History of the Tenor was compiled over a two year period (1988 – 1990) by my father Sydney Barker.
Unfortunately he was the only person that knew where all of the content came from and thus makes it very difficult for me to give appropriate credit where due.

Most of the musical clips came from his own private collection of records he collected or from friends. I suspect that much of the transcript was taken from the many books and magazines he saved throughout the years.
I know that the “gramophone” was one of his favorites and I’m sure much was taken from it.
To supplement this web site I have done some research myself and many of the images and additional media have been found by searching through many resources found through simple search.

I do not wish to infringe upon any material that is considered copyright and unsuitable for public use.
If anyone has any objection to having his/her intellectual material as part of the History of the Tenor please contact me through this web site with a detailed explanation and I will have it removed forthwith.
I would also be more than happy to give a credit listing and an appropriate link to any source used in this survey.

My father had asked for this material not to be copied or used outside of personal use and I would appreciate it if that wish was respected.
I will consider all requests for release of the material if it can be used to the benefit of opera or to further the History or education of the music.

The History of the Tenor does not revenue. It is maintained privately by the Sydney Rhys Barker Trust to honor these great singers and the dedicated work by my father to educate Opera lovers old and new and to keep the flame burning for many of these great entertainers.

I hope you enjoy his labor of love.


J.B. SteaneDesmond Shawe-Taylor | Henry Pleasants | Nigel Douglas |


The GramophoneCantabile  | Karel Burian | St Mary’s Cathedral, EdinburghKeelan MusicPrima Voice |Wikipedia | Forgotten Opera Singers


Macduff Everton | Sandy’s Opera Gallery | The American Museum of Photography | Princeton UniversityOpera Collectors | Taminou autographs


UniversalRCADeccaEMI | Background music: Puccini Without Words by Giacomo Puccini and André Kostelanetz