Artist Profile: Enrico Tamberlick, A Major Tenor of the 19th Century

By David Salazar

Enrico Tamberlick was one of the great tenors of the 19th century.

Born on March 16, 1820 in Rome, he was reportedly of Romanian descent and his name might have been Nikita Torna. He did study in Italy, first in Naples, the Bologna, and finally in Milan.

He made his debut in 1837 in a concert performance before appearing in Rome at the Teatro Apollo in “Lucrezia Borgia” and “Guillaume Tell.” From there he made his way to Naples, and eventually an international career in Madrid and Barcelona.

In 1850, he made his Royal Opera House debut in London and became a fixture with the company for 20 years. He was also popular in St. Petersburg. He appeared in New York during the 1873-74 season also appeared in Buenos Aires’ original Teatro Colón in 1857.

He was a beloved dramatic tenor, becoming Verdi’s choice to world premiere “La Forza del Destino.”

Tamberlick died on March 13, 1889.

Signature Roles

He was a major interpretrs of several dramatic roles during his career, dominating the likes of “Guillaume Tell” and “Il Trovatore.” He seemed to encompass a rather diverse repertory, including works by Rossini, Donizetti, Gounod, Meyerbeer,Mozart, and even Beethoven.




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