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If I Were a Rich Man: The Life of Jan Peerce (1991)

One hour biography of the life of the famous Metropolitan Opera tenor.

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One hour biography of the life of the famous Metropolitan Opera tenor.

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opera | tenor | See All (2) »


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an excellent film biography of the great singer
26 September 2004 | by See all my reviews

This one hour special should be mandatory viewing for students of proper singing. That Jan Peerce sang for over sixty years without damage to his voice is indicative of the thoroughness of his vocal technique. This wonderful film shows Jan Peerce at various stages throughout his career - from the 1940s Toscanini/Peerce film "Hymns of the Nations" through to his very final Carnegie Hall Concert in 1982 at the age of 78 - it is filled with wonderful insights into what drove the man and his music. The film also includes extracts from violinist Isaac Stern's interviews with Jan Peerce, as well as television excerpts from the Edward R. Murrow TV programme and other interviews (including his wife, Alice). I showed it to a class of my vocal students (who hadn't heard of anyone except Pavarotti and Bocelli) and they were simply amazed at how expressive the human voice can be, how well the voice can remain even into the late 70s and just what a great singer Jan Peerce was. After you've seen this film, try and find Peerce's autobiography (co-written with Alan Levy) called "The Bluebird of Happiness" (Harper and Row, NY 1976).


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