During his time at the Opera House, Edgar – now 93 years old - sang some 45 roles, most of the major ones. In that time, he sang more roles and more performances at the Opera House than any other artist.
The book - Edgar Evans - Extempore - contains some previously untold tales of the opera and sheds new light on other, already known, incidents.
However, the book not only chronicles Edgar’s opera career, especially examining his contribution to the first productions of Benjamin Britten’s operas, along with his undertaking the role of Hermann in Tchaikovsky’s opera ‘The Queen of Spades’, but also follows his early life in the inter-war years. As such, it offers insights into life in the 1920s, ‘30s - and even ‘40s – as well as life in the music profession.
The book contains some 60 photographs, many from previous Covent Garden productions.
These come from Edgar Evans' own collection of photographs and many of them are the only ones now existing of certain productions. Quite apart from the stories that Edgar recounts in the book, these make the book a significant record of those early days at Covent Garden after the War.
Edgar Evans’ story combines coincidence with a capacity for hard work that, in itself, would make an acceptable plot for an opera.
Edgar was born and brought up on a farm in Cardiganshire in West Wales before the First World War. At the age of eight, he heard – on one of the early radios – a broadcast of Enrico Caruso, singing at Covent Garden.
The image that ‘Covent Garden’ conjured up in Edgar’s eight year old mind was one of flowers and palm trees. He thought that it would be nice to spend his life singing in such a paradise but there seemed to be no way in which it could ever happen.
A chance meeting in London, following an England v Wales rugby international at Twickenham in 1934 (a three points all draw), put Edgar on the road to becoming a professional singer.
Another chance meeting, when Edgar had mistaken the Royal Opera House for Fox’s stage costumiers, resulted in him applying for an audition to join the opera company that was being re-formed there after the War.
It was a third chance meeting – at a party – that prompted Edgar to take up teaching singing, at the Royal College of Music, when his performing career came to an end.
Best remembered for creating the role of Hermann in Tchaikovsky's The Queen of Spades at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Edgar Evans sang some 45 roles – most of them major ones - at Covent Garden from 1946 to 1975. In that time, he sang more roles and more performances at the Opera House than any other artist.
”This book is not only Edgar’s story – from farm to Garden – but it also offers insights into life in the inter-war years; the worlds of music and show business after the War, and the secrets of being able to sing opera successfully,” commented his biographer, Robert Little.
Edgar Evans - Extempore by Robert Little (ISBN 0-9543113-1-0; £12.50), available from Bob Little Press & PR or from Amazon, is a biography of the opera singer – and principal tenor at Covent Garden from 1946 to 1975 - Edgar Evans.
Further details: You can find out more about ‘Edgar Evans – Extempore’ from: boblittlepr.com/publishing.htm and
For copies of pictures and to arrange to interview the author – and/or Edgar Evans – please contact: Bob Little Press & PR: ;
Other books from Bob Little Press & PR include: ‘The Canvas Chapel’.