Category Archives: Tenors

Nicola Fusati

Tweet Nicola Fusacchia (1876-1956) really deserves a spot on this site. After earning a medical degree from the University of Rome in 1901, he trained as a surgeon and became chief of surgery in Norcia Hospital in Perugia in 1904. Somehow he found time to study singing. He made his stage debut as Radames in…


Read the full entry

Michael Spyres High Notes and as a Bass

www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zbnSdux7so

Tweet First a YouTube compilation of tenor Michael Spyres singing high notes – some of which can only be heard by dogs. Spyres has mastered mixing, without a noticeable break, all the registers that a tenor can use. His highest notes from operas written before tenors sang high Cs and above from the chest employ…


Read the full entry

Michael Spyres in Philadelphia

Tweet New York’s Metropolitan Opera is suffering from a plague of inadequate tenors. Major productions have chugged along with tenors not up to the standard one would expect from the world’s most important opera house. The recent stagings of Samson et Dalila and Aida clearly demonstrate the Met’s tenorial difficulties. Yet the company does not…


Read the full entry

The Hard Bargain – Book Review

Tweet Richard Tucker (1913-75) was the greatest operatic tenor America has so far produced. He had three sons. David (b 1941) was the second child and the only one who aspired to take up his father’s profession. He ended up in medicine as an ophthalmologist. The Hard Bargain is his account of how he went…


Read the full entry

Antonio Cortis

Tweet Antonio Cortis 1891-1952 was a Spanish tenor with a beautiful spinto voice capable of singing both the light and heavy roles in the Italian and French repertory. Born on a ship in the Mediterranean, he gave Valencia, where he was raised, as his native city. He initially studied voice at the Madrid Conservatory. After…


Read the full entry

Benjamin Bernheim

Tweet Benjamin Bernheim is a young French tenor who was raised in Geneva and trained at the Lausanne Conservatory. He joined the Young Artists Program at the Zurich Opera and recently has made Debuts in London, Milan, and Chicago. He has a beautiful lyric tenor that seems ideal for the great French tenor roles –…


Read the full entry

Di Quella Pira

Tweet ‘Di quella pira’ is the cabaletta to the aria ‘Ah sì, ben mio’ which together make up almost the entirety of Act 3 scene 2 of Verdi’s Il Trovatore. The number’s famous high C (or sometimes Cs) were an addition to the score that Verdi allowed provided, he added, that the high note was…


Read the full entry

The Met’s House Tenors

Tweet The definition I’m using here is this: A Met house tenor is one who has sung at least 500 performances in leading tenor roles with the company. Thus, comprimario singers are not included. Using this rule there are only six tenors who qualify. They are listed below in the order of their birth followed…


Read the full entry

Celeste Aida

Tweet Verdi’s first act aria from his Egyptian opera, ‘Celeste Aida’, is the last Italian tenor aria in the style so often used by the master and his predecessors – recitative followed by a formal aria. Verdi himself abandoned the format in his last two operas, Otello and Falstaff, which followed Aida. Puccini’s tenor arias…


Read the full entry

Quando le sere al placido

Tweet One of opera’s most moving and beautiful tenor arias occurs near the end of the second act of Verdi’s Luisa Miller. The aria is a test for any tenor as it requires a powerful spinto for its explosive introduction followed by an aria which is sensitive, lyrical, and has a classical beauty. The words…


Read the full entry

Categories