The two documentaries we present to you here contain unreleased material of great value about two Major figures of Belcanto: Tito Schipa and Georges Thill, tenors of the 78 era.
Jan Schmidt-Barre presents in the first documentary the outstanding Italian tenor Tito Schipa, a singer very close to the Spanish tradition. He made is debut in 1913 at the Teatro Colon of Buenos Aires, the famous theatre for 3000 spectators. Jurgen Kesting qualifies Schipa's singing as a "beam of light," yet his isn't a luminous but a tender voice which manages to fill the concert halls where he performs. He conducted most of his career in the United States and he was one of the rare tenors who never sacrificed diction to the benefit of legato.
The second documentary is dedicated to Georges Thill, a wonderful French tenor who made his debut at the Paris Opera in 1924, after having studied singing with the famous Fernando De Lucia in Naples, from 1921 to 1923. In spite of the lessons he didn't sing in the same way as his teacher; he was a singer that Jurgen Kesting, author of The Great Singers, qualifies as "frank and direct." This valuable documentary presents witness accounts from his wife, Major figures and specialists of Belcanto (including Stefan Zucker and Janine Reiss), as well as beautiful musical excerpts and even an interview of Georges Thill himself!
Belcanto: the Tenors of the 78 Era