Heddle Nash


Born: June 14, 1894 Died: August 14, 1961
Nash was one of the most elegant and yet emotionally direct lyric tenors of the first half of the twentieth century, with a sweet timbre and very fine technique. His voice was not a large one, but very well-produced and focused, though towards the end of his career, there was some occasional pinching in the uppermost register.

After serving in the army during World War I, Nash attended the Blackheath Conservatory, and later trained in Milan, Italy, under Giuseppe Borgatti. He had his operatic debut in 1924 as Count Almaviva in Rossini's The Barber of Seville, making his London debut the year after at the Old Vic as the Duke of Mantua in Verdi's Rigoletto. His Covent Garden debut was in 1929 as Don Ottavio in Mozart's Don Giovanni, and he was very favorably compared to John McCormack, the singer who had previously "defined" the role. He appeared in the first Glyndebourne season in 1934 as Ferrando in Mozart's Così fan tutte. Most of his career was in England, where he was as acclaimed for his English oratorio performances as for his Italian operatic ones. In 1934, he also sang the lead in Elgar's The Dream of Gerontius for the first time, at the Gloucester Festival, and for many, his interpretation of that role has never been surpassed for its insight or its lyrical beauty.