Opera Scotland

John Child Suggest updates

Born Knightsbridge, London, 1857.

Died Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, 4 February 1926.

English tenor.

Known as 'The Yorkshire Tenor',  John Child had an extensive career as a solo artist with several British companies.  These included a season in 1881 with Charles Bernard's company, singng in Planquette's Les Cloches de Corneville.  This led to a second Planquette work, Rip Van Winkle, under Richard D'Oyly Carte's management.  From 1887 to '91 we have him working with the Carl Rosa Opera, joining when the founder was still alive.  During the Edwardian years he joined the Moody-Manners Opera Company, when it is clear that his voice had developed in power, and he was able to take on heavier French parts and even one role by Wagner.

He began with what was clearly a lyric tenor with an easy high register, ideal for operas and operettas in the French repertoire, including works by Auber, Meyerbeer,  Thomas,  Massé, and Planquette.  This particular Donizetti opera, composed for Paris, would also come into this category.  Later, as his voice developed in power, without losing the range, he could take on Gounod and Bizet.

He also sang several roles by two successful British composers, Balfe and Wallace.  His one Wagner role could probably have been done successfully with the smaller touring orchestras of the time.

He sang parts by Auber (Title role Fra Diavolo,  Horace Black Domino);  Meyerbeer (Danilowitz Star of the North);  Donizetti (Tonio The Daughter of the Regiment);  Balfe (Thaddeus Bohemian Girl, John Wilmot Puritan's Daughter, Sir Kenneth Talisman);  Thomas (Wilhelm Meister Mignon);  Wallace (Don Caesar Maritana,  Rudiger Amber Witch);  Wagner (Title role Lohengrin);  Massé (Ganymede Galatea);  Gounod (Title role Faust, Tybalt Romeo and Juliet);  Bizet (Don José Carmen);  and Planquette (Grenicheux Cloches de Corneville,  Hans Rip Van Winkle).

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