A rare document of Jon Vickers. Here, just 29 years old, the Canadian future Heldentenor sings in a live performance from a Montreal studio of Leoncavallo's I Pagliacci, broadcast by the CBC and conducted by Otto Werner-Mueller. At the time Vickers was a student at Toronto's Royal Conservatory of Music. The power of his voice and the almost scary intensity of his acting are already evident.
As Vickers described it, "In those days a live broadcast was really murderous. You started at 8 in the morning and had 2 full orchestral rehearsals, a dress rehearsal, and you did a show at night, if you had any voice left. And the circumstances were very difficult because of the primitive quality of the electronics, compared with today."
The original broadcast videotape from 1955 appears to have been transferred to film, then back to video.