Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes

1730 East Grand River Ave, East Lansing, MI


Peter William Lightfoot

12 avril , 19508 novembre , 2019

Peter, age 69, of Okemos, passed away November 8, 2019, at Michigan Medicine in Ann Arbor.

Peter Lightfoot was a marvelous dramatic baritone whose opera career spanned five of our world’s continents: North America, South America, Europe, Africa and Asia. Peter captivated critics and audiences alike with what Opera News called his “vocal brilliance” and what Opera called his “beautifully placed and clearly focused voice.” Throughout his career he was recognized for his skill and performing abilities and won a National Opera Institute Grant, a Sullivan Foundation Grant and a Harp Grant. He was a first place prize winner of the Boston Opera Competition and a Luciano Pavarotti Competition finalist.

Peter’s operatic roles included but were not limited to Verdi's Macbeth; Tonio in Il Pagliacci; Scarpia in Tosca and Rigoletto in Verdi's Rigoletto. He performed with the New York City Opera, the Greater Miami Opera, the Wexford Festival, L’Opera de Nice, the Houston Grand Opera, Opera Cagli, Hawaii Opera Theater, the Aspen Festival, the Spier Festival, Opera Orchestra of New York, the Wolf Trap Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Piedmont Opera Theater, Mexico City Opera, Kentucky Opera, Knoxville Opera, Virginia Opera, Opera Delaware, and the Wildwood Festival. His performance of Marbuel at the Wexford Festival in The Devil and Kate is on DVD.

He also appeared in various works with the Stockholm Philharmonic, the Amsterdam Radio Symphony, the San Francisco Symphony, Houston Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Toronto Symphony, and the Dallas Symphony. He was Artist in Residence for 11 seasons with the Bay View Music Festival.

Peter Lightfoot’s PBS performances included singing the title role for the world premiere of Ethan Frome by composer John Beall, and performing as Leonce in William Grant Still’s A Bayou Legend. He also sang Mahler’s Lieder Eines Fahrenden Gesellen on a broadcast for NPR. His recording An American Tapestry with pianist Dr. Deborah Moriarity, can now be heard on Blue Griffin Records.

Peter was born April 12, 1950, to Albert and Doris Lightfoot in Flushing, New York, and his second dad was Benjamin Matheison of New York, New York.

He will be lovingly remembered by his wife Yatidi Lightfoot who lives in Okemos, Michigan, and his son Matthew (Matt) Lightfoot, daughter-in-love Jennifer (Jen) Lightfoot and granddaughter, Ellie Lightfoot who live in Chicago, Illinois. Peter met his first wife (and Matt’s mom) Jane Williams, who lives in Morgantown, West Virginia, when each of them was performing at Wolf Trap.

Peter attended Hackley School, preparatory high school, and held degrees from Tufts University and from The Juilliard School. Although he started singing as an altar boy, Peter had many other interests including history, football, medicine, law, politics, and model trains. He was a proud member of his university a capella group, the renowned Tufts Beelzebubs. He loved traveling, classic movies, fine dining and delighted in time with friends and family.

Also an excellent teacher, Peter was assistant and associate professor of voice at West Virginia University, and associate professor of voice at the University of Southern California and Michigan State University. He loved working with his students and was thrilled to assist them on their journey in learning to become their own best teacher.

A memorial service for Peter Lightfoot will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 7th at Martin Luther Chapel, 444 Abbot Road, East Lansing, MI. Visitation begins at 10:00 a.m. and there will be a luncheon following the service.


7 décembre


10:00 am - 11:00 am

Martin Luther Chapel

444 Abbot Road
East Lansing, MI 48823

7 décembre

Memorial Service

11:00 am

Martin Luther Chapel

444 Abbot Road
East Lansing, MI 48823


Peter William Lightfoot


Chris Parker

2 décembre , 2019

Peter was a brilliant talent and a classy guy, with whom I was lucky to become friends over these past 50 years through the Beelzebub Alumni Association. I shall miss him.

Mary Steinbroner Lugo

29 novembre , 2019

The memories of Peter Lightfoot begin with just the little details: his love of orange marmalade, chai tea, and sashimi. He enjoyed sharing stories about his favorite roles, and the more unusual operas he had a part in. Peter's students and friends held a special place in his heart. Finally he had a deep pride and unending love for his family.
He will be missed.
My hope is that the grief that is felt will soon dovetail (not be replaced by) the incredible presence and legacy he's left behind.
With love,
Mary Steinbroner Lugo and family


26 novembre , 2019

Peter and I met in 1970 and sang together for three years in the Tufts University Beelzebubs. In 1972 we were the best a cappella group in the nation, due in large part to Peter's fabulous presence, his rich Bass/Baritone voice and wonderful personality. We became friends for life, and his passing leaves me with great sadness. The entire Beelzebub Alumni Association is saddened by his loss and sends best wishes to his soul, and to his family.

George Shirley

17 novembre , 2019

My fond memories of Peter stretch back to when, as a young baritone, he was launching his career in NYC. Possessed with a rich voice of impressive size, he was destined to make his mark in the profession. He was also blessed with a warm personality that complimented his musical gifts.

A few years ago, he joined me in premiering a new chamber opera written by Michael Udow, at that time a member of our University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance Faculty. Peter sang the leading role with beauteous tone and solid interpretative skill.

I will miss his presence on this side the ground.