Robert Hale is a bass-baritone singer who has made a career in two distinct fields, classical and country-gospel. Born in Texas but raised in Louisiana, Hale studied at Boston University and the New England Conservatory of Music. In addition to earning the Artist Diploma from the latter institution, he also won the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and the National Association of Teachers of Singing competition for "Singer of the Year." After performing in recitals, he sang with the New York City Opera, and later at the Vienna State Opera, Covent Garden, La Scala, and the Paris Opera, among numerous other companies. He never forgot his rural roots, personal or musical, however, and in the '70s, Hale teamed up with a fellow opera singer, tenor Dean Wilder, in what proved to be a 20-year partnership doing country and gospel songs. The two performed over 4,000 concerts, often in association with evangelical Christian events (including the Billy Graham Crusade), and recorded 21 albums, mostly released on the religious-based Word Records label. All of these were steeped in gospel, country, and folk music, with the occasional patriotic song thrown in. Wilder's death in 2002 ended the partnership, but their work together is still fondly remembered and has been available on compact disc since the '90s.
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