The international Welsh tenor, infinitely agreeable and versatile, has died at 72.
Robert Tear was an integral member of the London scene and in high demand at the musical summits, working with most major conductors and appearing on no fewer than 250 records.
He was Simon Rattle’s tenor of choice for Mahler and everyone’s for Britten, owning the role of Quint in Turn of the Screw and delivering indelible performances of the War Requiem. Bearded and bald, he was unmissable on a crowded stage.
My fondest memories of him are in the songs of Ralph Vaughan Williams, which he performed as instinctually and upliftingly as a deer skipping on the crest of a hill. May he rest in peace.
LATE EXTRA: The Royal Opera House Covent Garden is dedicating tonight’s Fidelio to his memory.