Pears, Sir Peter (Neville Luard)
- Alan Blyth
- , revised by Heather Wiebe
(b Farnham, June 22, 1910; d Aldeburgh, April 3, 1986). English tenor. He won a scholarship to the RCM, London, where he spent two terms in 1933–4. At the same time he joined the BBC Chorus and then the BBC Singers (1934–8), and took lessons with Elena Gerhardt and Dawson Freer. He met Benjamin Britten in 1936 and a year later they gave their first recital together (which included Britten’s On this Island). In 1939 they went to the USA, and while there Pears studied with Therese Behr (Schnabel’s wife) and Clytie Hine Mundy.
Returning with Britten to London in 1942, Pears made his stage début in the title role of Contes d’Hoffmann, Les at the Strand Theatre. The next year he joined the Sadler’s Wells company, singing Rossini’s Almaviva, Rodolfo, the Duke of Mantua, Tamino, Ferrando, and Vašek, and, memorably, creating the title role in ...