Category Archives: Tenors

No! Pagliaccio Non Son

Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci was first performed at Milan’s Teatro Dal Verme in 1892 – Arturo Toscanini conducted. It rapidly spread throughout the operatic world and like its frequent partner, Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana, it was its composer’s only unalloyed success. The opera’s protagonist, Canio leader of a band of itinerant performers, is married to a much younger…


Read the full entry

Le Rêve

Massenet’s Manon was first performed at the Opéra-Comique in Paris in 1884. It rapidly became a staple of the operatic repertory and has remained so to this day. I’m ignoring the shuttered state of everything public at present. The opera has two big roles. The title character and her hormone addled lover the Chevalier Des…


Read the full entry

Yossele Rosenblatt

When I was a kid in New York, Yossele Rosenblatt (1882-1933) was a figure whose memory was still fresh. There were many who had heard him sing and spoke about his voice in the same awed tones as did opera goers who remembered Caruso. Rosenblatt was a Ukrainian born chazzan (cantor) who came from a…


Read the full entry

Hipólito Lázaro

Hipólito Lázaro (1887-1974 ) was a Catalan tenor. He was born and died in Barcelona. His career began in 1910 and continued until 1950. Though he was a lirico-spinto, he made his debut in Donizetti’s La Favorita and scored a great success as Arturo in Bellini’s final opera I Puritani. Despite his success with bel…


Read the full entry

Cessa di più Resistere

‘Cessa di più resistere’ is the tenor aria that closes Rossini’s Barber of Seville. There’s a few minutes of music that follows it, but the bravura piece is effectively the opera’s end. That is when it’s performed. It’s so difficult that that it was dropped from the opera shortly after it’s premiere in 1816. So…


Read the full entry

Richard Tauber

A reader recently asked why I had not written anything about Richard Tauber. I didn’t have a good answer and said I would; this is it. Tauber (1891-1948) was born in Linz, Austria to an unmarried actress. His father was an actor Richard Anton Tauber who eventually acknowledged him and took over his upbringing. Young…


Read the full entry

Lethal Tenors

Serious operas typically end with one or more of the principals dead. The tenor is more often victim than perp. The following excerpts are from operas where the tenor is the killer, an unusual occurrence in an art form where tenors are usually the good guys. First Verdi’s Luisa Miller. The following description is adapted…


Read the full entry

Recondita Armonia

Tosca has two great tenor arias. Everyone knows the third act’s ‘E lucevan le stelle’. ‘Recondita armonia’, the subject of this article, appears in the first act only minutes after the show has started. It requires a different approach from its more famous brother. It needs a full voiced sound without the filatura and pianissimo…


Read the full entry

Gianfranco Cècchele

Gianfranco Cècchele (1938-2018) was a noted tenor who was trained by Marcello Del Monaco, the younger brother of Mario. Accordingly he was a belter in the mold of his teacher’s older brother and other pupils of Marcello such as Amadeo Zambon profiled here in 2016. Thus it’s not surprising that he wanted to be a…


Read the full entry

Hermann Jadlowker

Hermann Jadlowker (1877-1953) was a Latvian tenor; born in Riga he was a member of the choir at the Grand Choral Synagogue where he received vocal training. He wanted to be a singer, but his father wanted a business career for him. To resolve this dispute he left home at age 16 and settled in…


Read the full entry

Categories