Category Archives: Tenors

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…


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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…


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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…


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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…


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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…


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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…


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Giuseppe Di Stefano Video

Below is a video made by the late tenor shortly before he was beaten senseless by unknown assailants as he was exiting his car near his home in Kenya. The attack was in 2004; the singer never fully recovered and died in 2008. Di Stefano’s prime coincided almost exactly with that of Maria Callas with…


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MICHAEL SPYRES – Cessa di più resistere

Cessa di più resistere is an aria for the tenor (Almaviva) in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville. It occurs near the end of of the opera. For a very long time it was omitted – for two reasons. First it place the focus on the tenor at the expense of both the title character and…


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Ben Heppner

Ben Heppner (b 1956) is a now retired Canadian tenor. At his peak, the 1990s, he was as fine a tenor as can be imagined. His career at the Met lasted from 1991 to 2009. He is now a regular host of two Canadian radio programs both devoted to vocal music, especially opera . Heppner was…


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Javier Camarena – Contrabandista

Contrabandista is the title of Mexican tenor Javier Camarena’s new CD. It’s built around the career of the Spanish singer, composer, teacher, and general all around handyman Manuel Garcia (1775-1832). Of the 10 selections on this disc, five are by Garcia. He is better known as the first Almaviva in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville…


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