Historical tenors have long since been considered an iconic presence in the world of music, from Puccini to Pavarotti the genre of classical opera has seen more then it’s fair share of voices that have lived on through time.
Enrico Caruso, Giuseppe di Stefano, Mario Lanza and many others spanning a wide range of decades are some of the legendary tenors who’s styles and sounds transcend generations. Caruso’s baritone range encompassed a special sense of emotion which still echoes in many romantic ballads today, while di Stefano’s distinct vibrato gave life to many duets by Verdi. Lanza on the other hand brought his own repertoire to the stage pioneering a union between pop ballads and opera terms, creating a heavenly blend both in his early Italian tracks and later Hollywood movies.
These men have all contributed to an era of classical music which will never be surpassed. Even in our modern age they remain an influence to upcoming artists who strive to keep the memory alive. From Pop Stars such as Il Divo to contemporary Opera singers, every generation is able to appreciate their gift which encourages us all to take a periodical look back at music’s greatest gifts.
If you’re a fan of the timeless beauty of opera, then you’ll appreciate what makes the tenor voice really special. Tenors have been able to thrill audiences for centuries, and many of the great historical tenors left an indelible mark on the genre. From Mario del Monaco and Jussi Björling to Enrico Caruso and Nicolai Gedda, here is an overview of some of the legendary tenors throughout history who have shaped the world of opera.
The careers of some of these legendary historical tenors began in the late 19th century. Enrico Caruso was one of the earliest star tenors, who rose to fame in Italy in the early 1900s with incredible roles such as Cavaradossi in Puccini’s Tosca. His unique talent and sheer vocal power made him an instant sensation, and his recordings still stand out today. Another early star tenor was Luigi Mancinelli, known for his extraordinary range and emotional intensity.
The mid-20th century saw a proliferation of remarkable Italian and Swedish tenors who set new standards for artistry. Most notably, Mario del Monaco broke away from traditionalism with more daring interpretations and powerful vocals. Perhaps the most noted Swedish star of this era was Jussi Björling, renowned for his compelling interpretations and nuanced expression.
The modern era has seen other notable tenors such as Nicolai Gedda, who adopted a lyrical approach to match his light yet powerful voice; Andrea Bocelli, whose combination of popular songs and opera has brought classics to a new generation; Jose Carreras, whose effortless control over registers made him a favorite; Luciano Pavarotti, whose larger-than-life performances remain etched in popular memory; Jonas Kaufmann, whose total mastery over technique makes him an artiste unlike any other; and Plácido Domingo, who is further fast-tracking opera’s move away from its traditional setting by hosting operas outdoors.
These legendary historical tenors were all destined for greatness in the creative arena of opera singing and will continue to be remembered for years to come.