Category Archives: Tenors

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…


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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…


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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 –…


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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…


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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…


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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…


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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…


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O Souverain, ô Juge, ô Père

Tweet Massenet’s Le Cid is based on a play by by Pierre Corneille of the same name. First performed in 1885 at the Paris Opera. Rodrigue (The Cid) was written for the great Polish tenor Jean de Reszke. The opera is in 4 acts consisting of 10 tableau. It had 150 performance at the Opera…


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Klaus Florian Vogt

Tweet Klaus Florian Vogt is a German 47 year old tenor who is about to take the title role in Wagner’s Parsifal during the Met’s upcoming run of the opera. The subject of a feature article in this month’s Opera News, Vogt started his musical life as a horn player in the Hamburg Philharmonic (1988-97)….


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Jonas Kaufmann – L’Opera

Tweet L’Opera is the title of Jonas Kaufmann’s latest recital disc devoted to French opera arias and a few duets. Kaufmann has achieved considerable success singing 19th century French opera, especially Massenet’s Werther. This recital demonstrates the reasons for this success which does not completely carry over to a sound recording. In the theater you…


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