Hermann Klein in Covent Garden - 9 April, 1877

from Thirty Years of Musical Life in London, 1870-1900, pages 99-100:

Gayarre was not a great tenor in the highest sense of the term. Nevertheless, he possessed vocal and histrionic attributes of a very distinguished kind, and chance so willed it that he was destined to "bridge over” to a large extent the interval that separated the final retirement of Mario from the advent (as a tenor) of Jean de Reszke. By birth a Spaniard, and hailing from Pampeluna (the town in which Sarasate was born), Giuliano Gayarre had studied and won his early successes in Italy. He was an exponent of the new quasi-nasal Thirty Years of school of tenor singers, which already had Tamagno for one of its leading protagonists. To my ears his production, on the night he made his debut at Covent Garden (April 7, 1877), sounded strange and not wholly pleasant. Still, the voice traveled well, and he sang the music of Gennaro with so much tenderness, so much charm, allied to genuine dramatic feeling and expression, that the crowded house forthwith accorded him a splendid reception. I declined to join in the general chorus of “Another Mario!” It struck me as little less than sacrilege to compare with the divine voice of that tenor an organ which could occasionally descend, or ascend, to the utterance of tones that quickly earned the name of the “Gayarre bleat." 

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cite as

Hermann Klein, Thirty Years of Musical Life in London, 1870-1900 (New York City, 1903), p. 99-100. https://led.kmi.open.ac.uk/entity/lexp/1438248640511 accessed: 23 May, 2024

location of experience: Covent Garden


Hermann Klein
Music Critic, Singing Teacher, Writer

Listening to

hide composers
Lucrezia Borgia
written by Gaetano Donizetti
performed by Guiliano Gayarre

Experience Information

Date/Time 9 April, 1877
Medium live
Listening Environment in the company of others, indoors, in public

Originally submitted by sp327 on Thu, 30 Jul 2015 10:30:40 +0100
Approved on Mon, 25 Apr 2016 12:21:11 +0100