Very sad news today that the great British tenor Anthony Rolfe Johnson has passed away. (And it's only a few months since we lost the glorious Philip Langridge. This seems to be a very bad year for British tenors.)
Listen to him singing 'Possente spirto' from Monteverdi's L'Orfeo (below), then just you try telling me this wasn't one of the great tenor voices of our day. Just try. It's a voice that rings and shines, bends and twists, darkens and lightens, intensifies and dances, and moreover enunciates. We who heard him will never forget him. He is sorely missed.
Jessica Duchen is a music journalist and the author of four novels, two biographies and several stage works. She writes regularly for The Independent and BBC Music Magazine. Her latest novel, Songs of Triumphant Love, is published by Hodder.
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