The History of the Tenor
Is an archive of the greatest Operatic Tenors including narration and sound clips from 1900 until 1990.

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Jon Vickers

Jon Vickers

Vickers, Jon

October 29, 1926


Canadien tenor.

He was born Jonathan Stewart in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.
He intended to pursue a career in business until he was 22, singing in choirs and amateur musicals as a hobby.

He then studied at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. After appearances in Canada as the Duke in Rigoletto, Don José in Carmen, in oratorios and operettas (!), he joined the Covent Garden Opera in 1957, making his debut as Gustavus III (Riccardo). He also sang Don José and Aeneas in Berlioz’ Les Troyens.

In 1958 he added Radames to his repertory, he sang Don Carlo in Visconti’s production conducted by Carlo Maria Giulini and made his debut at the Bayreuth Festival as Siegmund. He appeared as Samson in Handel’s oratorio and as Jason to Callas’ Medea in Cherubini’s opera.

In 1959 Vickers was invited to the Vienna Staatsoper, he made his San Francisco debut as Radames and was a successful Parsifal at Covent Garden. He joined the MET in 1960, making his debut as Canio, and stayed there for more than 25 years. He had a long career at Covent Garden where he was particularly admired.

His repertory included not only roles such as Florestan, Aeneas (Enée), Tristan, Peter Grimes, Siegmund and Otello, but also Radames, Renato, Don José, Canio, Andrea Chénier and Don Carlos.

Tenor Aria Opera Date Time
n22-20 Vickers Narrative   0.27
n22-21 Vickers Narrative Nigel Douglas   0.19
a22-22 Vickers Vesti La Giubba Pagliacci 19xx 0.45
n22-23 Vickers Narrative Nigel Douglas   1.22
a22-24 Vickers Thou Shall Break Them Messiah 19xx 2.27
n22-25 Vickers Narrative Nigel Douglas   1.26
a22-26 Vickers Night Of Rapture w Veasey Trojens 19xx 2.42
n22-27 Vickers Narrative Nigel Douglas   1.47
a22-28 Vickers Scene Walkure 19xx 3.59
n22-29 Vickers Narrative Nigel Douglas   2.07
a22-30 Vickers Se Pel Ciel w Glossop Otello 19xx 2.40

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