A story Bob Tear told about himself:
Bob sang the Verdi Requiem only once in his life, in unusual circumstances, when he was quite young. “Once was enough, love.”
Bernstein was conducting it at the Royal Albert Hall and Carlo Bergonzi was due to be the tenor soloist but fell ill. Bob was called in at very short notice and being the consummate musician, pretty-well sight-read it.
At the end of the concert, in full view of the audience, Bernstein grabbed Bob’s face in both hands and planted an open-mouthed kiss full on Bob’s lips. Then as they were taking their bows Bernstein, holding Bob’s hand, turned to him and said:
“You know, if you had a proper high B flat you’d have one of the great tenor voices of the world… Bad luck!”

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