Posted by: howardnevision | December 4, 2009

The Rittenhouse Opera Society, A Launching Pad For Howard Nevison The Opera Singer

Howard Nevison, the Opera Singer began his formal vocal studies of opera with the late Tilly Barmach at the Settlement Music School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Nevison at the time, was just 16 years old. Tilly Barmach served as a wonderful inspiration for the young baritone, having had a successful career in her own right. Barmach held an opera workshop at the school that Howard Nevison, the young student, attended every week. He was introduced to many of the standard operas and performed them in class.
This experience was the beginning of the pathway for Howard Nevison the young student to become a great Opera singer. There was a young budding opera company which had it’s roots in south Philadelphia, quite close to the Settlement Music School, called the Rittenhouse Opera Society. Tilly Barmach became friendly with the General Manager and Conductor, Marco Farnese.

Il TabarroIl Tabarro

Rittenhouse was mounting a new production of the rarely heard I Zingari (The Gypsies) by Leoncavallo. Farnese was looking for a young baritone who could sing the role of Tamar, (a gypsy lover and poet). This was a great opportunity for Nevison therefore he discussed the idea with Barmach and she immediately suggested her young pupil Howard Nevison. “Farnese gave her the score and told her to teach me the first act aria. The music fit my voice like a glove and the following week I sang it for Farnese. He instantly offered me the role and thus began my first professional engagement in the world of opera at the age of 19.
The Saturday performance was dedicated to the memory of Mario Lanza which was attended by his mother Mary.” The Opera, I Zingari has the passion and beauty of I Pagliacci and is very similar in style. One could probably compare the role of Tamar to Silvio in Pagliacci.” I sang during 3 performances of I Zingari and received my first Philadelphia review by the well known critic, Max de Schauensee who penned  “Howard Nevison displayed an ample baritone voice of excellent quality as the wandering gypsy-poet Tamar”.
The Rittenhouse Opera Society, being a small company, concentrated primarily on performing obscure operas. The operas Howard Nevison performed with The Rittenhouse Opera Society included, I Zingari, L’Arlesiana by Cilea, The Jewels of The Madonna by Wolf-Ferrari, Le Villi (Puccini’s first opera), La Boheme and Il Tabarro.” Having sung with many talented colleagues, The Rittenhouse was a most valuable introduction to the world of opera.”
Howard Nevison  & The Rittenhouse Opera Society, Howard Nevison the student, Howard Nevison’s debut in I Zingari, Howard Nevison sings with Rittenhouse Opera Society, Howard Nevison the Cantor, Howard Nevison the Opera Singer, Howrd Nevison the Teacher.
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