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Joseph Dewar Hislop


1884 - 1977

Operatic tenor. Born in Edinburgh, the son of a painter and decorator, Hislop was educated at the Choir School of St. Mary's Episcopal Cathedral in the city. He trained as a photographic engraver and found work in Sweden (1907). While there he began singing with an amateur choir. His talent was recognised and he made his debut as Faust with the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm in 1914. He went on to sing at Covent Garden in London and La Scala, Milan, and widely across Europe and the Americas. He also made a number of gramophone recordings. He was knighted by Denmark (1926) and Sweden (1929). Having retired from professional singing in the 1930s, he taught at the Royal Opera School and the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm, becoming Professor of Singing in 1949. He acted as an artistic adviser to the Royal Opera House in London (1948-54) and was appointed Professor of Singing at the Guildhall School of Music (1952).

Hislop retired to Fife in 1964. He died at his home, Berryside by New Gilston, and was cremated at Kirkcaldy Crematorium. A plaque in Bowmont Place on the South Side of Edinburgh commemorates his birthplace, while busts can be seen at the Usher Hall and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh.


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