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Jon Vickers: A Hero's Life
 
 
Author
Jeannie Williams. Birgit Nilsson, foreword.
Publisher Northeastern University Press  
Format paperback
Product Dimensions 9.25 x 6 x 1.05 inches
ISBN 9781555536749
Pages/Publication Date 391/2007
Daedalus Item Code 30155
This item is not available.
Description
"Unquestionably one of this century's foremost vocal artists, [Jon] Vickers (b. 1926) is renowned for the emotional intensity and distinctive interpretations he has brought to his performances. He is also notorious for violent rages, intolerance and arrogance, which have alienated many associates and colleagues. In this remarkably even-handed, unauthorized account, [Jeannie Williams] engagingly depicts the conflicting aspects of a great artist's personality and how they shaped his career. Both music and religion were prominent in the large Canadian family into which [Jon] Vickers was born. A dichotomy eventually evolved in him between the humility of a deeply religious man who believed his voice was 'God-given' and the egotism of the internationally renowned operatic tenor who was intensely conscious of his greatness. For example, Vickers believed that 'conductors, singers and other performers are not artists; they merely serve the true creative artists, the composers.' However, in 1975, Benjamin Britten, the composer of Peter Grimes (one of Vickers's signature roles), became so enraged by the tenor's portrayal that he actually walked out of two performances in which Vickers was singing. Vickers has always been devoted to his family, insisting on privacy and sacrificing engagements when his wife became ill and later died from cancer. Between performances, Vickers returned to his farm, becoming so absorbed with outdoor work that in one concert program listing he mentioned his 'second career as a cattle farmer.' [Jeannie] Williams gives her subject, as well as Vickers's colleagues, a welcome respect and objectivity—qualities that are rarely found in the insular world of opera."—Publishers Weekly
 
 
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