Ernest Van Dyck


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(b Antwerp, 2 April 1861; d Berlaer-lez-Lierre, 31 Aug 1923). Belgian tenor. He studied with Saint-Yves Bax in Paris, and having sung at the Concerts Lamoureux from 1883, he made his stage début in 1887 at the Eden-Théâtre as Lohengrin. After intensive coaching from Julius Kniese he sang Parsifal at Bayreuth in 1888, returning there in the same role until 1912 and as Lohengrin in 1894. From 1888 to 1900 he was engaged at the Vienna Hofoper, where he appeared in Antonio Smareglia's Il vassallo di Szigeth (1889). He first sang Des Grieux in Jules Massenet's Manon at Vienna (1890), and he made his London début in that role at Covent Garden (1891), where he also sang Faust and Lohengrin (1891), Tannhäuser, Siegmund and Mathias in Wilhelm Kienzl's Der Evangelimann (1897), Loge in Das Rheingold (1898) and Tristan (1901). In Vienna he created the title role of Jules Massenet's Werther (1892), and took the part of Marcel in Ruggero Leoncavallo's La bohème (1898). He made his début at the Paris Opéra as Lohengrin in 1891 and at the Théâtre de la Monnaie, Brussels, in the same part (1894), becoming a regular visitor to the latter house in Wagner and Massenet roles. He made his American début at Chicago on 9 November 1898 as Tannhäuser, and first appeared at the Metropolitan 20 days later in the same role. In 1907 he managed a season of German opera at Covent Garden and also appeared as Tristan and Siegmund. He returned to the Paris Opéra in 1908 as Siegfried in Götterdämmerung and finally, in 1914, as Parsifal. After his retirement from the stage he taught singing, first in Paris and later in Brussels. His voice, both powerful and sweet-toned, encompassed not only the heavy Wagnerian tenor roles with ease, but also the more lyrical French repertory, and he was particularly admired as Des Grieux.

From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Opera.

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