Saturday, February 23, 2019 Rev. Susan Freeman, Officiant
Forest Park Cemetary, Shreveport, LA
Mr. Wylie was born in Shreveport on August 25, 1941 and graduated from C.E. Byrd High School in 1959. He attended Louisiana Tech University in Ruston where he received the Bachelor of Arts degree in Commercial Art and Interior Design in 1964, and the Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance in 1967. While at Tech Mr. Wylie was involved in Tech’s opera and musical organizations and productions and sang leading tenor roles in Gianni Schicci, La Boheme, The Mikado and The Fantasticks. Mr. Wylie was selected to perform as a solo artist in the Live Show Productions at several of the Six Flags theme parks including Six Flags Over Texas, Fiesta Texas, Six Flags Over Georgia, Mid-America in Saint Louis, Cedar Point, in Sandusky, Ohio and Desert Fiesta in New Mexico. He was a founding member of Eta Zeta Chapter of Sigma Nu Fraternity at Tech in 196l. He was named to Who’s Who Among American Colleges and University Students, was a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, the Tech Theatre Players, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, professional music fraternity. Following his graduation from Tech, he received a graduate assistantship in Opera to attend the University of Arkansas where he studied with the distinguished Australian tenor, Maxwell Worthley.
Mr. Wylie was a member of the Schola Cantorum and the Uarkettes, university choral organizations and was a member of the National Collegiate Players, professional theatre organization. He was active in the opera productions there and appeared as Albert in Albert Herring and Tamino in The Magic Flute. He toured Europe with the Schola Cantorum and traveled to Mexico City with the Uarkettes. Mr. Wylie was an Apprentice Artist with the Santa Fe Opera where he sang a number of supporting roles and at Wolf Trap Farm Park for the Performing Arts, the first National Park for the Performing Arts located outside Washington, D.C., where he appeared in Donizetti’s Don Pasquale, The Daughter of the Regiment with Beverly Sills, Frank Loesser’s The Most Happy Fella, and the American premiere of Prokofiev’s opera War and Peace. He returned to the Santa Fe Opera and Wolf Trap in leading tenor roles during his professional career.
His voice teachers included Frederick Wilkerson in Washington, D.C., Gibner King in New York City.
During his professional career, Mr. Wylie appeared as tenor soloist with opera companies, symphony orchestras and in recital throughout the United States and Europe. He collaborated with such well known conductors as Leonard Bernstein, Sarah Caldwell, Julius Rudel, and James Conlon. His opera performances in leading tenor roles included the companies of Santa Fe, Houston, Seattle, Cincinnati, and the Washington Opera. He appeared as tenor soloist at the Brevard Festival, the Oregon Bach Festival, the Ravinia Festival, the Salzburg Festival in Austria, and the Aldeburgh Festival in England in 1968, where he made his concert debut in performances of Benjamin Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings, with the composer conducting. His European operatic performances include the companies of Cologne, and Frankfurt in Germany, Zürich, Bern, and Geneva in Switzerland; Salzburg and Vienna in Austria; the Opéra de Lyon, Marseilles, and Aix en Provence in France, the English National Opera, and the Glyndebourne Festival in England, the Rossini Opera Festival in Italy, the Netherlands Opera, and the Teatro Colon in Venezuela. He appeared as tenor soloist with symphony orchestras including Boston, Saint Louis, Dallas, Houston, Seattle, and the National Symphony in Washington, D.C. His opera roles were those associated with the lyrico/spinto repertoire and included Tamino in The Magic Flute; Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni; Count Almaviva in The Barber of Seville; Nemorino in The Elixir of Love; Candide in Candide with Leonard Bernstein; Pélleas in Pélleas and Mélisande with Frederica von Stade, Albert in Albert Herring; Ernesto in Don Pasquale; Schweik in the American premiere of Robert Kurka’s The Good Soldier Schweik; Belmonte in The Abduction from the Seraglio; Ferrando in Cosi fan tutte; Lenski in Eugene Onegin; Tom Rakewell in The Rake’s Progress, and Fenton in Falstaff which served as his American operatic debut with the New York City Opera. His oratorio repertoire included Hadyn’s Mass in Time of War The Creation, and The Seasons; Handel’s Messiah, Judas Maccabaeus and Alexander’s Feast; Mozart’s Requiem; Bach’s Mass in B Minor, Magnificat and the Evangelist in the Passions According to St. John and St. Matthew.
Mr. Wylie joined the music faculty at Louisiana Tech University in 1978 and continued his professional career until 1986 when he limited his performing engagements to local and regional venues. During his twenty-nine years at Louisiana Tech, Mr. Wylie taught Applied Voice, Class Voice, Vocal Literature, Vocal Pedagogy, French, German and Italian Diction for singers, Opera Literature, and A Survey of the American Musical Theatre, a course he designed. He was the director and coordinator of Musical Stage Productions from 1978-1989. He directed Spring musicals including No,No, Nanette, South Pacific, Company, Hello, Dolly! with Patrice Munsel, Fiddler on the Roof with John Raitt, and The King and I with Patricia Wells. He was the director of the Opera program from 1994-2007 and presented Evenings of Opera, Evenings of Musical Theatre, and a combination of both, A Tribute to the Music of Stephen Sondheim with guest artist, Pamela Myers, A Celebration of Broadway in the 21st Century with ventriloquist Jay Johnson and friends, and tributes to Broadway Musicals of several decades. Many of his summers were spent directing, teaching, and coaching young singers for roles in operas and musicals at venues nationwide. He served as the director of the Louisiana Tech Concert Association from 1986-1995 and brought to the university and the Ruston community a variety of international artists, dance companies and musical theatre events. He appeared in leading roles in a number of Tech musicals including Robert in Company, Daddy Warbucks in Annie, the Padre in Man of La Mancha, Harry McAfee in Bye Bye Birdie, Herbie in Gypsy, and Mr. Darling/Captain Hook in Peter Pan. His students won many awards at state, regional and national competitions including the National Association of Teachers of Singing and the Metropolitan Opera auditions. Many of them went on to careers in teaching and performing with major opera companies and symphony orchestras. Mr. Wylie served as the university faculty advisor for Sigma Nu Fraternity from 1982-2001. He was the first recipient of the fraternity’s National Chapter Advisor of the Year award in 2000. He was awarded Professor Emeritus status on the occasion of his retirement. Mr. Wylie was a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, Who’s Who Among College and University Professors, Phi Kappa Phi, and Sigma Tau Delta. He was published in Classical Singer magazine and the NATS Journal of Singing.
Following his retirement from Louisiana Tech in 2007, Mr. Wylie built a home in Hot Springs Village where he enjoyed the natural beauty of the foothills of the Ouachita mountains and spent a great deal of time walking the miles of trails throughout the Village with his yorkshire terrier, Mandy. He was an avid lover of the Broadway musical, and classical music, especially opera. Before and after his retirement, he traveled frequently throughout the United States and Europe to attend opera and musical productions and festivals, many featuring his former students as soloists.
Mr. Wylie was preceded in death by his parents, Mary Emma Feltus and Mack Wylie, his grandparents Emma Roth and Charles Edwin Feltus and Cassie Gately and David Paul Wylie. He is survived by one sister, Claire Wylie (Niki) Pelton, a nephew, Kevin David Pelton, and a great nephew, Cameron Kyle Pelton, all of Shreveport.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers memorials be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, or the charity of the donor’s choice.