Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

Jul 12, 2014

Thomas (Tom) Burke (Tenor) (Leigh, Lancashire 1890 – Leigh 1969)

He sang as a boy in the church choir of his home town, then studied singing under Amy Sherwin in London and under Ernesto Colli and Fernando de Lucia in Italy. In 1917 he debuted at the Teatro Lirico in Milan as Duke in ‘’Rigoletto’’. During the First World War he appeared in Italian opera houses, especially in Naples and Palermo. In 1919 he was engaged by the Covent Garden in London, where he sang the lyrical Italian repertoire and appeared in 1920 in the English première of Puccini’s ‘’Il Tabarro’’ and ‘’Gianni Schicchi’’. In 1919 he sang there in an important performance of Borodin’s ‘’Prince Igor’’. In 1925 he made guest appearance during a North American tour at the Chicago Opera. Till 1928 he appeared at the Covent Garden, however, sang also with several smaller English opera troops. In 1928 he performed at the Opera House of Monte Carlo as Rodolfo in ‘’Bohème’’ and at the Opéra-Comique in Paris (under the name Tom Burke) as Cavaradossi in ‘’Tosca’’. After his retirement he lived in his hometown Leigh.

Chronology of some appearances

1917 Milan Teatro Lirico Rigoletto
1919 London Covent Garden Prince Igor
1920 London Covent Garden Il Tabarro
1920 London Covent Garden Gianni Schicchi
1928 Monte Carlo Opera House
1928 Paris Opéra-Comique


Columbia 1920/1921 
Rigoletto (Verdi): Questa o quella 7346 76406
Rigoletto (Verdi): La donna e mobile 7346 76405
Aida (Verdi): Celeste Aida 7347 76547
Boheme (Puccini): Che gelida manina 7347 76599
Tosca (Puccini): Recondita armonia 7200 76366
Manon (Massenet): Le reve 7204 76402

Columbia 1920's
Kathleen Mavourneen  (Crouch) 33007 140913
Killamey (Balfe) 33007 140914
The snowy-breasted pearl (Robinson) 536D 141250
The Irish emigrant (Barker) 5361 141251

Columbia 1927
Tosca (Puccini): E lucevan le stelle D15930 
Turandot (Puccini): Nessun dorma D15930 A6145
The minstrel boy (Trad,) D1594 A5659
Esmerelda (Goring-Thomas): O vision entrancing  L1951 AX2881
My dreams (Tosti) L1951 WAX 2865

Dominion 1929
Serse (Handel): Ombra mai fu C345 1627

Imperial 1930's
Pagliacci (Leoncavallo): Vesti la giubba Z125 TI176
Stormalong (Shanty) 3219
Serenata (Toselli) Z120 160A
Dorothy (Cellier): Queen of my heart Z121 173
Excelsior (Balfe): Duo with Foster Richardson Z144 T210
O sole mio (Du Capua) Z144 TI209

1 comment:

  1. Thomas Burke was heartfeltly mentioned on Henry Miller`s Sexus