Richard D. McKee, 71

DEC. 28, 1941-APRIL 14, 2013

April 15, 2013

Richard D. McKee, 71, of Manlius, N.Y., passed away peacefully on April 14, 2013. 

He was born in Hagerstown, Md., he was the son of the late Charles and Frances Burton McKee.   

After graduating from Choate (Conn.) in 1960, he received his bachelor of arts degree in music from Yale University, and his master’s degree in music from the University of Illinois. He had a long, outstanding career as a leading bass baritone, singing and directing with professional opera companies in the U.S. and abroad, including the New York City Opera Company. Among the many roles in his repertoire, Leperello in “Don Giovanni,” the title role in “Falstaff” and Pooh-Bah and Mikado in Gilbert & Sullivan’s “The Mikado” were his favorites. He retired in 2007 as artistic director from Syracuse Opera.

He is survived by his family, Carolyn F. McKee, Lyn Holzman, Janet M. Shields and Kevin Shields; grandchildren, Morgan and Brenna Shields; sister, Jane M. Rozes; nephews, Charles Rozes and Jonathan Rozes, niece, Jennifer Rozes; and many friends at Syracuse Opera.

There will be a memorial service in Syracuse, N.Y., to be announced at a later date.

Contributions may be made to Syracuse Opera, P.O. Box 1223, Syracuse, NY 13201-1223.

For a guest book, please visit

Arrangements are by Newell-Fay Manlius Chapel of Schepp Family Funeral Homes, Manlius, N.Y.

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