Spiro Malas made his operatic debut in 1959 in his native Baltimore. He made his New York debut at New York City Opera the year after. He came to the attention of Joan Sutherland and her husband, the conductor Richard Bonynge and was subsequently asked to tour Australia. This led to appearances at London's Covent Garden, the New York Metropolitan Opera (1983-84) and Chicago Lyric Opera. He has sung leading roles in the major opera houses in Rome, Naples, Salzburg, Vienna, and Florence, has appeared in televised opera, with leading symphony orchestras, and has recorded the operatic repertoire with notables such as Luciano Pavarotti, Beverly Sills, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Marilyn Horne and Sutherland.
A leading bass-baritone with the New York City Opera for many years, he has also sustained a career in television, having appeared in Spenser: For Hire, The Equalizer, Ryan's Hope, One Life to Live, Law & Order and Sex and the City. The New York Times's Frank Rich, commented on Mr. Malas' Drama Desk Award nominated portrayal of the immigrant farmer, Tony Esposito in the Broadway revival of The Most Happy Fella "As acted by Mr. Malas, Tony's inner growth and redemption become the very soul of musical drama, especially as delineated in one gorgeous Loesser song after another." Along with The Most Happy Fella, there were many performances of Fiddler on the Roof and Fanny in various theatres around the country. In addition to his teaching at Barnard College and Columbia University, Malas also serves on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music and Curtis Institute of Music. He enjoys teaching at the Chautauqua Music Festival and Santa Fe Opera in collaboration with his wife, Marlena.