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Legendary Singers

The American baritone Nelson Eddy (1901-1967) is remembered principally as a movie star whose velvety voice and amiable personality charmed filmgoers of the 1930s and ’40s. His onscreen celebrity has largely eclipsed his considerable accomplishments in the field of opera, where he diligently honed his natural talents as a singer

Nelson Eddy

Nelson Eddy’s debonair charm made him a popular figure on stage and screen
DAVE HECHT

Nelson Eddy, who died 50 years ago on 6 March, had a unique position as a cultural hero purveying all kinds of music on screen and the concert stage. This was due in part to his remarkable mastery of English diction. His crisp, natural pronunciation helped put across even soppy lyrics and were ideal in unadorned Christmas songs – a cracking O Come, All Ye Faithful – and other traditional repertoire. He had early stage experience in works by Gilbert and Sullivan, and although his G & S recordings may seem like luxury casting, they are delightful, especially a clipped ‘Major-General’s Song.

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About Opera Now

British soprano Sophie Bevan discusses her starring role in a new opera at ENO; exploring the hidden art of the répétiteur; traditional craftsmanship meets contemporary design at Oman’s Royal Opera House Muscat; and Cardiff prepares to crown the Singer of the World. Plus, our pick of this year’s top singing competitions around the world; English Touring Opera proves that learning about opera can be educational and fun; American baritone and movie star Nelson Eddy; Simon Callow’s Wagnerian triumph; and Elisabeth Schwarzkopf’s legendary recordings.