Harry P. Opel

1983 F. Melius Christiansen Lifetime Achievement Award
Harry P. Opel (1921-2002)

Harry P. Opel was best known for his years of teaching at Minnehaha Academy, where he directed the choirs for about 38 years, retiring in 1985. He was also

minister of music and choir director at First Covenant Church in St. Paul. Concert audiences throughout the upper mid-west were familiar with his powerful

and ringing bass-baritone voice. He appeared on numerous occasions as soloist with the Minnesota Orchestra in oratorio roles and concert versions of operas,

and he sang the bass solos in the Beethoven Missa Solemnis under Robert Shaw.

Mr. Opel graduated from the University of Minnesota and studied choral conducting with many people, including the late Julius Herford. He was a vocal coach

for many years and served frequently as a choral and vocal clinician.

Minnehaha Academy named their new center for the performing arts for Harry Opel in 2002.