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Peerce, Jan

Peerce, Jan [ Perelmuth, Jacob Pincus] (b NY, 1904; d New Rochelle, NY, 1984). Amer. tenor. Trained as violinist, played and sang in dance-bands. Sang at Radio City Music Hall 1933–9. Opera début Philadelphia 1938 (Duke in Rigoletto). NY Met début 1941, becoming regular member of co. until 1966 and singing several times in Toscanini's NBC opera broadcasts. In 1956 was first Amer. to sing at Bolshoy since Second World War. Broadway début 1971 as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof. Made several films. Retired 1982. Brother-in-law of Richard Tucker.

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Peerce, Jan

Jan Peerce, 1904–85, American tenor, b. New York City as Jacob Pincus Perelmuth. Discovered by Arturo Toscanini, who chose him to be a soloist in a performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, Peerce made his operatic debut in Philadelphia in 1938, singing the Duke in Verdi's Rigoletto. In 1941 he made his debut with the Metropolitan Opera as Alfredo in Verdi's La Traviata. He soon became a leading tenor there in the French and Italian repertoire.

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Peerce, Jan

PEERCE, JAN

PEERCE, JAN (originally Jacob Pincus Perelmuth ; 1904–1984), U.S. operatic tenor. Born in New York he first studied medicine, and began his musical career as a dance band violinist and occasional singer. In 1933 he obtained a long-term engagement as a singer at Radio City Music Hall, New York. Toscanini heard him and chose him to sing with the nbc Symphony Orchestra in 1938. After his operatic debut in Philadelphia and a recital in New York, he was cast by the Metropolitan Opera in 1941 to sing the leading tenor role in La Traviata. Peerce was acclaimed for his colorful quality, his sensitive interpretations, and a temperament suited both to the Italian and German lieder. Retaining his interest in Jewish life, he appeared in cantorial recitals, and made recordings of cantorial works and Jewish folksongs. He toured widely in America and Europe, London and West Germany, toured the U.S.S.R. under U.S. State Department auspices in 1956 (again in 1963), and sang in Israel many times.

bibliography:

Biancolli, in: Opera News, 30 (Jan. 29, 1966), 26.

[Claude Abravanel]

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