Great Canadian opera singer closes Guelph’s first music festival

On today’s date in 1929, Guelph native and Metropolitan Opera tenor Edward Johnson sang on the final evening of the first music festival ever held in Guelph, Ont.

In 2006, Canada Post featured Johnson on a 51-cent stamp (CSN # 2182) as part of a five-stamp issue celebrating great Canadian opera singers. It was printed by the Lowe-Martin Group on Tullis Russell coated paper using 11-colour lithography. It was tagged on each side and had a print run of 600,000. Its official first-day cover was canceled in Toronto.

On May 8, 1929, Johnson was accompanied by the Vogt Choir of Guelph and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra at Guelph’s first music festival. In the early ’20s, he donated $25,000 to establish music classes in local schools, and this festival was an early product of that donation.

Edward Johnson was an internationally renowned opera singer and general manager of New York's Metropolitan Opera.

Edward Johnson was an internationally renowned opera singer and general manager of New York’s Metropolitan Opera.

He was billed outside of North America as Edoardo Di Giovanni and eventually became general manager of the Metropolitan Opera.

In Harriette Brower’s 1917 book Vocal Mastery: Talks with Master Singers and Teachers, Johnson is quoted as saying: “Of course the ear is the most important factor, our greatest ally. It helps us imitate. Imitation forms a large part of our study. We hear a beautiful tone; we try to imitate it; we try in various ways, with various placements, until we succeed in producing the sound we have been seeking. Then we endeavor to remember the sensations experienced in order that we may repeat the tone at will. So you see Listening, Imitation and Memory are very important factors in the student’s development.”

Keep up to date with the philatelic community

Sign up to receive our newsletter.

Canadian Stamp News


Canadian Stamp News is Canada's premier source of information about stamp collecting and related fields.

Although we cover the entire world of philatelics, the majority of our readers are Canadian, and we concentrate on the unique circumstances surrounding collecting in our native land.

Send Us Your Event

Running an event? Send it to us and we will display it on Canadian Stamp News!

Submit Event →

Subscribe To 26 Issues For Just $47.99/year

Subscribe today to receive Canada's premier stamp publication. Canadian Stamp News is available in both paper and digital forms.

Subscribe Now