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NEOC Presentation
March 10, 2019


 

A Salute to Richard Tauber

Geoffrey Riggs, Speaker

Richard Tauber

Tenor Richard Tauber, as the leading Mozart and operetta tenor of his own generation, is now widely viewed as the greatest such tenor of the entire century.  He is also one of those rare artists who combine scrupulous musicianship with great theatrical flair.  The illogical assumption is too often made that these two attributes are somehow mutually exclusive. Tauber shows us they're not.

His enormous celebrity as a household word and a true superstar was achieved in spite of his lack of classic "matinee-idol" looks or a powerful top.  Certainly, he had perfectly good control of his upper register, but it was not the kind of extension that could overwhelm, at full voice, in either its beauty or its power, though it was always intrinsically musical.

Ultimately, his vocal beauty lay in a staggering array of vocal color throughout the rest of his range.  It lay in his capacity to vary dynamics on a dime, from full fortissimo to a pianissimo of ravishing quality, even at the top, a sound so dazzling it made up for the relative plainness of his top at full voice.

Many testify to his evident charisma on stage.  Despite being short and stocky, he was somehow able to mesmerize through the sheer conviction behind his communicative genius.  In a way hard to define, he "believed" whatever he sang, and so the audience believed along with him.  Clearly, to do this, he needed to absorb the essence of every genre he tackled and to convey that essence whole to every spectator. Staggering as the range of genres in which he excelled are, he still succeeded in making every single composer he tackled, from Mozart to Kern, his own.  Audiences sensed this and loved him for it.

On this occasion, we will hear a selection of some of his finest recordings, sampling the roles in which he was most famous, as well as a small handful of records in which he demonstrates an unusual mastery at repertoire he never performed on stage.  We also get to hear him alongside a number of his most distinguished colleagues, including Lotte Lehmann, Georg Szell, Vera Schwarz and others.

Geoffrey Riggs, a Board member of the Vocal Record Collectors Society of New York (VRCS), the webmaster at Operacast - Opera Broadcasts on the Internet, and author of "The Assoluta Voice in Opera", will take us though Tauber's career and show why Tauber's recordings have become such treasures for record collectors everywhere.  We look forward to having you for a special celebration of a very special musician.


Past presentations | Upcoming presentations | Current newsletter (pdf)

Date:
Sunday, March 10, 2019

Time:
2:00 - 4:30 PM

Place:
Coolidge Corner Library
31 Pleasant Street, Brookline, MA

Telephone:
617.730.2380

Directions:

  • The library is located in the Coolidge Corner area, at 31 Pleasant St. There is free parking on Sundays at metered spaces, and on the side streets.
  • The subway D line stops in Coolidge Corner, at Beacon and Harvard streets.

    The Library is fully handicap-accessible.
    The library features an elevator to get us to the lower floor, where the lecture will take place.

Upcoming presentations:

April 7: TBA
May 5: Berkshire Group
June 2: Speaker Erika Reitshamer
July: no presentation
August: Speaker Bill Cotten
September: Speaker Meredith Palmer
October: TBA
 November: TBA
December 15: Speaker John B. Jarzavek, Regine Crespin


Past presentations


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Contact The New England Opera Club at operainfo@neoperaclub.org

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