The vocal community was stunned this week by the loss of beloved bass-baritone Michael Gallup, who passed away in Pomona on Tuesday morning, after struggling with illness over several months. He was 68.
Michael’s extraordinary talent, warm heart and infectious sense of humor are well-known to Southern California musicians and music buffs, and this tremendous loss has been met with an outpouring of love and admiration from a wide variety of friends relatives and colleagues, as evidenced by the sheer volume of posts to his Facebook page since his passing, with mentions of his extensive appearances in the Southland.
A veteran of most of the prestigious performing organizations in SoCal, he was the first solo artist heard at LA Opera in 1986, appearing with LAO in the ensuing years more than any other bass — more than 270 performances, in 65 different roles. He has also been a concert soloist for the Los Angeles Master Chorale, Pacific Chorale and a long list of other choral and orchestral ensembles. He appeared in a variety of unforgettable Gilbert & Sullivan roles for Opera A La Carte, and also worked extensively with Long Beach Opera, Santa Barbara Opera, Opera Pacific, San Diego Opera, as well as working for many years with the Crystal Cathedral, Temple Judea (Laguna Woods), Immanuel Presbyterian, First Congregational Church LA, and numerous others.
But as ubiquitous as he was in the Southland, locals may not be aware of the career that reached across the country and spanned more than four decades: his agency bio shows that Michael appeared with many of the major opera companies in the US, adding to the local list Dallas Opera, New Jersey State Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Portland Opera, Seattle Opera, Arizona Opera, Anchorage Opera, Dayton Opera, Orlando Opera and Palm Beach Opera. He has also performed opera at the Hollywood Bowl under Michael Tilson Thomas, Sir Charles Groves and Leonard Slatkin.
Michael Gallup was an artist who touched many thousands of lives, bringing hallowed works of art to life and making the artistic life a joy for his colleagues. Thanks so much, Michael.
In celebration of Michael’s life a gathering of friends and family will be held on Sunday, February 1st at 3:00 p.m. at St. Mark Presbyterian Church, 2200 San Joaquin Hills Rd., Newport Beach, CA 92660. There will be a reception to share memories of Michael immediately after the service.
Contributions in memory of Michael Gallup may be made to Pacific Chorale, 3621 S. Harbor Bl., Suite 220, Santa Ana, CA 92704 or the organization of your choice.
Michael Gallup — Facebook page
Agency profile — Pinnacle Arts Management
With a career of this scope, it is impossible to include everything. If we have failed to include an essential organization or detail, please contact us or comment below. We’ll update this post as needed.