Born in Oakland, California in 1927 the author received his High School education in California before joining the Marines at 17 before the end of WW 2. While pursuing vocal studies in Los Angeles he accepted an LDS Mission starting in Buffalo, NY. Finding many inconsistencies among missionaries he concluded to get his own witness. With 3 days of fasting and prayer he read the BOM relying on Moroni's promise of asking God to reveal the truth of the BOM. Positive confirmation never came. The Mission President advised him to complete his mission saying he needn't teach anything he didn't believe. A missionary chorus was formed and the choice made to tour his final months as soloist with the Utah Centennial Chorus. After his mission he appeared in a Broadway Musical. He left for Milan, Italy in 1952 meeting his future wife on the ship. After his operatic debut in Spain, successful engagements followed that soon led to Berlin and a three year contract at the Vienna State Opera. While singing in Rome a screen test led to Director William Wyler choosing Claude for the role of Jesus in the Academy Award film 'Ben Hur'. After the 'Ben Hur' experience Claude made another BOM attempt with a 3 day fast/prayer at the Holy Trinity chapel of St. Catherine Monastery at Mount Sinai, Egypt. As Dramatic Tenor he sang opposite such sopranos as Birgit Nilsson, Renata Tabaldi, Joan Southerland; as Tristan, Otello, Siegfried, Parsifal etc; at Bayreuth, La Scala and most major European opera houses. After retiring, he attended his local Ward with family, becoming counselor in the Sunday school until he felt enough was enough. Conducting a Testimony meeting he bore his lack of testimony publicly asking forexcommunication as the only way to remove oneself from church rolls.
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