Tandy Mackenzie


MacKenzie was the first operatic tenor from the islands to gain worldwide fame. Born in Hana, Maui in 1892, he first learned to read music at Kamehameha Schools. He studied voice in New York, Paris and Milan. His first professional appearance was as a member of a quartet in Bird of Paradise in 1915. His operatic debut was as Rodolfo in La Bohème in Cannes in 1929. His operatic career spanned the globe from San Francisco to Prague. Made many recordings, performed on radio and appeared in films San Francisco, Anthony Adverse, Going to Town and There's Magic in Music.

Though he spent little time in his native Hawaii, he always included Hawaiian songs in his repertoire and was considered a gifted interpreter of his homeland's music. He passed away in 1963. A compilation of his Hawaiian recordings was re-released in 1975 (Lehua SL 7028).

BIOGRAPHY: Jean S. MacKenzie, Tandy (Island Heritage, 1975).

Biographical information from George Kanahele, Hawaiian Music and Musicians (Univ of Hawaii, 1979).