Bob Bergman, age 72, of Glenwood, formerly of Minneapolis MN, Big Pine Lake MN and Medora ND passed on February 25, 2008 from Leukemia, at his home in Glenwood under the auspices of Hospice.
A Memory Celebration will be held at Glenwood United Parish Church on March 1st at 1:00 pm. Urn burial will be at the Bergman Memorial Bench at the City Cemetery in the spring.
Robert Clayton Bergman was born at General Hospital in Minneapolis on May 23rd, 1935 to Parker Cyrus and Pearl (Hiltunen) Bergman. Bob was baptized in the Congregational Church in Glenwood.
Robert (Bob) Bergman and Sandra Tangen of Bertha MN were married in St. Paul in 1962. Together they raised five children; Jon Emanuel., Gretchen Ann, Kristine Amy, Barbara Lee and James Robert. In 1969 the family moved to Glenwood MN and have made their home on S Lakeshore Drive. Bob worked in the local manufacturing field when not pursuing his musical career.
The family summers were spent as much as possible at their cabin on Big Pine Lake. You could find Bob fishing on the ice or water, waterskiing, golfing (for real or with Jack Nicklaus on the computer). tennis (in dress socks) backyard football, backyard skating (was a speed skater) standing on his hands, holding true to his Finnish and Swedish heritage by loving to travel, inventing aberrations to scare the kids: his pets were his special friends, watching sports, movies and games with the whole family, explosive debates, laughing, and, of course, performing (suffered from terrible stage fright until the curtain went up), a long morning wake-up-with thick coffee, seasonally, either by the wood burner in the basement or on the deck feeling the suns morning rays.
Starting in 1981, the family summers were spent working in Medora ND, Bob in the Medora Musical and Sandy managing the Medora Campground. Bob’s family, from way back, were all very musical people and he got all the best High Baritone genes as well as acting and other artistic talents
As a native of Minneapolis, he studied voice and music theory at the University of Minnesota, MacPhail School of Music and is a graduate of Brown Institute of Broadcasting and Electronics.
He has performed with the Florentine Opera of Milwaukee, the Chicago Opera Theatre, the St. Paul Civic Opera, Fargo-Moorhead Opera Company and as baritone soloist at St. Marks Cathedral in Minneapolis, as well as the guest soloist at other churches Bob has 24 operatic roles in his repertoire.
He was Virgil Thomson in the World Premier of the Minnesota Opera production-THE MOTHER OF US ALL-with composer in attendance and guest designer-Robert Indiana. He was a featured artist in the Greenberg-Stokes original opera HORSPHAL-premier performance.
With the St. Paul Civic Opera, he performed with MORLEY MEREDITH, JEAN FENN and JON CRANE of the Metropolitan Opera and BERT PARKS, JANE POWELL and GIESEL MCKINSY in productions such as TALES OF HOFFMAN, MADAMA BUTTERFLY, MUSIC MAN, SOUTH PACIFIC and KING AND I.
Bob’s opera, concert, recital, and oratorio work includes William’s DONA NOBIS PACEM, Brahms’ REQUIEM, Mendelssohn’s ELIJAH, Handel’s MESSIAH, THE LOWLAND SEA, as well as Broadway shows -- OKLAHOMA, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, and MY FAIR LADY.
In 22 years as a leading baritone and popular performer with the Fargo-Moorhead Opera, his credits include: HANSEL AND GRETEL, MIKADO, SUSANNAH, PAGLIACCI, MAGIC FLUTE, FAUST, DON GIOVANNI, LA BOHEME, LA TRAVIATA, MARRIAGE OF FIGARO, MASKED BALL, RIGOLETTO and THE BALLADE OF BABY DOE.
After completing an engagement with the Chicago Opera Theatre as Don Pedro in
LA PERICHOLE, he appeared with the Florentine Opera of Milwaukee as Morales in
CARMEN and did the concert version of TOSCA with Opera St. Paul.
He has been on a national tour of schools and colleges with lyceum programs as well as doing special guest appearances and club work with Associated Clubs.. He appeared as baritone soloist in CARMINA BURANA-Orf with the Minnesota Dance Company and had successful engagements on the cruise ship, AZURE SEAS as well as touring with the CORNERSTONE CHORALE from St. Louis.
Bob (The Old Timer and Badlands Bob) completed thirteen seasons as MC and featured performer in one of the Northwest’s most exciting outdoor variety show, THE MEDORA MUSICAL, which runs the entire summer in the beautiful and rugged Badlands of Theodore Roosevelt fame. He did over 1,300 consecutive performances without missing a “Howdy." A tribute to Bob appeared in the 2005 40th Anniversary Book of the Medora Musical.
A very special recording concert was held at the Historic Auditorium in Central Square in Glenwood MN. The result was Bobs first CD – “A Lifetime of Music”. He was invited to be part of the first CD released of the Medora Musical’s favorite songs.
Bob is survived by his beloved wife of 45 years, Sandy. Sons Jon and James (Karman), both of Glenwood, Daughters Gretchen Collver of Ramsey MN; Kristine (Russ) Bakke of East Bethel; and Barbara (Steve) Jurek of Glenwood MN, Brother, Craig (Nancy) Bergman of Minneapolis and Sister, Barbara (Ray) Hand of Springfield MA. Grandchildren:, Cody & Tyler Collver, Nick & Zach Bergman, Alexander & Nia Jurek, Ashley & Allison Bergman and 8 Nieces & Nephews
Preceding him in death are his parents.
Arrangements are being made by Anderson Funeral Home of Alexandria. Donations preferred to Central Square Cultural Centere in Glenwood in lieu of flowers.