Opera Scotland

Walter Hyde Suggest updates

Born Birmingham, 6 February 1875.

Died London, 11 November 1951.

English tenor.

Walter Hyde was one of the greatest dramatic tenors in Britain in the early decades of the twentieth century. He trained in London at the Royal College of Music under Gustave Garcia and Walter Parratt, appearing in student productions of Euryanthe and Much Ado About Nothing (Stanford). His early professional career was in musical comedy, including Miss Hook of Holland (Rubens 1907) and Three Kisses (Talbot 1907).

Percy Pitt then recruited him to sing Siegmund in the 1908 English language Ring cycles at Covent Garden, which were conducted by Hans Richter and directed by E C Hedmondt. He continued to work regularly at Covent Garden until 1923.   One of his early appearances there was as Sali in the British premiere of Delius' A Village Romeo and Juliet, conducted by Beecham (1910).   He worked extensively with Beecham's company, and in the twenties became a director of BNOC, continuing to sing with them until they folded.

It seems astonishing that during all those years when he was performing Wagner pasrts, another of his most important parts was Pelléas.

He sang Siegmund at the New York Met, and in 1912 toured the USA in Robin Hood.  After Siegmund, his most notable Wagnerian role was probably Parsifal, though he was also seen as a highly effective and agile Loge..

He later became Professor of Singing at the Guildhall School of Music, where his students included John Heddle Nash and Eric Shilling.

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