Vincent Donato, born Anthony (Tony) Drake, would now be all but forgotten, if there wasn't a concert performance of Aida with youthful
Beverly Sills on October 19th, 1955, in Paterson, NJ, where he sings Radames. (For a certain time, there was a lot of confusion on the internet who that performance's tenor
actually was, Donato or Victor Mincieli. Actually, Mincieli was a baritone, and sang Amonasro.)
In opera, Donato's career seems to have been quite limited; among his few documented appearances is another Aida a few years earlier in
Philadelphia, where he sang the Messenger, though. However, he was in the cast of the 1956 Broadway production of Bernstein's Candide (under
his real name Drake), and was obviously quite successful on the radio and with concert tours; for 20 years, he had his own concert ensemble
together with his (soprano) wife Jeanne, "Vince Donato and Sounds of Joy".
Later on, he became a much beloved voice teacher.
I wish to thank Robert Schlesinger for the pictures.
In RA format