, and sang concerts in numerous venues, as well as on WQXR and WGN radio stations.
The author holds a B.S. degree in Voice and Opera from the Mannes College of Music, and a Master of Divinity degree from the New Brunswick (NJ) Theological Seminary. He and his wife co-pastored a church in the Hudson Valley for seven years following his retirement from Scholastic. He holds certificates in Direct Marketing from New York University, and is a Certified Interim Minister. He currently serves as Pastor of the Pleasant Valley Presbyterian Church in Brodheadsville, PA.
Bob has taught philosophy at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY and as a substitute teacher in the local East Stroudsburg School District.
He is a member of the national Phi Mu Alpha Music Fraternity.
Look for his Biography, “Tales Of A Tenacious Tenor“, coming soon from ASJ Publishing