Death of an international US tenor, 75

Death of an international US tenor, 75

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norman lebrecht

April 28, 2017

We have been sent a funeral director’s notification for Bruce Brewer, a lyric tenor who once lit up the world stage. The critic Bernard Jacobson wrote that he possessed ‘a voice of superfine delicacy and a technique that enabled him to pass from the bottom of his range to stratospheric high notes without any perceptible break between registers.’

 

Originally from San Antonio, where he made his stage debut in 1970, he went on to sing at Covent Garden, La Scala, Florence, Paris and Boston. He was married for a while to the mezzo Joyce Castle.

Bruce died at the beginning of March, at St. Fraimbault, Lassay-Les-Chateaux, France, aged 75.


Comments

  • A Bennett says:

    Bruce Brewer was one of several fine American tenors tackling the Rossini / Bellini repertoire at the same time – Chris Merritt, Rockwell Blake , Michael Cousins. I took a couple of lessons from Bruce while in France and I remember he came over to my flat to teach several singers on one occasion when his room hire had let him down . It was a shame I didn’t get to know him better, but distance and career travels ruled out regular lessons. Several older colleagues who had taken part in operatic performances with him held him in high esteem and it is sad to hear of his passing.

  • Plantive eric says:

    Hello
    I have studied 15 years with Bruce Brewer and became a friend. My YouTube programme is dedicated to the memory of Bruce’s great art of singing with Many vidéos and recordings.

    • Andrew Sales says:

      Eric
      as you probably know, Bruce’s partner – Christopher died a few months after Bruce, I am Christopher’s brother Andrew. I have therefore inherited a huge number of Bruce’s effects and not sure what to do with it all. Any ideas ?

      • andrea zepponi says:

        Dear Mr. Andrew Sales

        I am Andrea Zepponi, Italian teacher, I also work in Musicology and I collaborate with the “Rossini Conservatory of Pesaro”.
        I am writing to you because I am doing research on an Italian singer, a soprano, named VIRGINIA COLOMBATI (1862-1956) and my intention is to write and publish her biography.
        During my research I learned that Mrs. Josephine Lucchese (Soprano), a student of Mrs. Virginia Colombati’s bel canto, was also a professor at the University of Texas, and that she had as a student Mr. Bruce Brewer Tenor very well known and appreciated.
        I would very much like to have some photos, posters of his shows and some writings to include in this book I am writing.
        If you also have some photos of Mrs. Lucchese, various letters or memorabilia, I would be very grateful to have copies in high definition.

        thank you very much for your help
        yours faitfully
        Andrea Zepponi

      • Dear Andrew,
        I have a question regarding one of Mr Brewer’s paintings. Please let me know how can I contact you.
        Thank you very much,
        Eduardo Bereterbide

      • Dear Andrew,
        I have a question regarding one of Mr Brewer’s paintings. Please let me know how can I contact you.
        Thank you very much,
        Eduardo Bereterbide

      • Charles Tubbs says:

        Andrew or Eric , Boogie and I were roommates at UT during the time you knew him. I had an opportunity to visit his home, meet his parents, and later to go to Paris to visit him and Joyce, and then to loan him some money years later; to help him preserve his wonderful collection of classical recordings. I am just learning of his death. I’d be happy to hear from you, best by text to 214-802-0518.

  • Éric Plantive says:

    Find Bruce Brewer recordings on YouTube :

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkopWc6KsL1oV14cR5PDurQ

  • Matt Johnson says:

    I knew Bruce from our university days. He was an accomplished singer as a freshman. He will be missed.

    Matt Hughes

    • Charles G Tubbs says:

      Matt, Boogie and I were roommates at UT during the time you knew him. I had an opportunity to visit his home, meet his parents, and later to go to Paris to visit him and Joyce, and then to loan him some money years later; to help him preserve his wonderful collection of classical recordings. I am just learning of his death. I’d be happy to hear from you, best by text to 214-802-0518.

  • Benjamin Van Wye says:

    Bruce was a close friend of mine in school in San Antonio and at university in Austin, where he studied with my then-girlfriend’s voice teacher, Josephine Lucchese Donato, and during that time appeared as tenor soloist in a Bach cantata concert I conducted. After that we fell out of touch as we embarked on separate paths until the 1980s, when we met again in Paris when I was doing research at the Bibliotheque nationale and he was enjoying a successful singing career. That extremely satisfying and happy reunion in the City of Lights included several evenings of reminiscences with Bruce and his partner Christopher at the flat in San-Germain, occasions that I shall always remember with pleasure! – Benjamin Van Wye

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