Distinguished Tenor Robert Tear Dies Aged 72
Ravenscourt Park resident considered most versatile tenor of his generation
The distinguished tenor and conductor Robert Tear has died aged 72. The Ravenscourt Park resident and regular visitor to The Sun pub on Askew Road, was considered the most versatile and probably the most intelligent tenor of his generation.
Robert Tear, was born and educated in Wales. He attended King’s College, then joined then joined St. Paul's Cathedral as lay chorister, and later became a choral scholar at King's College, Cambridge (1957-1961).
Subsequently Robert Tear embarked on his career as a soloist and quickly established an enviable reputation. Robert tear had a distinguished association with the English Opera Group and his interpretations of the tenor roles in the performances of Benjamin Britten’s operas have received special praise. In 1966 he undertook the demanding role of Quint in performances of The Turn of the Screw throughout England and in Leningrad and Moscow during the Opera Group’s highly successful tour of Russia.
Throughout his career Robert Tear showed his versatility and great talent as one of the world's leading tenors and has worked with eminent conductors such as Leonard Bernstein, Carlo Maria Giulini, Josef Krips and Herbert von Karajan. He was sought after by all the major opera houses of Europe and the USA and is a regular guest of various orchestras. His first appearance with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra was in 1970.
Robert Tear was a regular guest at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, having appeared there every season since his debut in l970. In 1988-1989 he made his debut with English National Opera in The Turn of the Screw and the following season included his highly successful debut as Aschenbach in Death in Venice with the Glyndebourne Touring Company, later filmed by BBC TV.
Robert Tear made well over 250 records for every major recording company, including Bach Cantatas, numerous recital records, Victorian ballads with his friends Benjamin Luxon and André Previn, B. Britten's Serenade and Nocturne with Carlo Maria Giulini for DGG and all the major choral works. Recent recordings include B. Britten's War Requiem, Gustav Mahler's Das Klagende Lied (both with Sir Simon Rattle), Die Winterreise with Philip Ledger and the first recording of Arnold Schoenberg's arrangement of G. Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde for BMG Records with Mark Wigglesworth and The Premiere Ensemble. His recording of Dyson's The Canterbury Pilgrims with the London Symphony Orchestra and Richard Hickox for Chandos was released in 1997.
In l985 Robert Tear made his USA conducting debut in Minneapolis and subsequently worked with the BBC National Orchestra, London Mozart Players, Northern Sinfonia, English Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonia, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Toulouse Chamber Orchestra, Tapiola Sinfonietta and Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
The 1997-1998 season included performances of Billy Budd with Welsh National Opera, Dream of Gerontius with the Hallé Orchestra and coaching at the Aix Festival. During the 1998/99 season, opera performances included The Bartered Bride/ROH, Boris Godunov/ENO, Billy Budd/Australian Opera, Elektra/Bayerische Staatsoper. Concert performances include Das klagende Lied/Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, The Mask of Time/BBC Symphony Orchestra (BBC Proms), Elektra/Royal Scottish National Orchestra and solo and conducting engagements with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra.
From 1992-1994 he was Artistic Director of the Vocal Faculty of the London Royal Schools of Music, and he currently holds the Chair of International Singing at the Royal Academy of Music. He is an Honorary Fellow of King's College, Cambridge, and in l984 was awarded the C.B.E.
He leaves his wife and two children.
March 31, 2011