John McCormack (1884-1945).

  • Profession: Tenor.
  • Relation to Mahler: Worked with Gustav Mahler.
  • Correspondence with Mahler: 
  • Born: 00-00-1884 Athlone, Ireland.
  • Died: 00-00-1945 Booterstown, Dublin, Ireland. Aged 61.
  • Buried: 00-00-0000 Deans Grange Cemetery, Dublin, Ireland.
  1. 1910 Westbound 18-10-1910 until 25-10-1910 S.S. Kaiser Wilhelm II – Concert 24-10-1910 (piano).

The most famous singer that Ireland has produced, John McCormack is considered one of the great concert artists of the twentieth century. Renowned for his diction and breath control, he sang operatic arias, Lieder, art songs, and popular Irish ballads, holding concert audiences spellbound wherever he appeared. At the age of nineteen, McCormack began vocal studies in Dublin with Vincent O’Brien, who encouraged him to pursue a singing career.

He journeyed to Milan in 1905 to study singing with Vincenzo Sabatini and made his debut in 1906 at Savona’s Teatro Chiabrera in Mascagni’s L’amico Fritz. The following year he debuted at Covent Garden as Turiddu in Cavalleria rusticana, being the youngest tenor to sing a major role at that house. During this period, he was also singing concerts in England and Ireland.

In the fall of 1909, he sailed to the United States to sing with Hammerstein’s Company and later, the Metropolitan. By 1912, he was giving huge numbers of concerts throughout the States, including in New York’s five-thousand seat Hippodrome Theater. His operatic appearances became less frequent and by the late teens his career was entirely focused on the concert platform.

He sang his public farewell in 1938 at London’s Royal Albert Hall, but with the outbreak of war in 1939 he sang numerous concerts for the Red Cross while continuing to broadcast and make records. Illness with emphysema forced him to stop singing in 1943 and he died two years later. His recording career began in 1904 with cylinders and discs. He made over 700 records, with his final session in August 1942.

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