George Rasely



Competition Winner

Born: October 27, 1890 (St. Louis, MO)

Died: January 3, 1965 (Lawrence, KS)

George Rasely was an American tenor who had an active career in operas, concerts and musicals during the first half of the 20th century. He was also a frequent performer on American radio during the 1920s through the 1940s.

In 1927, he won the National Music League singing competition and in 1928, was a winner of the Walter W. Naumburg competition.

Rasely made his Broadway debut in 1917 as Nur-Al-Juda in Frederick Norton's Chu Chin Chow. He was part of the Greenwich Village Follies between 1922 and 1924. In 1939, he returned to Broadway to portray Mr. Scratch in The Devil and Mrs. Webster. On Broadway, he also appeared in La vie parisienne (1941), Helen Goes to Troy (1944) and Hollywood Pinafore (1945).

In 1928, he performed with the Philadelphia Civic Opera Company where he sang the role of Scheweiker von Gundelfingen in the US premiere of Richard Strauss's Feuersnot. In 1936, Rasely joined the roster of the Metropolitan Opera making his debut as Vasek in Smetana's The Bartered Bride, singing at the Met for eight years. He created the role of Harman Blennerhassett in the world premiere of Walter Damrosch's The Man Without a Country on May 12, 1937.

Mr. Rasely made his New York debut recital under the auspice of the Naumburg Foundation on April 9, 1929 at Town Hall, collaborating with pianist Alfred Boice. His program included of five groups of songs -- Early English, Mediaeval French, four Brahms numbers, some Italian songs, and six songs by modern American composers.

George Rasely at the National Music Camp, Interlochen, Summer 1943


1928 Naumburg Competition

First Prize

Commissioned Works

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Naumburg Performances

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Recording Awards

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