Marion: An opera singer whose story is a real-life opera.

June 08, 2021
From the opera house to the schoolhouse…to American House.
By Lori Bender - American House

Performing Beethoven’s Ninth at Carnegie Hall would likely be considered the high point of someone’s life. For Marion, that moment in her singing career doesn’t come close to the joy she discovered teaching third grade in Detroit, Michigan. Marion’s story mirrors her profession, with all the dramatic twists of an opera.  

Her lifelong passion for singing led her to the choir at Temple University in Philadelphia. It was during that time, her voice caught the attention of a music teacher who connected her with acclaimed opera singer and coach, Graciela Cappelli. She studied under Cappelli for 11 years, during which time she sang at Carnegie Hall. For 13 years, her beautiful voice graced the stage at both the Rittenhouse and Cosmopolitan opera companies.

Then love struck the chanteuse, and a new chapter began in her story. Dan turned out to be her perfect “leading man,” enthusiastically joining her in marriage in September 1971, in a live ceremony over a California radio station while Marion sang “And This Is My Beloved”!

To be close to Dan’s children, the couple relocated to Detroit where Marion focused on another lifelong goal, earning a master’s degree in teaching at Wayne State University. Not long after, they were blessed with two children, Ronald and Diana. With a beautiful family and a satisfying career as a third-grade teacher, Marion’s life was full, made richer by her continued passion for singing. She joined the Detroit chapter of the music fraternity Mu Phi Epsilon and was a soloist for the Grosse Pointe Chamber.

In her current chapter, Marion takes the stage with the choir at her American House community, even standing in to conduct practice occasionally, to the delight of her peers.

Talking with Marion about her life, she shines brightest when she reminisces about her 30-year teaching career. Whether singing or teaching, Marion’s story is hitting all the right notes.

We all have a story. A story that taught us something, changed us and helped define who we are. Our seniors have amazing stories that hold a wealth of wisdom. At American House, your next chapter is waiting to be written. We’re here to help you write it. Your way.

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