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Special notice

In the March 27 1934 edition of the Toronto Globe, the ad for the upcoming performance at Massey Hall listed the performer by last name only:

I’m not sure why they did this. Did they assume that the culturally sophisticated would already know who Tibbett was without needing to be supplied with his first name?

Fortunately, for the less culturally aware, there was an ad from a prominent Toronto piano maker in the same edition. It boasted that Mr. Tibbett was to be accompanied on one of their pianos:

Lawrence Tibbett (1896-1960) was an opera singer and recording artist. He was born Lawrence Tibbet, but his contract with the Metropolitan Opera mistakenly added an extra “t”, and he decided to go with the new surname.

He sang at the Met over 500 times between 1923 and 1950, and appeared in movies briefly in the 1930s. He was nominated for a Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for The Rogue Song (1930), which was his first film role. That’s a good way to start your movie career! (The film is now lost.)

The worst moment of his life might well have been when rehearsing for a role in 1937: he accidentally stabbed Joseph Sterzini, a member of the chorus, during a fight scene. Mr. Sterzini passed away shortly thereafter.

In later years, arthritis and heavy drinking caused him to age prematurely. He passed away after hitting his head when falling in his apartment.

There’s a lot of Lawrence Tibbett on YouTube. The first link that came up was footage of him singing the Toreador Song from Carmen, as filmed in Metropolitan (1935).

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