Born Dublin 28 July 1852. Died Stoke Poges. England 17th April 1913 OBIT. Studied Armagh, Dublin & Milan. Appeared in concert from 1874. Stage debut in Birmingham with Carl Rosa 1878. Remained with Carl Rosa until 1887 Creating :
Appeared in USA 1887/8 at the Academy of Music. He rejoined C R in 1889-96
The role of Otello in Verdi's opera, was Probably one of the most important for him. He was one of the many famous singers who attended the first night of the first performance of Otello in Italian in England at the Lyceum Theatre London on 5th July 1889.
He himself was the first person to sing this role in English in England. This was at Manchester's Princes Theatre on 8 Oct 1892. It was followed by performances in Bristol, Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool ,Glasgow and Edinburtgh, and then over to Ireland in 1893 - to both Dublin and Belfast - with Duma in the role of Desdemona and Marsh as Iago in both Cities.Eduard Hanslick the eminent critic wrote of McGuckin that :
" This slender young man with beardless, ruddy features was incomparably suited for the figure of the love-smitten Chevalier des Grieux......MacGuckin's high, bright tenor a bit throaty in production fits his personality perfectly. He sings without great imagination,but with simple natural feeling. In this he catches the character of Des Greiux perfectly." - Hanslick's Music Criticisms
Boosey the concert promoter recalled an amusing story about McGuckin :
"Harris was sitting at his desk when Barton McGuckin ,the tenor , in a evident fury invaded your sanctum. It was during a dress rehersal I think of Nadeshda by Goring Thomas. Barton was indignant at a helmet he had been given to wear; said it made him look an idiot. Gus Harris put it on his own head and with a beautiful smile What is the matter with it Do I look an idiot" - Boosey
Nordica who was in London in 1889 had been persuaded by Jean De Reszke to sing Elsa in Lohengrin simultaneously Harris decided to mount Lohengrin for the Italian debut of McGuckin so it was decided that they would perform together, unfortunately McGuckin injured his ankle and was unable to go on Stage at the last moment his place being taken by Antonio d'Andrade (Brother of the Famous Baritone)
McGuckin and a Technological First
A startling piece of information has just come to me from Tom Wall of Telecom Eireann, Museum of Communications it is as follows From Freeman's Journal Dublin 23/4/1883 - (Note the Date !!)
" We understand that the Dublin public are to be afforded an opportunity of familiarising themselves with the workings of the telephone at the bazaar for the Coombe Hospital, to be held by the kind permission of the Senate of the Royal University in their buildings , Earlsfort Terrace formerly the" Exhibition Palace on Tuesday and Wedensday the 1st and 2nd of May.Those who were so fortunate as to be able to visit the electrical exhibition of Paris in 1881 will remember the great interest manifested in the working of the telephone. Though the instrument had been known for some time to scientific men , the knowledge of it had not become popularised, and it was looked on as little more than a scientific toy till its powers were so fully demonstrated on that occassion by the connection established by its means between the building---The Champs Elysees and the Opera House. The crowds who then strove to gain admission into the room where it was exhibited, and their amazment at hearing so accurately and clearly the performance going on in the distant theatre proved this to be one of the most attractive departments of that very attractive exhibition. We are glad therefore to learn that visitors to this bazaar will be enabled to study the working of the wonderful instrument, which is now becoming a neccessity in every business establishment and almost every household.Through the kindness of Mr. Gunn proprietor of the Gaiety Theatre and of Mr. Carl Rosa whose Opera Company will be performing there at the time, the bazaar committee have been permitted to connect the building with the stage of The Gaiety so that the performance may be distinctly heard and even the movements and attitudes of the performers appreciated" ......The Operas heard over the telephone were Trovatore and Colomba (Mackenzie) the singers on the occassion being McGuckin, Valleria & Ludwig..Freeman's Journal 2/5/1883. "In an adjecent room the phonograph or talking machine was on exhibition, where the auditors were treated to a ditty from the voice of Barton M'Guckin, for this gentleman had kindly confided his rendering of "When other lips" to the machine in the early part of the day...... In the evening the bazaar was reopened .....In the telephone room a large crowd flocked to listen to the opera of Il Trovatore at the Gaiety Theatre. The different airs , chorouses and the music from the orchestra were distinctly audible while the noisy gods and their temporary Appolos were also to be clearly heard..." - Freeman's Journal Dublin 23/4/1883
This must be the first broadcast of an Opera in Ireland. However I think that the most important item is the fact that McGuckin made a recording as early as 1883. The first commercial recordings that were made in Ireland were made by Berliner in 1899. I am very fortunate to have two of them.One made in Dublin and one made in Belfast. In Dublin in 1907 The Irish International Exhibition was held - Barton M'Guckin was appointed musical Director.
McGuckin Cronology I am working on this any information most gratefully received, especially about his performances in the USA in 1887/8
I have a number of programmes and some photographs of him but I would be happy to acquire any that are for sale.
As far as I know he made two records in London in 1905
I am lookings for copies of these or any others
Beginning of a Chronology
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