Birthday greetings to Stuart Burrows, a tenor of rare gifts
Vocal music fans invariably have a list of singers they feel are not sufficiently appreciated. Topping my list is Welsh tenor Stuart Burrows, who celebrates his 79th birthday Feb. 7.
When I first started getting interested in classical singers, I picked up one of his albums on a whim -- the name meant nothing to me, back in my terribly uninformed days -- and I was hooked at first sound. The velvety tone, with its hint of sweetness; the seemingly effortless legato; the unerring tastefulness -- these are the qualities that most define Burrows (and elude so many vocalists today).
Here, as a birthday salute, a sample of the tenor's artistry -- a performance of "Il mio tesoro" that can, I believe, be mentioned in the same breath as the long-cherished one by John McCormack (the breath control during the coloratura run is marvelous); and two popular 19th century ballads that, again, Burrows delivers with great elegance: