Emery Darcy

TIME Magazine 1944
With only a week more of opera to go, Manhattan's Metropolitan last week turned up its biggest surprise of the season. He was a brand-new and authentic example of a very rare operatic commodity: a Wagnerian Heldentenor (heroic tenor). His name: Emery Darcy. Like all true Heldentenore (the Met's only first-rate example in years has been Lauritz Melchior), Darcy combines the lusty, ringing power of a baritone with a tenor's high range. When Darcy stepped into Melchior's place to sing Parsifal, he got a critical ovation. Darcy is a home-grown product—from Chicago by way of Minneapolis. Massive, 35-year-old descendant of midwestern Norwegians, he got all his vocal training in the U.S., most of his ideas about Parsifal by watching Melchior night after night. At the age of 21 Darcy left home in Minneapolis to study singing, married his Chicago teacher, Mme. Lucie Lenox. After a few years in midwestern vaudeville, singing things like Wagon Wheels complete with cart effect, he tried out as a baritone but failed to win the Metropolitan Auditions of the Air. A year later (in 1940) he tried out as a tenor. This time he won a Metropolitan contract. In the past four years he has sung many minor roles at the Met. His big chance came last week when Lauritz Melchior was busy earning about three times his usual $880 Parsifal fee by taking a turn on Frank Sinatra's radio program. It was the first performance of Parsifal Melchior had missed in four years. Critics agreed that it would undoubtedly not be the last.
From THE METROPOLITAN OPERA by Irving Kolodin
" The Philistine [SAMSON 1940] Emery Darcy was a baritone about to become a tenor, who actually appeared as both in TRISTAN on Dec. 12 as the offstage sailor's voice (tenor) and the on-stage Melot (baritone)," p. 503
"On March 29 [19440] there was unexpected merit in Emery Darcy's good-looking, well-sung Parsifal. For reasons unknown only to the management, Darcy's promise as a heldentenor (at 36, he was fully ready...) was put aside when Europeans became available again." p. 523
"On Jan 18 [1945] the offering was ...less skilled. Darcy found the action of Siegmund more challenging than the inaction of Parsifal." p. 530
Emery Darcy sings Die Walküre: Winterstürme wichen dem Wonnemond
In RA Format
I would like to thank Ross Halper for the excerpts of TIME Magazine and the book by Kolodin.

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