Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

Nov 11, 2018

Xenia Belmas (Soprano) (Tschernigow, Ukraine 23 January 1890 – Durban, South Africa 2 February 1981)

She trained at the Conservatory of Kiev under Päts and made her debut in 1913 at the Odessa Opera, where she had her first successes as Wagnerian singer and as Tatiana in Tchaikovsky's ‘’Eugene Onegin’’ and remained the leading singer of this opera house until 1921. In 1921 she left with her husband, the conductor Alexander Kitschin, Russia and settled in Wiesbaden. After further studies in Italy, she gave a series of brilliant concerts in Paris (1925) and until 1927 guested at the Grand Opéra in Paris, especially as Aida. In 1928 she was celebrated at concerts in Berlin, where her recordings were made. In 1929 she toured with an Italian opera troupe Australia. In 1931 she gave a concerts in Monte Carlo. In 1932 she made guest appearances in the Baltic States. Opposite her husband she made guest appearances  through South Africa (1934), then she taught singing in Durban.

Marise Beaujon (Soprano) (Lyon, France 12 October 1890 – 16 August 1968 Paris, France)

She was discovered at an amateur singing competition by the director of the Lyon Opera Gaston Beyle.She made her debut at this opera house in 1919 as Micaela in ‘’Carmen’’. For ten years she sang at provincial French theaters before she was engaged by the Grand Opéra in Paris in 1921. Here she made her debut as Mathilde in ‘’Guillaume Tell’’ by G. Rossini. Until 1930 she remained a celebrated member of the Grand Opéra, where in 1928 she sang the title role in the premiere of G. Puccini's ‘’Turandot’’. In 1926 she performed in Madrid, Barcelona and Monte Carlo, in 1928 in Brussels, in 1929 in Cairo. In 1928 she sang the part of Marguerite in ’’Faust’’ at the Covent Garden Opera in London. In 1927 she appeared at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo as Marshal in ‘’Rosenkavalier’’, Rezia in ‘’Oberon’’, Marina in ‘’Boris Godunov’’ and as Thaïs in J. Massenet’s ‘’Thaïs’’. She also performed at the opera houses of Liège and Antwerp. In 1930 she joined to the Opéra-Comique in Paris.Here she made her debut as Tosca. in 1932 she appeared at the Théâtre Mogador in Paris in J. Offenbach’s operetta ‘’Orphée aux enfers’’, but soon she retired from the stage for health reasons, after she had again achieved one of her great successes at the Opéra-Comique in the title role of G. Charpentier’s ‘’Louise’’.

Hans Duhan (Baritone) (Vienna, Austria January 27, 1890 - Vienna, Austria March 6, 1971)

He studied at the Vienna Academy of Music and made his debut in 1910 at the Municipal Theater of Opava, where he performed until 1913, in the 1913-1914 season he was engaged by the Municipal Theater of Teplice-Schönau. In 1914 he became a member of the Vienna Court Opera. He remained a principal baritone of this opera house until the end of his stage career (1940). In Vienna, Hans Duhan gained great popularity, as well as at the Salzburg Festival, where he repeatedly appeared in Mozart roles. In 1922 he sang the part of Don Giovanni at the Salzburg Festival. In 1922 and 1927 he appeared there as Count in ‘’Figaros Hochzeit’’, in 1928 as Papageno in ‘’Zauberflöte’’. Until 1937 he gave recitals there, which were highly appreciated by festival audiences. On 4. 10. 1916 he appeared in Vienna in the premiere of the revision of the Richard Strauss’s opera ‘’Ariadne auf Naxos’’, in 1934 in the world premiere of F. Lehár's operetta ‘’Giuditta’’ (20. 1. 1934). He guested in Amsterdam in 1922 (and again in 1924 in a guest performance by the ensemble of the Vienna State Opera with ‘’Ariadne auf Naxos’’). His repertoire included King Solomon in ‘’Königin von Saba’’, Amfortas in ‘’Parsifal’’, Frank in ‘’Toten Stadt’’, Scarpia in ‘’Tosca’’ and Escamillo in ‘’Carmen’’. In 1930 he created the song cycle ‘’Reisetagebuch aus den österreichischen Alpen’’ by Ernst Krenek. In 1938 he sang in Vienna in the world premiere of the oratorio ‘’Das Buch mit sieben Siegeln’’ by Franz Schmidt. Since 1932 he was appointed as a professor of the Vienna Music Academy. He also worked as director and conductor at the Vienna State Opera. He also composed several vocal works.

Oct 25, 2018

Hipolito Lazaro (Tenor) (Barcelona, Spain 1887 - Barcelona, Spain 1974)

His voice was discovered during military service. He made his debut at the Teatro Novedades in Barcelona in 1910 without special study of singing. After studies with Ernesto Colli in  Milan, he sang in London and Manchester, England in 1913 under the name Antonio Manuele. He first created a sensation at La Scala when he sang in the world premiere of Mascagni's Parasina (1913). In 1918, Lazaro came to the Metropolitan opera, where he sang for three seasons, performing 8 roles in 34 performances. He appeared as a guest at all of the world's great opera houses, and also created roles in Mascagni's  Piccolo Marat  at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome in 1921, and in Giordano's Cena delle Beffe at La Scala in 1924. During the Spanish Civil War he was for a short time the director of the Teatro Liceo in Barcelona. He gave a farewell concert in New York in 1940, but appeared again at the Teatro Liceo in 1944 and at the Havana Opera in 1950. He had a wide-ranging, timbred, considerably vibrant, extended, bold, resilient even if slightly guttural voice with a brilliant metallic shine, and a passionate approach to singing.

Chronology of some appearances

1910 Valencia Teatro Prencesa Favorita (Fernando)
1911 Milano  Teatro Dal Verme Boheme (Rodolfo)
1912 Il Cairo  Teatro Abbas Boheme (Rodolfo)
1914 Roma  Teatro Costanzi  Boheme (Rodolfo)
1914 Roma  Teatro Costanzi  Favorita (Fernando)
1914 Montevideo  Teatro Solis Boheme (Rodolfo)
1914 Montevideo  Teatro Solis Favorita (Fernando)
1914 Buenos Aires  Teatro Coliseo Fanciulla del West (Dick Johnson)
1914 Buenos Aires  Teatro Coliseo Favorita (Fernando)
1914 Rio de Janeiro Teatro Municipal Fanciulla del West (Dick Johnson)
1914 Rio de Janeiro Teatro Municipal Favorita (Fernando)
1914 Barcelona Teatro Liceo Favorita (Fernando)
1915 Buenos Aires  Teatro Colon Boheme (Rodolfo)
1915 Buenos Aires  Teatro Colon Fanciulla del West (Dick Johnson)
1915 Rio de Janeiro  Teatro Municipal Boheme (Rodolfo)
1915 Porto Alegre  Teatro San Pedro Boheme (Rodolfo)
1915 San PaoloTeatro Municipal Boheme (Rodolfo)
1915 Montevideo Teatro Solis Carmen (Don Jose)
1915 Roma Teatro Costanzi Fanciulla del West (Dick Johnson)
1916 Havana  Teatro Nacional Boheme (Rodolfo)
1916 Havana  Teatro Nacional Fanciulla del West (Dick Johnson
1917 Mexico City  Teatro Arbeu Barbiere di Siviglia (Almaviva)
1918 Mexico City  Plaza de Toros Favorita (Fernando)
1920 Lisbon Teatro San Carlo Boheme (Rodolfo)
1920 Havana  Teatro Nacional Boheme Fanciulla del West (Dick Johnson)
1920 Havana  Teatro Nacional Favorita (Fernando)
1920 Mexico City  Teatro Arbeu Fanciulla del West (Dick Johnson)
1920 Mexico City  Teatro Arbeu Favorita (Fernando)
1927 Havana Teatro Nacional Carmen (Don Jose)
1928 Firenze Politeama Fiorentino Carmen (Don Jose)

Oct 22, 2018

Mária Basilides (Contralto) (Ilosvár, Hungary November 11, 1886 – Budapest, Hungary September 26, 1946)

She received her education at the Music Academy of Budapest. In 1911 she made her stage debut at the Volksoper in Budapest; she made her debut in ‘’Quo vadis?’’ by Nouguès. In 1915 she was engaged by the National Opera of Budapest, where she was so popular, that in 1934 she became a lifelong member of this House. Here, on 24. 4. 1932, she sang in the premiere of ‘’Székely fono’’ by Zoltán Kodály. She made successful guest appearances at the Berlin State Opera, at the state operas in Dresden and Munich, at the Opera in Prague and at the Antwerp Opera House. She also toured in Brussels (1929), The Hague (1929) and in Bucharest, gave very successful concerts in Berlin (1927-1929) and London (1930). One of her last stage performances was in Budapest, where she sang the part of an old countess in ‘’Pique Dame’’ by Tchaikovsky (1945). She was considered an outstanding concert singer. In 1937 she sang in a cathedral concert at the Salzburg Festival. She was one of the first singers to support Hungarian folk music, rediscovered by Bela Bartók and Zoltan Kodály, and had a great influence on the entire musical life of her time in Hungary. She made a few records for Parlophon and HMV.

Marion Talley (Soprano) (Nevada, Missouri, USA December 20, 1906 – Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA January 3, 1983)

She was a musical prodigy and she began singing at the age of five. She was only 15, when settled in Kansas City. She showed an amazing talent in piano and violin playing. Then she studied with Frank La Forge in New York, where she also gave her first concerts. After additional education in Europe she made her debut in 1926 - only 19 years old - at the Metropolitan Opera in New York as Gilda in "Rigoletto" (opposite Giacomo Lauri-Volpi and Giuseppe de Luca). She had a sensational success. Both the critics and the audience enthusiastically celebrated them. A special train was used from her hometown Kansas City to New York. The following three seasons she remained a member of the Metropolitan Opera. There she sang in 1926 in the premiere of "Le Rossignol" by I. Stravinsky. At the Metropolitan Opera her repertoire included  the Queen of the Night in "Zauberflöte", Lucia di Lammermoor, the Olympia in ‘’Les contes d'Hoffmann’’, the Philine in "Mignon" and the Queen of Shemakan in N. Rimsky-Korsakov ‘s ‘’The Golden Cockerel’’. She appeared at the Metropolitan Opera until 1929. A triumphant North American tour in 1928 marked the peak of her career, which ended as quickly as it had begun. In 1929 she retired to her farm and did not appear again until 1933. In 1933 she appeared as Gilda at the Chicago Opera, but without success. In 1934 she tried Vitaphone sound film, later she became a radio singer. In 1939, encouraged by successes on American radio, she reappeared at the concert hall, but remained without any major successes, whereupon she withdrew from musical life. Then she lived in Hollywood. She was briefly married the pianist and accompanist Michael Raucheisen (1889-1983).

Carl Jöken (Tenor) (Krefeld, Germany 3. November 1893 - Hamburg, Germany 7. April 1971)

First he studied chemistry and from 1914 to 1918 as a soldier took in the First World War. Without proper vocal studies he made his debut in 1918 at the Stadttheater of Krefeld as Manrico in "Trovatore". In the 1920-1923 seasons he was a soloist of the Stadttheater in Freiburg i. Br., Since 1923 he appeared at the Berlin Staatsoper. Here he sang the parts of Pinkerton in "Madame Butterfly" and Eisenstein in "Fledermaus" and also participated in the Berlin premiere of  L. Janáček’s  "Jenufa" (1924). Although he had in his repertoire roles such as Tamino in "Zauberflöte", Rodolfo in "La Bohème" and Cavaradossi in "Tosca", but he gladly took over also buffo roles like Pedrillo in "Entführung aus dem Serail", Don Curzio and Basilio in "Figaros Hochzeit", David in "Meistersingern"and Mime in the Ring Cycle. In 1928 he appeared at the Berlin State Opera in the world premiere of Franz Schreker's "Der singende Teufel". Until 1934 he remained a member of the Berlin State Opera. During this time he also appeared at the Berlin Kroll Opera, u.a. 1927 in the world premiere of "Royal Palace" by Kurt Weill. He later turned mainly to the operetta, after he had tremendous successes in 1930 at the Metropol Theater in Berlin in Millacker's "Bettelstudent" and in the premiere of "Das Veilchen vom Montmartre"  by Kalmán. In 1930 he sang in Amsterdam in "Fledermaus" under Bruno Walter, the same performance was repeated at the Covent Garden Opera in London. In the 1931-1932 season he worked at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, especially in buffo repertoire, and worked there in 1931 in the premiere of Stravinsky's "Oedipus Rex". Since 1933 he had a huge successes at the Berlin Theater of the West in operettas such as "Die lockende Flamme" by Künnecke (world premiere on 27. 12. 1933), "Der Page dsr Königs" (1933) and "Der goldene Pierrot"  by Walter W.Goetze. The career of the singer took a long time, even in 1956 he sang at the Hamburg Operetta Theater. Married the actress and cabaret artist Käthe König. With his second wife Edith Schollwer, who performed in operettas, he made a few records on Electrola.

Germaine Cernay (Mezzo-Soprano) (28 April 1900, Le Havre - 19 September 1943, Paris)

Her real name was Germaine Pointu. At first, she wanted to become a pianist, but then she studied voice at the National Conservatory in Paris with the teachers Albers und Engel. She made her debut in 1925 at the Paris Grand Opéra as Euryclée in ‘’Pénélope’’ by Gabriel Fauré. In 1927 she came to the Opéra-Comique in Paris, where she first sang smaller roles, then roles like Charlotte in ‘’Werther’’, Carmen, Mignon, and Geneviève in ‘’Pelléas et Mélisande’’. In 1930 at that house she took part in the world premiere of the opera ‘’Le Sicilien’’ by Omer Letorey. She had important successes at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels and on French provincial stages. She gave guest performances in North Africa, in Switzerland, in England, Ireland and Italy, where she appeared in the 1939 Florence May Festival as Florenz in Ravel's ‘’L'Enfant et les sortilèges’’. In a broadcast of French Radio she even undertook the soprano role in ‘’Pelléas et Mélisande’’. She was regarded as one of the leading French concert altos of her generation, above all as a great Bach interpreter. She was on the point of entering a convent when she suddenly died. In addition to her exquisitely cultured (above all in the high register) voice, her ingenious art of delivery as well as her mastery of phrasing were treasured. She represented a voice type which the French designate 'Galli-Marié' (after the great prima donna, Célestine Galli-Marié).

Oct 15, 2018

Elisabeth Böhm Van Endert (Soprano) (Neuss 31. 12. 1876 † Zürich 27. 02. 1956)

She began her singing studies with Wally Schauseil in Düsseldorf and continued with Richard Müller in Dresden. First she appeared in concerts and oratorio parts. At the instigation of the great conductor Ernst von Schuch, who appeared in Dresden, she turned to the stage career. She made her stage debut in 1907 at the Hofoper in Dresden (as Marguerite in ‘’Faust’’), where she remained until 1910. From 1910 to 1913 she was engaged by the Court Opera in Berlin (where she had already performed in 1909), from 1913 to 1921 she was a soloist of the Deutsche Oper in Berlin-Charlottenburg, in the 1921-1923 seasons she sang at the Staatsoper in Berlin. Here she appeared as Pamina in ‘’Zauberflöte’’, Micaela in ‘’Carmen’’, Freia in '’’Rheingold’’, Eva in ‘’Meistersingern’’, Marguerite in ‘’Faust’’, Rosalinde in ‘’Fledermaus’’ and Octavian in ‘’Rosenkavalier’’. Guest performances and tours led the artist to England, Belgium, Holland and Switzerland. In the 1920s she undertook two major North American tours. During her Dresden engagement she appeared on 25. 1. 1909 in the world premiere of the opera ‘’Elektra’’ by R. Strauss. After 1923 she gave only single stage performances, but was mainly to be heard as a concert soloist, such as 1926 on a Holland tour and, also in 1926, in London. In her second marriage she was married the director of the Electrola record company, Leo Curth. After her retirement she lived in Berlin and taught singing, but in 1935she emigrated to North America.

Chronology of some appearances

1907-1910 Dresden Hofoper
1910-1913 Berlin Court Opera
1913-1921 Berlin-Charlottenburg Deutsche Oper
1921-1923 Berlin Staatsoper

Georgy Nelepp (Tenor) (Bobruika, Ukraine, 20 April 1904 - Moscow, 18 June 1957)

He studied at the Leningrad Conservatory and made his debut, as Lensky, with the Kirov in 1930, remaining with the company until 1944. In that year he moved to the Bol'shoy, where he had his most significant success. Nelepp possessed a lyric-dramatic tenor capable of an amazing range and intensity of expression, making him an ideal exponent of such roles as Florestan, Gustavus III, Manrico, Radames, Don José, Sobinin (‘’A Life for the Tsar’’), Dmitry (‘’Boris Godunov’’), Golitsin (‘’Khovanshchina’’), Yury (‘’The Enchantress’’), Hermann, Andrey (‘’Mazepa’’) and Sadko, several of which he recorded. He sang in approximately 20 complete opera sets, among which his agonized portrayal of the obsessive Hermann in the Melodiya recording of The Queen of Spades is an unrivalled achievement.

Max Kuttner (Tenor) (Baden, Austria 24 February 1883 - Straubing, Germany 17 October 1953)

After a technical education Kuttner worked first as a designer in Frankfurt am Main, but there he also trained as a singer. In 1905 he made his debut at the Lortzing Theater in Berlin. After training his voice, he began his stage career in 1904 at the Court Theater of Weimar and sang since 1906 at the Lortzing Theater in Berlin. He specialized in the tenor buffo roles in which he proved to be a superior actor. He sang Jacquino in "Fidelio", Pedrillo in the "Entführung aus dem Serail", Monostatos in the "Zauberflöte". His career took place mainly at various Berlin theaters. He moved to the field of operetta in the twenties and had great success as an operetta tenor in Berlin. He became known as a radio and record singer. In 1933 he left Germany as a Jew and finally came to China. There he appeared in operettas in Shanghai (1940-1941). After the Second World War, he returned to Germany, where he died in 1953 in Straubing in Bavaria. Married the opera singer Nelly Bondy, who sang in Weimar and at the Komische Oper in Berlin.

Oct 10, 2018

Mafalda Salvatini (Soprano) (Baiae, Italy 17 October 1886 - Lugano, Switzerland 13 June 1971)


Her father was an officer of the Neapolitan army and she was already orphaned when she was four. She studied singing under Jean de Reszke and Pauline Viardot-Garcia in Paris. In 1908, during a guest performance at the Berlin Court Opera, she caused a sensation as Aida and from 1911 to 1914 she was a member of this opera house. In 1912 she performed at the Hofoper in Munich, in 1913 at the Grand Opéra in Paris, where she performed as Valentine in "Les Huguenots" of G. Meyerbeer. In the 1914-1923 seasons she was engaged by the German Opera House in Berlin-Charlottenburg. Although in the 1924-1926 seasons she again appeared at the State Opera (the former Hofoper) in Berlin, but came back in 1926 to the German Opera House, where she continued her career until 1932. In 1926 she created for Berlin the title role in G. Puccini’s opera "Turandot", where she scored one of her greatest successes. In 1927 she was a guest at the Dresden State Opera, in 1922 and 1928 at the Vienna State Opera, in 1928 at the Riga Opera House. She also made guest appearances in Holland and Belgium, but never in her native Italy. At the beginning of the thirties she married the Lithuanian Ambassador in Germany. After her retirement she lived in the Swiss canton of Ticino.

Sep 9, 2018

Willis James Flanagan (Tenor) (Holyoke, Massachusetts 1882 - ?)

He began as a baritone studying with Murrie 1920's in Italy, France and Germany, making extensive tours singing.  He then studied in London to become a tenor finishing his studies with Mr Addison Price the composer and vocal teacher.  He has sung in London Palladium, Queens Theater and many other concerts hall in England with the best of the stars, one of them being Nordica. In Italy he appeared as Paul Castello.

I wish to thank his grandchild Michelle Dennis for providing me information and photos

Aug 26, 2018

Laczó István (Tenor) (September 16, 1904, Szombathely, Hungary - September 27, 1965 Budapest, Hungary)

He initially studied architecture and then trained as singer mostly in Italy. In 1935 he made his debut at the National Opera in Budapest and remained a member of this opera house until the end of his career. Before the World War II, he guested at the Grand Opéra in Paris, also in Turin and Rio de Janeiro. His repertoire included Otello, the Manrico in ‘’Trovatore’’, Radames in ‘’Aida’’, Kalaf in ‘’Turandot’’, Arnoldo in ‘’Guglielmo Tell’’, Turiddu in "Cavalleria Rusticana’’ and Canio in "Pagliacci". In 1963 he was appointed Honored Artist of the Hungarian People's Republic.

Chronology of some appearances

1935-1950’s Budapest National Opera

Lajos Laurisin (Tenor) (March 26, 1897, Kalocsa, Hungary - January 10, 1977, New York City, New York, United States)

He received his education in Budapest under Szidi Rákosi and Béla Szabados. From 1926 to 1944 he was a member of the Budapest National Opera. At this opera house he sang a varied repertoire and his roles included Duke in "Rigoletto", Canio in "Pagliacci", Cavaradossi in "Tosca", Kalaf in "Turandot" and Rodolfo in "La Bohème". In addition, he was a famous operetta singer. His brother was the composer Miklós Laurinsin (1893-1949).

Chronology of some appearances

1926-1944 Budapest National Opera

Endre Rösler (Tenor) (November 27, 1904, Budapest, Hungary - December 13, 1963, Budapest, Hungary)


First he studied with Géza Laszló in Budapest, then under Giuseppe de Luca in Milan and Edoardo Garbin in Brescia. In 1927 he made his debut at the National Opera in Budapest as Alfredo in "La Traviata". On 24. 4. 1932 he sang at the Budapest Opera in the world premiere of Zoltán Kodály's "Die Spinnstube". He made successful guest appearances in Vienna, Milano, Florence, Leipzig and Munich. At the Budapest Opera his repertoire included the title part in Händel’s "Xerxes", Count Almaviva in ‘’Barbiere di Siviglia’’, Belmonte in "Entführung aus dem Serail", Don Ottavio in "Don Giovanni", Ferrando in "Così fan tutte", Lenski in "Eugene Onegin", Florestan in "Fidelio", Max in "Freischütz", Erik in "Fliegenden Holländer", Loge in "Rheingold" and Schuiskij in "Boris Godunov". Since 1953 he taught singing at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music Budapest; one of his students was Eva Marton.

 Chronology of some appearances

1927 Budapest National Opera Traviata (Alfredo)
1932 Budapest National Opera Die Spinnstube (-)

Aug 25, 2018

Gabor Carelli (Tenor) (Budapest, Hungary 1915 – New York 22 January 1999)


He studied law and singing at the Franz Liszt Conservatory in Budapest. After two years of further education in Italy (also under Beniamino Gigli), he made his debut in Florence and then sang at the Italian opera houses. Then he went to North America, where from 1951 to 1974 he was a member  of  the Metropolitan Opera in New York (almost 26 years) and sang mainly as tenor buffo. Here he made his debut as Don Curzio in ‘’Nozze di Figaro'’ (which he sang there 111 times) and was heard in 56 roles and in over a thousand performances there. His repertoire included  Arturo in ‘’Lucia di Lammermoor’’,  Abbé in ‘’Adriana Lecouivreur’’, Borsa in ‘’Rigoletto’’ (which he sang 118 times), Gaston in ‘’La Traviata’’, Trin in ‘’La Fanciulla del West’’, Elemer in ‘’Arabella’ by R. Strauss, Count Almaviva in ‘’Il Barbiere di Siviglia’’, Ernesto in ‘’Don Pasquale’’, Rodolfo in ‘’La Bohème’’, Pinkerton in ‘’Madama Butterfly’’, Duka in ‘’Rigoletto’’, Cavaradossi in ‘’Tosca’’,  Alfredo  in ‘’La Trvaiata’’, Captain in ‘’Wozzeck’’and as  Tonio  in ‘’La Fille du régiment’’. During two seasons he also worked in Israel. Since 1964 he taught singing at the Manhattan School of Music New York.

Chronology of some appearances

1951-1974 New York Metropolitan Opera

Maria Russo (Mezzo-Soprano)

She was to young to sing in Guy Golterman’s grand operas  At MUNY  and Kiel, but St Louis Mezzo-Soprano Maria’Russo’s career was ‘moved along’ by the impressario. Golterman arranged auditions with the Met’s Fausto Cleve. He also contacted Fortuno Gallo on her behalf. Maria persisted in New York. She found her role ‘Carmen’: First with the Charles Wagner Opera Company 1952 tour. This was followed by a 10-weeks tour of South America with the South  America Opera Company.others in the company were Jan Pierce, Robert Weede and Herbs Nelli.  Her concert debut was with the St Louis Symphony Orchestra in 1949. In New York she was coached by several of the Met’s conductors including Caesar Sodero. Dramatic lessons by the Met’s Desire Defrere. The girl from the St Louis ‘Hill’ neighborhood did well. She never forgot Guy Golterman. Maria Russo never came back to St Louis. I believe she stayed in New York.

By Ed Golterman

Aug 17, 2018

John Gläser (Tenor) (Berlin 12. June 1888 – Frankfurt am Main 27. May 1968)

He studied singing in Berlin, where he was already soloist of the court and cathedral choir. From 1909 to 1910 he was a member of the choir at the Berlin Komische Oper. As soloist he made his debut in 1911 at the Stadttheater of Ulm and then sang at the Court Theater of Altenburg (Thuringia). In 1912 he joined to the Opera House of Wroclaw, here he appeared five years. In 1917 he was engaged by to Opera of Frankfurt a.M., where he remained until the end of his career. Here, on 21.1.1920, he sang the role of Elis in the premiere of the opera ‘’Der Schatzgräber’’ by Schreker. He participated in the German premieres of the Mussorgsky’s operas ‘’Boris Godunov’’ (1913, in Wroclaw/as Dimitri) and ‘’Khovantchina’’ (1924, Frankfurt aM/as Galitzyn). On 10. 3. 1917 he sang at the Opera House of Wroclaw in the world premiere of the opera ‘’Eros and Psyche’’ by Lubomir Rózycki. He made guest appearances in Berlin, Munich, Hamburg and Vienna. At the Salzburg Festival (1926) he appeared as Bacchus in ‘’Ariadne auf Naxos’’ by R. Strauss. In 1942, at the Frankfurt Opera, on the occasion of his 25th anniversary he gave his farewell performance as Canio in ‘’Pagliacci’’. Since then he lived in Frankfurt and taught singing. Married the soprano Agnes Werninghaus.

Chronology of some appearances

1909-1910 Berlin Komische Oper
1911 Ulm Stadttheater
1911 Altenburg Court Theater
1912-1917 Wroclaw Opera House
1917-1942 Frankfurt a.M. Opera
1926 Salzburg Festival

Jul 26, 2018

Arne Ohlson (Tenor) (Uddevalla, Sweden 2. 01. 1911 – Märsta, Sweden 1. 05. 2000)

He initially studied violin and music theory in Uppsala and Stockholm, but then trained by John Forsell, Joseph Hislop and Augustin Kock at the Stockholm Academy of Music. In 1941 he made his stage debut at the Royal Opera in Stockholm as Don Ottavio in "Don Giovanni". Until 1966 he was the first lyrical tenor of this opera house. In 1957 he appeared in the Swedish premiere of A. Berg's "Wozzeck". From 1948 to 1968 he was one of those singers, who made the Drottningholm Festival a first-class musical event. From 1966 to 1974 he worked at the Academy of Music in Aalborg. Since 1974 he taught singing in Stockholm and Uppsala.

Chronology of some appearances

1941-1966 Stockholm Royal Opera

Carlo Galeffi (Baritone) (Malamocco 4 June 1884 – Roma 22 September 1961)

Galeffi studied singing under the pedagogues Di Como, Sbriscia and later with Antonio Cotogni. He made his debut  1903 at the Teatro Quirino in Roma as Enrico in ‘’Lucia di Lammermoor’’. In her book Una Voce nel Mondo, Toti Dal Monte wrote, that Galeffi is the best baritone of her time.

Chronology of some appearances

1907 Roma  Teatro Quirino Pagliacci (Tonio)
1908 Roma  Teatro Adriano Amica (Rinaldo)
1908 Palermo Teatro Massimo Ballo in maschera (Renato)
1908 Messina Teatro Vittorio Emanuele Pagliacci (Tonio)
1908 Roma Teatro Adriano Carmen (Escamillo)
1910 Lisbona Teatro San Carlos Carmen (Escamillo)
1910  Buenos Ayres  Teatro Coliseo Pagliacci (Tonio)
1910 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Coliseo Rigoletto (Rigoletto)
1910 Rosario di Santa Fè  Teatro Colon Pagliacci (Tonio)
1910 Boston  Opera House Pagliacci (Tonio)
1911 Philadelphia  Teatro Metropolitan Pagliacci (Tonio)
1911 Rio de Janeiro  Teatro Municipal Amica (Rinaldo)
1912 Milano Teatro alla Scala Lohengrin (Tetralmondo)
1913 Firenze Politeama Fiorentino Ballo in maschera (Renato)
1914 San Pietroburgo  Teatro Petit Pagliacci (Tonio)
1915 Montevideo  Teatro Solis Carmen (Escamillo)
1916 Pesaro Salone Pedrotti Barbiere di Siviglia (Figaro)
1917 Genova Politeama Genovese Barbiere di Siviglia (Figaro)
1918 Roma Teatro Costanzi Ballo in maschera (Renato)
1919 Firenze  Teatro Della Pergola Barbiere di Siviglia (Figaro)
1919 Chicago Civic Opera House Barbiere di Siviglia (Figaro)
1920 New York Lexington Theater Barbiere di Siviglia (Figaro)
1920 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Colon Lohengrin (Tetralmondo)
1921 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Colon Barbiere di Siviglia (Figaro)
1921 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Colon Ballo in maschera (Renato)
1922 Milano  Teatro La Scala Lohengrin (Tetralmondo)
1924 Milano  Teatro La Scala Lohengrin (Tetralmondo)
1925 Milano  Teatro La Scala Ballo in maschera (Renato)
1925 Lisbona Coliseo Recrejos Pagliacci (Tonio)
1927 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Colon Lohengrin (Tetralmondo)
1929 Milano  Teatro La Scala Ballo in maschera (Renato)
1929 Milano  Teatro La Scala Lohengrin (Tetralmondo)
1930 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Colon Boheme (Marcello)
1930 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Colon Cavalleria Rusticana (Alfio)
1935 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Colon Ballo in maschera (Renato)
1936 Trieste Teatro Verdi Ballo in maschera (Renato)
1938 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Colon Carmen (Escamillo)

Jul 14, 2018

Hermann Schramm (Tenor) (Berlin, Germany 7. 02. 1871 - Frankfurt am Main, Germany 11. 12. 1951)

Like his father, first he became a merchant, but then studied singing and made his debut in 1895 at the Wroclaw Opera House as Gomez in "Nachtlager in Granada" by C. Kreutzer. In the 1896-1900 seasons he worked as a lyric tenor at the Cologne Opera House, then started to appear only in buffo roles. He was a highly respected member of the Frankfurt am Main Opera House (1900-1933). On the German stage he was unequaled Mime in the Ring cycle and David in "Meistersingern". In 1899 he also sang the part of David at the Bayreuth Festival. Already in 1899 he guested at the London Covent Garden Opera. He also had a significant career in Brussels,Paris and Holland. In 1912 he appeared in Amsterdam in the Dutch premiere of opera "Königskinder" by Humperdinck. Other guest appearances took him to the Court Operas of Berlin (1897), Dresden (1898-99) and Munich (1898), to the Court Theater of Hanover (1899), Wiesbaden (since 1900), Karlsruhe (since 1906) and Mannheim (1900), since 1900 also to the City Theater of Zurich. In the 1923-1924 season he took part in the North American tour of German Opera. As a Jew, he retired from the stage in Frankfurt in 1934, but survived during the Nazi era in Frankfurt. His son, Friedrich Schramm (1900-1981), for a long time was director of the Stadttheater of Basel, then director of the Staatstheater in Wiesbaden.

Chronology of some appearances

1895 Wroclaw Opera House
1896-1900 Cologne Opera House
1900-1933 Frankfurt am Main Opera House

Jul 12, 2018

Margaret Burke Sheridan (Castlebar, Republic of Ireland 15. 10. 1889 – Dublin, Republic of Ireland 16. 04. 1958)

First she was trained in Dublin, then at the Royal Academy of Music in London under William Shakespear and completed her education  in Milan with soprano Tina Sconamiglio. In 1911, under the name Margaret Burke-Sheridan, she sang at Dublin in Handel's ‘’Messiah’’. She made her debut in 1918 at the Teatro Costanzi in Roma as Mimi in "La Bohème". She had a great success especially at the Teatro San Carlo in Napoli. In 1921 she sang for the first time at La Scala in Milano, where she became very popular in the following years and appeared here until 1924. In 1923 she sang the part of Olimpia in the premiere of Respighi's "Belfagor". She was highly acclaimed by Giacomo Puccini. Her roles at La Scala included also Wally in the same opera by Catalani and Maddalena in Giordano’s "Andrea Chénier". In 1924, for political reasons, she left the theatre with A. Toscanini, who previously promoted her career. She was also successful at the Arena di Verona and in several guest appearances at the Covent Garden Opera (since 1919). Here she appeared in the first performance of Mascagni's "Iris" (1919). In the 1925-1930 seasons she sang constantly at the Covent Garden Opera. After leaving the stage she returned to her Irish home and worked as vocal pedagogue in Dublin.

Chronology of some appearances

1918 Roma Teatro Costanzi
1919 London Covent Garden
1921-1924 Milano La Scala

Max Rohr (Tenor) (? 1875 – München 1917)

His stage debut took place in 1901 at the Court Theater in Detmold. In 1902 he continued his education and in the 1903-04 season he was engaged by the Municipal Theater of Landshut (Bavaria), from 1904 to 1905 he appeared at the Municipal Theater in Regensburg. In 1905 he became a member of the Carl Theater in Wien, whose member he remained until 1910. Here he sang in numerous operettas and and also participated in the world premieres of "Die Schützenliesel" by Edmund Eysler (1905) and "Zigeunerliebe" of F. Lehár (1910). In the 1910-1913 seasons he sang at the Raimund Theater in Wien, then a season at the local Johann Strauss Theater. From 1915 until his early death, he worked at the Münchner Theater am Gärtnerplatz. He was very successful in operettas of Franz Lehar, Leo Fall, Oscar Straus, E. Kalman and E. Eysler. He retired from the stage in 1917.   

Chronology of appearances

1901 Detmold Court Theater
1903-1904 Landshut Municipal Theater
1904-1905 Regensburg Municipal Theater
1905-1910 Wien Carl Theater
1910-1913 Wien Raimund Theater
1914 Wien Johann Strauss Theater
1915-1917 Münchner Theater am Gärtnerplatz

Jun 15, 2018

Libero De Luca (Tenor) (Kreuzlingen, Switzerland 1913 - Horn, Switzerland 1998)

After studying architecture, he was trained by Max Kraus in Munich as baritone (1932-1934), but then retrained as tenor in Zurich by Alfredo Cairati. After winning a first prize at an international voice competition in Geneva, in 1941, he made his professional debut the following year at the Solothurn Municipal Theatre. After one season at the Bern Municipal Theatre, he joined to the Zurich Opera (1943-1949). There he sang in the premieres of the operas ‘’Der unsterbliche Kranke’’ by Hans Haug (1947) and ‘’Die schwarze Spinne’’ of W. Burkhard (1949). In 1948 he performed at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires and at the Teatro San Carlo in Napoli, in 1949 at the Covent Garden Opera in London; He was also a guest at the opera houses of Brussels, Munich and Vienna. In 1949 he became the first tenor of the Opéra-Comique in Paris, where he appeared in numerous operas of French repertoire. He also sang at the Paris Grand Opéra, thus  in 1948 as Edgardo in ‘’Lucia di Lammermoor’’ opposite Lily Pons. Until 1960 he was a soloist of two major Parisian opera houses. Also at the concert area he had a successful career with appearances in Zurich, Basel and Bern, in Bordeaux, Strasbourg and Paris. In 1961 he retired from the stage. Later he became a full-time voice teacher in Horn, Switzerland, near Lake Constance.

Chronology of some appearances

1941 Solothurn Municipal Theatre
1942 Bern Municipal Theatre
1943 -1949 Zurich Opera
1948 Buenos Aires Teatro Colon
1949 London Covent Garden
1949 Paris Opéra-Comique