Hirst took his time for his studies in Santa Barbara (with Martial Singher), at the Juilliard School in New York, in Los Angeles and in Aspen. Only in 1969, he made his debut in Washington, in the title role of Ormindo by Pier Francesco Cavalli. In 1970, he was Tonio in La fille du régiment in a concert performance at Carnegie Hall, which led to his debut at the New York City Opera in The turn of the screw. That was the start to a career that he made for the most part in the USA (Boston, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, San Antonio, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Hartford, Houston, San Diego, Washington), but also in Bern for a while. He also did much concert and oratorio work (the Bach Passions particularly). After 1986, he doesn't seem to have sung much; he taught now voice at the University of Arizona (until 2015).
I would like to thank Helmut Krautschneider for the recording.