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William Heddle Nash (14 June 1894 – 14 August 1961) was an English lyric tenor who appeared in opera and oratorio in the middle decades of the twentieth century. He also made numerous recordings that are still available on CD reissues.
Nash's voice was of the light tenor class known as "tenore di grazia". The critic J. B. Steane referred to him as "the English lyric tenor par excellence, without equal then or now." He appeared in tenor roles in operas by Mozart, Verdi, Wagner and Puccini among others, at the Royal Opera House, and the Glyndebourne Festival. His operatic career lasted from 1924 to 1958.
As a concert singer, Nash was known for his performances in oratorio, and in particular in the title role of Elgar's The Dream of Gerontius, making the first gramophone recording of the work, in 1945.
Nash was born in the South London district of Deptford on 14 June 1894, the son of William Nash, master builder, and his wife, Harriet Emma née Carr. The family was musical, and listening at home to a gramophone record by Enrico Caruso prompted Nash to apply for a scholarship at the Blackheath Conservatoire of Music. He was accepted, but a week later World War I broke out. Nash joined the army, serving in France, Salonika, Egypt and Palestine.
The Blackheath scholarship was held open until after the war; Nash took it up on his return. He had some experience of concert and oratorio work, and then he accepted an offer to sing with Podrecca and Feodora's Italian Marionettes. Unseen, standing in the orchestra pit of the Scala and Coliseum theatres, he sang the tenor roles in many Italian operas while on the stages the puppets mimed the action. After the London season, the marionette company secured a contract to appear in New York; Nash went with them. On his return to London a friend advanced the money for him to study in Milan with Giuseppe Borgatti. On 7 April 1923 Nash married Florence Emily Violet Pearce, daughter of a sign manufacturer. They had two sons, one of whom became an operatic baritone.