Sydney Rhys Barker

Sydney Rhys Barker

Born: Bellshill (Scotland), 20 Oct. 1928
Died: Bellshill (Scotland), 31 Aug. 2005

My father, Sydney Rhys Barker was an opera lover from the age of 8. Opera was his great love and he collected records his entire life.

In the late 1980’s someone asked him to put together a cassette tape of highlights from some of his favorite singers.
My father spent the next 2 years recording what was to become “The History of the Tenor”.

He produced twenty-eight 90 minute tapes for a total of 42 hours of narration with clips from his substantial record collection and had access to several others through friends and opera lovers he had known since he was a boy.
These tapes were handed over to me by my mother after my fathers death in 2005 and it seems to me that these treasures should be available to those who shared in this great hobby of his.

It is my hope to try to make all of these sound clips available to anyone who wishes to hear them, it is information he collected over 45 years – of which I have little idea.
But I thank all and everyone who may have contributed in advance on his behalf.
These are the sole opinions of my father and I can only assume that they are as comprehensive a collection as can be made.

Opera was not something I inherited from him, but I do know if he did something – he did it with great enthusiasm, integrity and passion.

Gerald Rhys Barker

Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballé

Born: Newarthill (Scotland), 1961

My two hero’s in life were my Dad and Freddie Mercury. Both were huge opera lovers.

It gives me great pleasure to work on this project on their behalf.
I hope it will be a tribute to the effort my dad made to put together this survey for opera lovers old and new to enjoy.

I’m sure somewhere he and Freddie are partying it up with Caruso
Your comments and feedback are greatly appreciated.

Gerald Rhys Barker