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best tenors of all time

January 18, 2021 by  
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With his dramatic presence allied to a burnished bronze tone that could ride over any orchestra, Vickers became the tenor of choice in such roles at Bayreuth, Vienna, the Met and other leading houses. While valued chiefly for Mozartean roles, such as Belmonte and Tamino, he maintained his love of the Bach. One of the definitive voices of the 20th century, Enrico Caruso was that rarest of creatures: a truly great artist with a mass popular following. There isn’t much debate about the best male country music singer of all time in country music being Hank Williams. January 1, 2011 Get a special offer and listen to over 60 million songs, anywhere with Amazon Music Unlimited. The fact remains that when you listen to Domingo, you are guaranteed a flood of gorgeous sound, sensitive musicianship, the security of a voice so well looked after that nothing will go wrong and, if you are seeing him, a decent standard of acting. Jon Vickers (1926-2015) 9. The Tenors – Clifton, Fraser, and Victor have been thrilling audiences around the world with their powerful songs, outstanding harmonies, and undeniable charm. They don't even qualify as one of the top 10 best singers of all time, but they're getting all of the sales, fame, and money. He has also sung a few contemporary operas, but only ones written in a fairly traditional idiom. You can't talk about opera without mentioning this legendary Italian tenor. His Siegfried in the famous Decca Ring is unforgettable for its strength and fragility. So much so that I sat there crying like a child.’, Björling’s voice was not large, but was perfectly placed, possessed silvery brilliance, and permitted dynamic and coloristic shading at every point in its register – according to American critic Conrad L Osborne, Björling’s ‘mastery of line, his command of the classical (vocal) effects… is of a sort that makes even very fine singers seem faintly amateurish.’. He would hold high notes far beyond their written worth (12 seconds in the great cry of ‘Vittoria!’ during a Covent Garden Tosca, for instance), and some critics made a point of disapproving of what they regarded as ‘cheap effects’. 10. "experts" on the 20 greatest tenors "of all time". His father, a baker, was a fine tenor and gave plenty of encouragement to Luciano, who was torn between music and football. When I published my choices for the 10 best tenors of the 20th century I admitted that my picks were entirely subjective. The top 20 contains only three singers currently before the public, and one of those - the English soprano Emma Kirkby - has had no career to speak of in opera at all … Sit back and grab some popcorn for this! Tamino was the last role he sang on stage, ten years later, again with the Stuttgart ensemble, at the Edinburgh Festival barely a month before his fatal accident. Two remarkable Russian tenors came to dominate the Soviet stage in the 1930s and 1940s. Caruso is one of the earliest great singers whose voice remains alive to us today through his recordings. All of the aforementioned turn him into one of the best tenors of the XX century. I don’t believe in all this pedantic arranging of things in order.’. In that case, this nice article is for you. The Greatest Tenors Of All Time. In 1924 Melchior sang at the first post-war Bayreuth Festival and that same year triumphed in London as Siegmund in Die Walküre. The 20 Greatest Sopranos of all time The 20 Greatest Tenors of all time Lindsay Ammann Ammann is an American contralto based in Germany with the Stuttgart Opera. #9 of 185 The (Male) Singer You Most Wish You Could Sound Like... 2 He is still singing, including such demanding roles as Siegmund in Wagner’s Die Walküre, as well as in carefully selected Italian operas. By Andrew Martin. Genres: Jazz, Post-Bop. Björling’s beautiful tone and effortless technique contributed to his reputation as a paragon of the art of singing during an illustrious international career. He has even sung at the Bayreuth Festival, the ultimate accolade. Since Tenors Of Our Time consists of mostly standards, his playing truly shines. Whenever you need a bit of singing inspiration, you can come back to this page and discover another vocal gem. Quite apart from that, he was of course one of the Three Tenors, and has recorded Christmas albums and discs of popular Italian and Spanish songs. Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. Lists can be controversial, but I’m sure that Catallaxy readers would agree with my list of the great opera singers. His career among the very first to be built on that unholy, and thoroughly modern, alliance of tremendous natural talent, prowess in the recording studio, and brilliant management and PR. In his own words: ‘To earn my living, I played jazz music on the side. The most devoted fans of the Three Tenors (José Carreras, Plácido Domingo, and Luciano Pavarotti) may already have the music included in this album of greatest hits taken from their concerts in Rome (1990), Los Angeles (1994), and Paris (1998), but for listeners … Marvellous purity of tone and breathtaking virtuosity make his singing irresistible, coupled with good looks and delight in performance. He would have had a career without Britten – he was a compelling and successful operatic performer long before Peter Grimes – but without Pears we wouldn’t have some of the finest works ever written for tenor. Franco Corelli 3 Click here to subscribe to BBC Music Magazine, An interview with choreographer Matthew Bourne, 5 facts about composer Bernd Alois Zimmermann. Posted on 5:41 pm, July 5, 2012 by Samuel J. The elegance of his style made him ideal in Donizetti and Bellini, and later on he specialised in Massenet, particularly the role of Werther. roles. Anthony Rolfe Johnson was one of the most honest singers around – about his voice, for example: ‘It’s not large, but powerful and compact, full of energy, and that’s a great weapon.’ I’d go further – his singing is virile, ardent, but there’s also immaculate musicianship, a wonderful sense of timing, that seduces the listener. I will never sing it (onstage). There are many great tenors from all over the world. Consequently, he was booked for Sunday Night at the London Palladium, the gem of ITV’s weekend schedule. It’s inevitable that he has been criticised for giving a standardised account of many roles – but then it’s hard to see how individual you could be in many of Verdi’s less famous works. 10 Greatest Opera Singers of All Time 1. Since it is such a rare gift to not only have the ability to become an opera singer, but to also have such a high singing range, tenors are highly sought after and are some of the greatest opera singers in history. The Greatest Tenors of All Time 1 1 The Beatles 2 The Rolling Stones 3 Elton John 4 Mariah Carey 5 Madonna 6 Barbra Streisand 7 Michael Jackson 8 Taylor Swift 9 Stevie Wonder 10 King. Sign in to manage your newsletter preferences. There you have it: our 50 best vocalists of all time. What is most surprising is that, almost alone among tenors who made their name in Italian opera, since he was about 50 he has been equally involved with German opera, primarily Wagner, some of whose greatest roles he has not risked singing in the theatre, but has recorded in part or whole. Their singing always shock the audience. In his own words: ‘Gott, welch’ dunkles Bier’ (‘What dark beer’) – Windgassen on making a rapid stage exit from Beethoven’s opera Fidelio, with a stomach upset. Get a special offer and listen to over 60 million songs, anywhere with Amazon Music Unlimited. He never made an ugly sound, and yet his voice was the most human, emotional instrument.’, Irene Dalis thought ‘he was the premier tenor in the world. The Best Feel-Good TV Shows 16 Episodes That Prove 'The X-Files' Is Secretly A Comedy The Best New York Giants Tight Ends Of All Time The Best Rodeo Movies Reasons Being A Manga Artist Is A Living Nightmare Top 10 Vote up the best tenors to have ever sung opera or classical music. In his own words: ‘I never forced my voice. Which have displayed the greatest power, range, grace and flexibility? Despite the reservations of some critics, who point out to an excessive voice support in the throat, Kaufmann leads the list of today’s best tenors. Rather limited in range and dynamic breadth, even lacking a particularly attractive vocal timbre, he still possessed the greatest gift of all – the ability to make a singing line and project it to every corner of an enraptured hall. At Bayreuth he sang major tenor roles and was the Siegfried in Solti’s 1960s recording of the Ring for Decca. When a tenor sings, it sounds so crystal clear and powerful it’s hard to imagine anything sounding more profound. In his own words: ‘A singer is more than a singer, he’s an artist, and he’s even more than an artist, he’s a maestro.’. Sing on your interest and your voice will last.’. 1,215 I would not like that to happen.’. Who are your favourite tenors of all time? 50 Greatest Recordings of all time; The best recordings of Allegri’s Miserere; 17) Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo (1607) An extraordinary creation that sets its glittering music at the service of the text. A self-confessed workaholic, he also conducts opera, and is in charge of the Washington National Opera and the Los Angeles Opera, jobs which involve an immense amount of fund-raising. 3 2 toutvas bien 3,420 Ella Fitzgerald. Few tenors have made so much out of relatively little as Tito Schipa. #520 of 583 The Greatest Entertainers of All Time#425 of 525 Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song? Here are 12 arias of the greatest opera songs. It was his audition for Covent Garden in 1957 that pushed the Canadian Jon Vickers onto the scene. (1941- ) Tenor (Spinto) Listen to his CD In Praise of Woman (on the Helios label: CDH 55159) –  every song lit up by his unique blend of passion, tenderness and sheer beauty of voice. It’s easy to see why. A byword for lyrical refinement, Kraus was a perennial connoisseur’s favourite in bel canto and French repertoire. It would damage my voice. His 1976 three-disc survey for Philips of Verdi’s tenor roles is something of a landmark, as are complete recordings of Radames, Alfredo, and the Duke of Mantua, among others. Many readers had different thoughts as to who should be on such a list. Though his life was inexorably draw to the US, Caruso’s charm and his cheek remained distinctly Italian. Orfeo was not the first opera to have been written, but it was the first great opera. Check out The Greatest Tenors Of All-Time by Various artists on Amazon Music. His secrets were a warm, effortless technique, immaculate diction, noble bearing and an intelligence informing every aspect of his art. In his own words: ‘My motto is “When I rest, I rust”.’. In his own words: ‘Technique enables an artist to arrive at a level of excellence where it is impossible to guess which qualities are acquired and which are innate.’. Lemeshev’s interpretation in the recording of the complete opera, made in 1956, shows the voice still remarkably youthful and fresh, and he sang it for the last time at the age of 70. (1923-1977) Soprano (Lyric) Caruso was a singing superstar, with a voice that was born to make recordings that would ravish the senses of an adoring public. But Legge could hardly have foreseen his discovery would become the most versatile and enduring tenor of the post-war years, triumphing in repertoire from the terrifying high notes of Bellini’s I Puritani to the heroics of Berlioz’s Benvenuto Cellini and Wagner’s Lohengrin, and making some 200 recordings – the last only in 2003. Now in his eighties, Bergonzi teaches and runs a hotel in Verdi’s birthplace, Busseto. 10 Greatest Opera Singers of All Time Opera has long been mistaken to be purely singing. And that’s the most beautiful moment, because the audience can feel what you’re really feeling.’. By entering your details, you are agreeing to Classical Music terms and conditions and privacy policy. Click on and check out this list of the greatest male country singers of all time. Wolfgang Windgassen followed in his father’s footsteps, also a tenor and with whom he studied, working at the Stuttgart opera, first as a singer and from 1972, until his death two years later, as director. Although his voice lacked the baritone resonance of other pre-War greats, his exquisite tone made him one of the most valued Wagnerian singers of his generation. In a career that lasted barely more than a decade, he gave exemplary performances of the lyric Mozart tenor roles: Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Ferrando in Così fan tutte and Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni. Best known for romantic tenor roles like Rodolfo (La bohème), Cavaradossi (Tosca), the Duke (Rigoletto), Manrico (Il trovatore), Faust, and Roméo (the latter two from Gounod’s operas), Björling occasionally performed or recorded heavier parts, and in concert his repertory also included operetta arias, Scandinavian songs and German Lieder. TinEar liked this post Jul-14-2013, 22:41 #2. You love reggae music, but you would really appreciate it if someone came along and gave you a simple list of the greatest reggae singers of all time. Both possessed high lyric voices of great distinction, forward placement and impeccable diction, though it was Lemeshev who was blessed with the matinee idol looks and who cut the greater dash as the Duke in Rigoletto. I’ve listed the 10 tenors that I think were the best of those active in the 20th century. Aureliano Pertile stands out for a wide number of virtues rather uncommon for singers of his time: great musicianship, unique personal charm, modesty, beholder of a wonderful stage presence and a true professional. His early parts included Gustavo in Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera, Don José in Bizet’s Carmen and the title role in the historic Visconti/Giulini production of Verdi’s Don Carlos; but the potential of his voice to take on the most demanding roles in the repertoire led him towards Berlioz’s Aeneas, Beethoven’s Florestan and Wagner’s Siegmund, Parsifal  and Tristan, plus Britten’s Peter Grimes – a role he effectively redefined. Luciano Pavarotti was a best-selling classical singer and humanitarian known for his most original and popular performances with the 'Three Tenors' and 'Pavarotti & Friends'. Perhaps the most refined of the post-war lighter tenors, Peter Schreier is valued for the conviction of his operatic roles, his sincerity in religious music and intelligence in Lieder. Although his acting in staged opera sometimes struck observers as phlegmatic or perfunctory, the technical adroitness and expressive subtlety of his singing swept all before it. But he was also superb as Ferrando in Karl Böhm’s classic recording of Mozart’s Così fan tutte, and in the delights of Spanish zarzuela. More info: Twitter / Nov 15, 2012. We Have All the Time In the World The Ten Tenors The Gladiator Suite: Now We Are Free / Il Gladiatore The Ten Tenors アルバム すべて見る Love Is in the Air 2019 Here's to … 6. Among the big-name opera stars and lower-key Lieder recitalists, who are the best tenors ever to have graced the stage? During the course of this enormous career he has always looked for new roles to challenge him, and has recorded over a hundred, performing an impressive proportion of those on stage. 9 April 2020, 20:12 | Updated: 9 April 2020, 20:21. GREATEST OF ALL TIME ARTISTS The Beatles. Various artists. Do you agree with their choices? Virile yet elegant, ardent yet intelligent, above all human; Bergonzi was considered by many to be the greatest Verdi tenor of the mid-20th century. At the highest extreme, some tenors can sing up to F one octave above middle C (F 5). In a career spanning over 40 years, McCormack sang and recorded opera, oratorio, Lieder, popular songs and folk song from his native Ireland. What music! Enrico Caruso (1873-1921) 3. Pears’s sound doesn’t please everyone, but his artistry is indisputable: Britten loved his conveying ‘every nuance, subtle and never overdone’. In his own words: ‘Regard your voice as capital in the bank. I have no idea what criteria they've applied, but here are their results: 1. Gigli is not of the schools.’. Here, then, are L.A. Weekly's picks for the 20 greatest singers of all time, in any genre. What if the world's greatest tenors throughout history got together for a voice contest? Best Lead Singers of All Time What makes a great rock singer? And then you just communicate. The ten greatest opera singers of all time. In his own words: ‘At five o’clock I stop work and become a father – I don’t believe in being the star singer who just “visits” home.’. After a successful 1914 debut in La Gioconda, he was in demand throughout Italy and by 1920 had made it to the Met, where he inherited many of Caruso’s roles following the latter’s death the next year. Billboard looked through about six decades of rock and roll history and found the 25 … The following is an independently verified list of best-selling music artists (those with claims of 75 million or more record sales) from the second half of the 20th century to the present.Only artists whose claimed sales figures can be cross-referenced with music recording certification systems (the first of which appeared in the late 1950s) are included. Hank Williams. Best Female Singers of All Time. My parents liked Britten’s music, and I was brought up learning and loving every detail of the refinement and wit Peter Pears brought to the Folk Songs, the heroism of his St Nicholas, above all the tortured otherworldliness of Peter Grimes. But the recordings preserve a voice that has an effortless, easy-going flow even in the cramped confines of an early studio, with a rich and powerful low to middle register and highly charged top notes that seem completely attuned to the new, dramatic verismo style that had emerged at the end of the 19th century. I never sang what I could not sing. We asked an expert panel to decide. This list features the greatest tenors of all time, and they have all forever shaped the world of opera. In his own words: ‘To sing the same aria the same way twice, that is of the schools and of the professors. He is by far and away everyone’s choice as the greatest country music singer of all time. His classic version of Donizetti’s ‘Una furtiva lagrima’ remains a lesson to any singer and an expressive tour de force, crowned by the perfectly judged, swoon-inducing diminuendo which was a Schipa trademark. And he loved to sing Dowland, whose songs, he said, were ‘coloured with a gentle silvery sadness’ – a telling image, that. The … Plácido Domingo (b1941) 2. IL Volo Best Songs Of All Time - IL Volo Greatest Hits Full Album Live 2018 - The Best Italian Songs Link : https://youtu.be/BPeprbuOMpUThanks for watching! [1] The term tenor was developed in relation to classical and operatic voices, where the classification is based not merely on the singer's vocal range but also on the tessitura and timbre of the voice. Good taste and impeccable musicianship mark out two cameo roles in Rimsky-Korsakov operas, the Indian Guest in Sadko and Tsar Berendey in The Snow Maiden. Performing more roles than … Hailed as a true ‘tenore di grazia’, Schipa bewitched audiences with vocal clarity, musical subtlety and interpretative elegance rather than technical fireworks. Loretta Lynn Loretta Lynn cut her first album in 1960, and has enjoyed a career that’s spanned over 50 years. Since the piece was a speciality of Flórez’s hero, the late Luciano Pavarotti, the ovation gave an inevitable sense of the torch being passed. In the 1970s, when I saw him, his formerly clarion upper register was showing strain, but he compensated admirably with style and ardour. His concert and Lieder repertoire were no less extensive and he left unsurpassed recordings of the tenor solos in Haydn’s Creation and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis under Karajan and, above all, the tenor songs in Klemperer’s recording of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde, in which Wunderlich’s sappy, youthful timbre are allied to eloquent diction and freedom at the top of the voice. A ringing top C tended to elude him, and he often had to transpose. Freddie Mercury, George Michael and Stevie Wonder. The role of Tamino, which he had recorded the year before in Berlin under the baton of Karl Böhm, framed his all-too brief career in major roles. Who is the greatest of them all? #52 of 739 The Best Singers of All Time … Opera was, of course, his main focus, but throughout his more than 250 recordings, mostly released as 78s by the Victor Talking Machine Co., he encompassed most musical genres from Verdi, Bizet and Puccini (his contemporary) to Neapolitan song and pop music, one of his best sellers was ‘Over There’, a jaunty song for the US army in World War I. The verismo operas – including such heavy assignments as Puccini’s Manon Lescaut and Giordano’s Andrea Chénier – suited him, while in lyric operas such as Traviata or Bohème he was hard to match. Number Ten: Denis Brown. Jerzy Bednarski/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 4.0 For the Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger, showmanship has always been just as important as his trademark voice. We all know tenors are the best saxophones, but which ones are the best tenors? We would like to pick our 10 best male singers of all time. Nor has he neglected either French opera, including Berlioz and Massenet, or Russian. However, when he soars towards those final phrases of ‘Nessun Dorma’, all is forgiven…, In his own words: ‘I think a life in music is a life beautifully spent, and this is what I have devoted my life to.’. Ronnie James Dio Ronnie James Dio was the voice of heavy-metal thunder for four decades. Steven Tyler. He stole the show at the Last Night of the 2016 BBC Proms, inspiring the same rapture there as he has at opera houses worldwide. Many of them also ended up recording music other than just opera and some of them have bestselling records as well. Perry is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, ranked frequently among the best singers of all time, and renowned for his vocal range. B.B. Enrico Caruso (1873-1921) 3. In an age when ‘celebrity’ has rightly become a word of contempt, Plácido Domingo’s fame is an example of how once a huge name was built on solid foundations. In his own words: ‘Peter Grimes is not the most heroic title-role in all opera. 10 Best Male Singers of All Time. He can sing from F#2 to A5, leading many to call him a "high tenor altino." modern public relations. For his Swedish compatriot Elisabeth Söderström, ‘listening to Björling has always been my ultimate pleasure. More Luciano Pavarotti Stevie Nicks. Best Male Country Singers. Coming late to opera – after qualifying as an industrial engineer in his native Spain – he rose to stardom opposite Maria Callas and Joan Sutherland, making a Metropolitan debut in 1966 as the Duke in Verdi’s Rigoletto. Juan Diego Flórez radiates effortless charm, while his astonishing vocal prowess has won critical praise and popular adulation. Circle Of Life If you don’t think The Lion King is one of the greatest films of all time, then I don’t know what to say to you. He nevertheless continued to perform until shortly before his death in 1957. Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song? The former bank teller was swiftly engaged for Dobrowen’s classic Boris Godunov recording, and by 1953 it was snapped up by houses across Europe. Barbra Streisand has an extremely unique voice that has been enchanting audiences for over 50 years. Born January 11th, 1971. 1,793 But of all the tenors i listen to: Domingo had a wonderful "cry" in his voice but Pavarotti moved me the most often in his technique, articulation and "ping" of tone. The definitive list of soprano singers from throughout history - from operatic divas to experimental art song interpreters. Plácido Domingo (born in 1941), The King of the Singers 2. With the Tenors of Our Time, an Album by Roy Hargrove Quintet. Share This Story. Tenor is the singing voice between baritone and alto, and is the highest voice of the ordinary adult male range. The crazy thing about all of this are these are either bands with real musical skill or vocalists that, to be frank, aren't remotely on the same level of talent as the others. Mary J. Blige. And Christopher Duffley and The Tenors did an amazing job performing it! In his own words: When you’re feeling relaxed and comfortable, you’re feeling what you’re singing. Joe Cocker. 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. Save when you subscribe today and get your magazine + CD delivered direct to your door from the UK! Franco Corelli inherited the mantle of Caruso and Gigli to become possibly the greatest Italian tenor of the 1950s and ’60s. Pavarotti’s life could almost have been the plot of a Lanza film. He was found guilty of pinching a lady’s bottom, but claimed that a monkey had done it. For those of us who love to try great vintage horns, it would be helpful to create a list of the best (most desirable) vintage tenors from each major manufacturer. His art wasn’t just about Britten, of course – Klemperer’s St Matthew Passion recording, so unfashionable these days, is dominated (but never overwhelmed) by Pears’s Evangelist. Today's best range in age from 38 to 70. With such a vast range of repertoire, it isn’t surprising that we don’t associate Domingo with particular roles, with the possible exception of Verdi’s Otello, of which he has been the leading performer since Jon Vickers, Domingo’s antithesis in many ways, retired. Fritz Wunderlich (1930-1966) 5. In his own words: ‘It must be like a ride over the Bodensee, you must do it without showing any fear.’ (Schreier speaking about the coloratura Alleluia from JS Bach’s Cantata 51). Nicolai Harry Gustav Gedda Ustinov possessed an elegantly lyrical sound, enhanced by polished diction. In the words of US critic Max de Schauensee, ‘He could tell a story. 1,842 Who are the best tenors of all time? It would be another five years before New York took him to its heart, but after singing Tristan at the Met he became the company’s Heldentenor of choice for almost every season until he chose ‘Lohengrin’s Farewell’ for his swansong in February 1950. Tenor David Garen a survivor of Theresienstadt became a cantor too and Paolo Gorin –long time baritone of the Israeli opera - served for many years at the Amsterdam liberal synagogue. Melchior was born in Copenhagen in 1890 on the same day as Gigli. Released 17 May 1994 on Verve (catalog no. Already have an account with us? The new Pavarotti? Here are what most believe to be the ten best male country music singers of all time. Listening to his voice today, it can seem old-fashioned, a throwback to a former era, with a rapid vibrato and a tendency to show off. Plus, there’s the audience-wowing vocal bravado of those high Bs and Cs while, outside the opera house, tradition has long regarded suave and silky tenors as the voices of romance. The Greatest Tenors Of All-Time. In 1952, Walter Legge auditioned a young Swedish tenor, and cabled his contacts, ‘Just heard the greatest Mozart singer in my life: his name is Nicolai Gedda’. The random tool generates 67 items, including the greatest tenors of all time, such as Luciano Pavarotti and Enrico Caruso from Italy, Jussi Björling from Sweden. More Enrico Caruso A heroic tenor of unique authority and complexity, Vickers stamped his individual approach on a series of portrayals that aspired to a spiritual level. His crystal clear tone separated him from the pack and made him one of the best singers … That is my only secret.’. Cecilia Bartoli is the great adventurer of modern sopranos: a voice to die for, but coupled with absurd creative ambition and tremendous humour. 20. He stayed in New York until 1932, when he refused a pay cut due to the Depression and returned to Italy. Lauritz Melchior (1890-1973) 7. He was a workaholic and his operatic repertoire ranged from the baroque and early classical operas of Monteverdi, Handel and Gluck, to 20th-century classics such as Pfitzner’s Palestrina and JanáΩek’s The Excursions of Mr BrouΩek and contemporary works (he created parts in operas by Carl Orff and Werner Egk). The great and famous tenors on this list have been ranked by the community and include Plácido Domingo, Enrico Caruso, Luciano Pavarotti, Fritz Wunderlich, Jussi Bjorling, Lauritz Melchior, and Beniamino Gigli. In his own words: ‘Those to whom God has given a fine voice are also burdened with the duty of training it and caring for it.’. 8. When Fritz Wunderlich died in a fall on a hunting vacation, just nine days before his 36th birthday in September 1966, he was at the zenith of his career as a Mozart singer. Pears and Britten were together for 40 years – they began the English Opera Group and the Aldeburgh Festival, and developed an unsurpassable recital partnership. An actor of volcanic power – he was arguably the only tenor partner in whom Maria Callas found an equal match when he sang Jason to her Medea in Cherubini’s opera – Vickers’s art was founded on philosophical and religious beliefs; he withdrew from a production of Wagner’s Tannhäuser, citing the work’s blasphemy. One of the Bolshoi’s star tenors of the mid-20th century, Lemeshev combined an extraordinary youthful-sounding voice – even late in his career – with a level of characterisation unmatched by most of his contemporaries.

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