Van Dyck, Ernest Marie Hubert



Famous dramatic tenor; born at Antwerp, Belgium. He took up law, studying at Louvain and Brussels, but his voice was so promising that he was persuaded to cultivate it. Going to Paris, in which he received much encouragement from Gounod, he studied under Bax St. Yves, supporting himself by journalistic work on the paper, La Patrie. In 1883 he was invited by Massenet, who had heard him at a private concert, to substitute for the tenor part in Paul Vidal's cantata, Le Gladiateur, which he was presenting. Van Dyck learned the songs in two hours and his voice created a veritable sensation. Lamoureux, having heard of this achievement, engaged him for his concerts. At this time Wagner's operas were, for political reasons, prohibited in Paris, nevertheless Lohengrin was S'ven at the Eden Theatre with Van yck in the title role. The audience appreciated the performance, but the mob outside made such a demonstration that Lamoureux gave it up for the time being. Van Dyck was not long without an engagement, for Frau Wagner heard of his success in Lohengrin and he was invited to sing before her. She chose him for the part of Walter in Die Meistersinger and he went to Carlsruhe to study under Felix Mottl. In 1888 he was engaged by the Vienna Imperial Opera. He enlarged his repertory with the parts of Loge in Rheingold, Faust, Romeo, Des Grieux, in Massenet's Manon, and Siegmund. In 1891 he sang at Covent Garden, London, and in the same year the second performance of Lohengrin was given in Paris, this time under the protection of the police. The next year he sang at Bucharest, the Roumanian capital, and was invited to sing privately before Queen Elizabeth. He was also invited to sing before Queen Victoria of England, at Balmoral, and she gave him the highest praise for his art. He sang at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York, in the season of 1888-1889, and again in 19001901. To the roles already mentioned he has added Tannhauser and Tristan. He possesses voice, intelligence and dramatic ability to a marked degree.