Category Archives: Tenors

Ben Heppner

This article was originally published here on May 29, 2019. It was damaged beyond repair such that I had to reconstruct it anew. 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…


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Miguel Fleta

I’ve briefly touched on the singing of the Spanish tenor Miguel Fleta (1897-1938), but until now have not devoted a full piece to him. His career was as brief and brilliant as the firing of a flashbulb. I want to mostly focus on his singing rather than his story. There are several excellent biographical sketches…


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Ferruccio Tagliavini

Ferruccio Tagliavini (1913-95) was and Italian tenor famous for his mezza voce singing which was of exceptional sweetness. He made his debut in Florence in 1938 as Rodolfo in La Bohème. He was hailed as a successor to Beniamino Gigli and Tito Schipa, though his sound was much closer to the latter. Tagliavini was born…


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Michael Spyres Baritenor – Review

American tenor Michael Spyres has released a new album – Baritenor. It contains 18 selections which are presented in approximately the order in which they were written. They consist of arias composed for tenor, tenor or high baritone, and baritone. Spyres has always shown a unique ability to adjust the character of his timbre; he…


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Marcel Wittrisch

Marcel Wittrisch (1901-55) was born to a German family in Antwerp, Belgium. He studied voice in Munich, Leipzig, and Milan. His operatic debut was in Halle in 1925. His career was based in Berlin. He started as a lyric tenor with a voice whose timbre was also well suited for operetta. As his career progressed…


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Tenor Legends Celebrated Online in New La Scala Exhibition

The La Scala virtual exhibition described below in their announcement of the event is full of interesting material. It’s available with an English translation which has entertainment value of its own. It will only be available for a limited time. It’s a rewarding effort well worth the considerable time it takes to view and listen…


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Giuseppe Di Stefano – 100 Years

The third great tenor born in 1921 (July 24) was Giuseppe Di Stefano (1921-2008). Of all the tenors I heard in performance, Di Stefano had the most beautiful voice. He was also able to convey the emotional content of the music he sang with intensity and insight unmatched by any other tenor of his era….


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Franco Bonisolli

Franco Bonisolli (1938-2003)was an Italian tenor who had a voice of exceptional beauty. He also also exhibited very eccentric behavior, especially during the later part of his career. His erratic conduct resulted in the unfortunate sobriquet of Il pazzo (the madman). In addition to difficulty getting along with conductors, he inserted high notes into much…


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Donald Smith – The Great Australian Tenor

Donald Smith (1920-98) was the finest tenor Australia has yet to produce. Born in Queensland he served 7 months in a juvenile detention center for driving a car (not his) with some friends; he was 12 at the time. He worked as a sugar cane cutter for several years. In 1941 he enlisted in the…


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Franco Corelli – 100 Years

Franco Corelli was born in April of 1921 in Ancona on the Adriatic coast. He decided to pursue an musical career later than most singers. After two unsuccessful encounters with voice teachers he resolved to train himself by intense study of the recordings of the great Italian tenors who had preceded him. After winning the…


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