:: News & Comment

Biographical List of Tenors


Updating the tenorography is taking much longer than I expected. I told Yale they’d have it by Christmas (last Christmas, that is) but I’m still only half way through M. It’s partly laziness on my part – it’s a labour of love and I do have other things to do – but mostly that there’s a huge amount of new material to process. There are lots of new entries of course (and thanks again to those who contacted me with suggestions) but almost all of the existing entries have new info. At the very least this will usually consist of a website – often one of the many excellent Wikipedia entries. At the time of the print volume I was an academic, and like most of my colleagues was inclined to treat Wikipedia with considerable suspicion. How wrong we all were – it’s a fine resource, and for many of the more obscure singers it’s the only source of information, often researched and verified by dedicated enthusiasts who do just as good a job as an academic.  In fact, the transformation of the web as a whole since 2009 has been astonishing. Many of the original print sources (from newspapers to entire books) are now available online, and there are several sites devoted to discographies – much more useful than my original specimen discographies.  Soundfiles, video and pictures are readily available at the click of a mouse, not to mention a plethora of sites dedicated to tenordom. These sometimes fight among themselves, so users need to be a little bit careful.

My basic criteria for inclusion are still the same: reputation in the form of a serious recording, article or website, but if I do a new print edition I will organise it rather differently. There’s a risk of the whole thing looking like a list of urls as online sources replace print, so this needs some thought. Technology is now available to (in effect) convert print urls into electronic links (scanning QR codes, for example) and if print publishers want to keep pace with the web they will have to take this on board. If I were starting from scratch I’d certainly use a different model, something more like Ned’s book on library marketing (which I’ve just proof read). This has a fixed print core but an infinitely expandable interactive web presence so it will not only not date, but will continue to explore and expand. The future of publishing is actually incredibly exciting for publishers who can keep up.


Leave a Reply