Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

Sep 24, 2019

Roberto Rotondo (Tenor)



He made his debut in Italy, then went to USA. In 1921 he appeared at the Aeolian Hall in New York opposite Riccardo Stracciari, Giulia Grilli and Margita De Re. In 1922 he sang as tenor in Paramount Pictures. In 1924 he performed at the Teatro San Carlo in Napoli in ‘’Traviata’’ and ‘’Tosca’’ . Probably he had a short career. He made recordings/songs for Vocalion, Victor, Columbia and Pathé.

Chronology of some appearances

1924 Napoli Teatro San Carlo Traviata (Alfredo)
1924 Napoli Teatro San Carlo Tosca (Cavaradossi)

Ugo Cantelmo (Tenor) (Lecce, Italy 01 Apr 1904 - 13 Dec 1980 Milan, Italy)





First he received his education at the University of Rome
He studied singing under Emilio Piccoli in Milan
In 1929 he made his stage debut at the Teatro Adriano in Rome as Turiddu in ‘’Cavalleria Rusticana’’
He retired from the stage in 1941
He recorded opera arias and songs for Disco Grammofono

Chronology of some appearances

1929 Roma Teatro Adriano Cavalleria Rusticana (Turiddu)
1931 Roma Teatro Adriano Barbiere di Siviglia (Almaviva)
1932 Macerata Teatro Lauro Rossi Boheme (Rodolfo)
1932 Macerata Teatro Lauro Rossi Cavalleria Rusticana (Turiddu)
1932  Genova Teatro Margherita Rigoletto (Duca)
1932 Genova Teatro Paganini Rigoletto (Duca)
1932 Genova Teatro Paganini Traviata (Alfredo)
1932 Genova Teatro Margherita Tosca (Cavaradossi)
1932 Genova Teatro Margherita Traviata (Alfredo)
1932 Genova Teatro Modena Tosca (Cavaradossi)
1932 Genova Teatro Modena Traviata (Alfredo)
1932 Genova Teatro Paganini Tosca (Cavaradossi)
1933 Forlì Teatro Comunale Boheme (Rodolfo)
1933 Forlì Teatro Comunale Cavalleria Rusticana (Turiddu)
1938 Busto Arsizio Spazio Nuova Piscina Comunale Barbiere di Siviglia (Almaviva)
1940 Messina Teatro Savoia Rigoletto (Duca)
1941 Palermo Teatro Biondo Don Pasquale (Ernesto)

Sep 18, 2019

Paul Schwarz (Tenor) (Vienna, Austria 1887, 30/6 – Hamburg, Germany 1980, 24/12)




He made his debut at the Stadttheater in Bialitz in 1909, went on to the Vienna Volksoper, and in 1912 joined the Hamburg Opera, where he remained until 1933. In  Hamburg he appeared in over 4000 performances of 145 roles. Although he sang such leading roles as Manrico in Il Trovatore and Turiddu in Cavalleria Rusticana, he was extensively utilized as a comprimario. He specialized in such roles as David in Die Meistersinger, Pedrillo in Die Entführung aus dem Seraglio, and Don Basilio in Le Nozze di Figaro. Although his center was Hamburg, he also frequently sang in Berlin, Vienna, Amsterdam, and Paris. In addition, he also had great success as an operetta singer. Because of the Nazis, he was forced to leave the Hamburg Opera in 1933 and emigrated to the United States. At the end of the War, he returned to Hamburg and in 1949 appeared again at the Opera as Basilio. Schwarz died in Hamburg in 1980, at the age of 93.

Sep 14, 2019

Felix Senius (Tenor) (Konigsberg, Germany 19-09-1868 - Konigsberg, Germany 01-10-1913)




In 1872 his father became director of the Azov Commercial Bank in St. Petersburg, where the artist spent his youth. He entered his father's bank, but already in 1895 gave charity concerts in St. Petersburg. After studying singing with Ippolit Pryanishnikov in St. Petersburg (1900), he gave his first recitals in the Russian metropolis and sang the tenor solo in a performance of the "Messiah" by Handel. Glittering concerts took place in the big cities in Russia, Germany, Sweden and Finland. He moved to Berlin and became one of the most important concert tenors of his time; One saw in him the successor of Gustav Walter. In the 1905-1911 seasons he performed in concerts in Vienna. In 1906 he appeared in Brno, in 1911 he sang in Prague. In England he was admired mainly in "L'Enfant prodigue" by Debussy and "The Dream of Gerontius" by E. Elgar. In 1910 he participated in the world premiere of the 8th Symphony ("Symphony of the Thousand") by Gustav Mahler in Munich. He died after being poisoned by fish at a banquet given by the city of Königsberg. He was married to the soprano Clara Senius-Erler, who later worked as a lecturer at the Conservatory of Leipzig and still appeared in concerts in 1918. His brother, Rudolf Senius (1865-1924), worked as an operetta singer and as a director. 

Miklos Gafni (Tenor) (Tiszacsege, Hungary 1923. 05. 28 – Queens, New York City 1981. 03. 08)




When the Nazis took over Hungary, Gafni was put into a concentration camp and condemned to death. He and others in the  camp similarly awaitng death engaged in musical activities, and Gafni studied voice with one of his fellow-prisoners. The commandant of the camp was a music lover, and hearing Gafni sing, introduced him to German Lieder. He also spared Gafni from his ultimate fate, allowing him to survive the War. Still young, he returned home after the War and money was raised to send him to Italy to study. His teachers were Riccardo Stracciari and Aureliano Pertile, two of the finest singers of pre-War Italy. Gafni also received encouragement from Beniamino Gigli, and began to concertize in Italy. He then received concert engagements in England, Australia, and South Africa. He finally came to the United States, where he made his debut at Town Hall with great success, receiving the common accolade, "the young Caruso". His greatest claim to fame was in recording the first complete La Juive by Halevy, sponsored by a Jewish-American organization. Because of a limited operatic repertoire and technical deficiencies in his singing, he was not offered a contract with any major opera company, and returned to Hungary about 1960, where he is believed to have continued his vocal career.

Aug 27, 2019

Ugo Ugaro (Baritone) (Italy 1914 – Paris, France 4 December 1999)




His real name was Ugo Garbaccio. In 1936 he made his debut in concert at the Teatro La Fenice in Venezia. In 1945 he appeared at the Grattacielo and at the Splendor a San Pier d'Arena in Genova. I think in Italy he participated only in concerts. Later he went to France and under the name Ugo Ugaro performed at the provincial opera houses. His repertoire included Scarpia in ‘’Tosca’’, Rigoletto, Nelusko in ‘’Africana’’, Tonio in ‘’Pagliacci’’, Figaro in ‘’Barbiere di Siviglia’’ and Renato in ‘’Ballo in maschera’’. After his retirement, he taught singing in Paris and among his pupils was bass-baritone Michael Vier. He made a few records for Pacific in Paris.

Chronology of some appearances

1936 Venezia Teatro La Fenice Concert
1945 Genova Grattacielo Concert
1945 Genova Splendor a San Pier d'Arena Concert

Harry Lambert Murphy (Tenor) (Springfield, Massachusetts 1 April 15, 1885 – Hancock, New Hampshire July 25, 1954)





He was a Harvard University student and sang in a university choir. In 1908 he finished his scientific studies. On the advice of tenor Riccardo Martin he studied singing under Isadore Luckstone and Herbert Witherspoon. He became a soloist of St. Bartholomew's Church in New York and appeared at the concert hall in 1908 with the Boston Festival Orchestra and the Handel and Haydn Society. His stage debut was in 1911 at the Metropolitan Opera in New York as young sailor in "Tristan und Isolde" under Arturo Toscanini. A day after his debut, he participated at the Metropolitan Opera in the American premiere of the opera "Lobetanz" by Ludwig Thuille. Until 1914 he remained at the Metropolitan Opera, where he participated in various premieres: in 1912 in the American premiere of "Le Donne curiose" by Wolf Ferrari, in 1913 in the premiere of "Cyrano de Bergérac" by Damrosch, the same year in the first performance of the "Rosenkavalier", in 1914 in the premiere of Charpentier's "Julien" as a partner of Enrico Caruso and Frances Alda. After 1914 he appeared as a concert and oratorio singer and was one of the leading performers in North America. In the 1930’s he appeared in many concerts and especially valued as an evangelist in the passions of J. S. Bach; the Dutch oratorio singer Tom Denijs described him as the best evangelist he had ever heard. Around 1940, after a larynx surgery, he retired and since then worked as teacher at the Malkin Conservatory in Boston.

Chronology of some appearances

1911-1914 New York Metropolitan Opera

Aug 23, 2019

Mischa Léon (Tenor) (Copenhagen, Denmark 1889 – USA ? April 7, 1926)




His real name was Harry Haurowitz. He studied singing under Jean De Reszke, Devillier and Reinhard. Probably he made his debut in 1918 at the Opéra-Comique in ‘’Roméo et Juliette’’ as Romeo. In Brno he studied Leoš Janáček's ‘’The Diary’’ with Břetislav Bakala and sang in the original Czech (1922). First he appeared in the British premiere at Wigmore Hall in London (22 October, 1922), then sang in the French premiere at the Paris Conservatory. He toured the USA and Europe and performed as Don José in ‘’Carmen’’ at the National Theater in Prague. Also gave a recitals in Denmark. He was the second husband of the well-known Canadian soprano Pauline Donalda.

Aug 20, 2019

Frans Vroons (Tenor) (Amsterdam, Netherlands April 28, 1911 - ’S-Hertogen-Bosch, Netherlands June 1, 1983)




First he studied with Berthe Seroen in Amsterdam, later also in Paris. Already as a student he sang at the Amsterdam Wagner Association and in student appearances of the Conservatory in Amsterdam. In 1938 he appeared as Don Curzio in "Figaros Hochzeit" under Bruno Walter in Amsterdam. In 1939 he sang in Scheveningen the part of Don Basilio in the same opera under Carl Schuricht. In 1941 he became a principal tenor of the Dutch Opera in Amsterdam and in the opening performance he performed in Wagenaar's "Doge van Venetië". After the Second World War he became internationally known; he sang at the Grand Opéra and at the Opéra-Comique in Paris, at the Covent Garden Opera in London (1948-1950). In North America he was heard at the New York City Center Opera as De Grieux in "Manon" by J. Massenet and as Hoffmann in ‘’Les Contes d'Hoffmann’’. At the San Francisco Opera he appeared opposite Bidu Sayão in "Manon" (1951). He created the title role in Benjamin Britten's "Peter Grimes" for Holland (1955) as well as at the Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux. At the Holland Festival he sang the part of Hüon in "Oberon" (1950). In 1960 he appeared in the premiere of the opera "Martin Korda" by Henk Badings. Later he became co-director of the Dutch Opera (1956-1971), where he also worked as director of the opera school. He took up residence in Vught near s'Hertogenbosch and worked in Utrecht, s'Hertogenbosch and in the Hague.

Arthur Endrèze (Baritone) (28 November 1893, in Chicago – 15 April 1975, In Chicago)




Arthur Endrèze, whose real name was Arthur Krackman, First studied agronomy at the University of Illinois. The conductor Walter Damrosch discovered his talent and advised him to study singing. He came to France in 1918 and became a pupil of the American Conservatory in Fontainebleau, later of Jean de Reszke in Paris. In 1925 he made his debut at the Opéra de Nice as Don Giovanni. Reynaldo Hahn was enthusiastic about the voice of the singer, and until 1929 he sang at the opera performances that he organized in Cannes and Deauville. In 1928 he joined to the Opéra-Comique in Paris (debut as Karnac in ‘’Le Roi d'Ys’’ by E. Lalo). In 1929 he made his debut at the Grand Opéra as Valentin in ‘’Faust’ by C. Gounod; Here he sang in a number of world premieres:  ‘’Guercoeur’’ by Magnard (1931), ‘’Maximilien’’ by Milhaud (1932), ‘’Un jardin sur l'Oronte’’ by Bachelet (1932), ‘’La Chartreuse de Parme’’ by Sauguet (1939). On March 11, 1937 he sang in Monte Carlo in the premiere of the opera ‘’L'Aiglon’’ by Honegger and Ibert. During the German occupation of France (1940), as an American citizen he went to United States. After the war, he came back to France and appeared in 1946 at the Grand Opéra in sensational performances of the biblical opera ‘’Joseph’’ of Méhul as Jacob. His other stage performances included Herodes in ‘’Hérodiade’’, Nevers in ‘’Huguenots’’, Hamlet, Athanaël in ‘’Thaïs’’, Valentin in ‘’Faust’’, Iago in ‘’Otello’’, Germont in ‘’Traviata’’, Scarpia in ‘’Tosca’’, Telramund in ‘’Lohengrin’’ and Amonasro in ‘’Aida’’. After his retirement in 1948 he became a professor at the Conservatory of Kansas City, but returned to France and taught singing in Paris, last in Chicago. He married Jeanne Krieger-Beligne (1887-1973), Chef de chant at the Opéra.


Chronology of some appearances

1925 Opéra de Nice
1928 Paris Opéra-Comique
1929 Paris Grand Opéra
1937 Opéra de Monte-Carlo
1946 Paris Grand Opéra

Jul 12, 2019

Charles Panzéra (Bass-Baritone) (Geneva, February 16, 1896 – Paris, June 6, 1976)




Charles Auguste Louis Panzéra. He volunteered during the First World War in the French army and was twice wounded. Then he studied singing at the Conservatoire National in Paris. He made his debut in 1919 at the Opéra-Comique in Paris as Albert in "Werther" by J. Massenet. Gabriel Fauré dedicated his song cycle "L'Horizon chimérique" to him. He was generally considered one of the greatest song interpreters of his time. Concert tours have brought him brilliant success in the music metropolises in Europe as well as in America. He had a cordial friendship with composers such as Arthur Honegger, Darius Milhaud, Albert Roussel, Vincent d'Indy and Guy Ropartz. He was also a great interpreter of the German art song from Schubert to Hugo Wolf and sang classical vocal works by Lully, Rameau, Handel, J. S. Bach and other masters. Since 1926 he gave a recitals every year in England and Holland. On stage, he appeared only rarely, mostly as Pelléas, which he sang in Amsterdam and Florence. During his recitals, he was often accompanied by his wife, the pianist Magdeleine Panzéra-Baillot. In 1956 he finished his concert career. After teaching intermittently at the Juilliard Music School in New York, he worked as a vocal teacher in Paris since 1946 and in 1951 he was appointed as professor at the Conservatoire National de Paris, where he served until 1966.


Chronology of some appearances

1919 Paris Opéra-Comique Werther (Werther)
1920 Paris Opéra-Comique Le Roi Candaule (Alfred Bruneau)
1920 Paris Opéra-Comique Le Sauteriot (Sylvio Lazzari)
1921 Paris Opéra-Comique Dans l'ombre de la Cathédrale (Georges Hüe)

Achille Braschi (Tenor) (Rome, Italy 1909 - Rome, Italy 23. 2. 1983)




He was trained by Morini in Rome and began his career in 1934. He reached the peak of his career after the Second World War, when performed at the leading Italian stages as heroic tenor. He sang at the festivals of Florence, Verona and in the Roman Baths of Caracalla and gave guest performances especially on French operatic stages. He appeared at the Opéra National de Lyon and at th Opéra National de Bordeaux (1959) and from 1957 to 1963 at the Opéra de Marseille, also in the 1961-1962 season sang at  the Teatro San Carlo in Napoli.

Chronology of some appearances

1957-1963 Opéra de Marseille
1958 Genova Politeama Genovese
1959 Opéra National de Lyon
1959 Opéra National de Bordeaux
1960 Genova Genovese ricostruito

Dec 16, 2018

Giuseppina Arnaldi (Soprano)



She began her career in 1945 at the Municipal Theater of Lecce, where she made her debut as Gilda in ‘’Rigoletto’’. In 1948 she won the first prize in a singing competition of the RAI. In the 1949-1956 seasons she was often heard at the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma. In 1955 she appeared at the Teatro alla Scala in the premiere of the opera ‘’Il Giuduzio Universale’’ by V. Tosatti. She also gave guest performances in Spain, West Germany, France and Switzerland. In the post-war years she sang as a guest, on stages of Italy, Austria and Greece. Her best performances on stage included Elvira in ‘’I Puritani’’, Gilda in ‘’Rigoletto’’, Rosina in ‘’Barbiere di Siviglia’’ and Musetta in ‘’La Bohème’’.

Robert Burg (Baritone) (Prague, Czech Republic 29 March 1890 – Radebeul, Germany 9 February 1946)




His real name was Robert Bartl. After initial studies in mathematics, he was trained by Hans Pokorny in Prague. He made his debut in 1914 at the Theater of Aussig as Valentin in ‘’Faust’’ by C. Gounod. In the 1915-1916 season he sang at the Deutschen Theater in Prague and made guest appearance at the Stadttheater in Augsburg. Since 1916 he was a member of the Hofoper (since 1918 Staatsoper) in Dresden. Here he appeared until 1944. Together with artists such as Tino Pattiera and Meta Seinemeyer he was significantly involved in the Verdi Renaissance of the 1920’s in Germany. On 14. 1. 1918 he performed in Dresden in the world premiere of the opera ‘’Der Eroberer’’ by Jan Brandts-Buys, on 9. 9. 1926 in Hindemith's' ‘’Cardillac’’, on 21. 5. 1925 the title role in the world premiere of Ferruccio Busoni’s' ‘’Doktor Faust’’, in 1930 in the world premiere of Mark Lothar's opera ‘’Lord Spleen’’. From 1933 to 1942 he sang at the Bayreuth Festival. In 1935 he appeared at the Festival of Sopot as Hans Sachs in ‘’Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg’’ and as Colonna in ‘’Rienzi’’, in 1924 and 1928 he sang at the Vienna State Opera, in 1924 and 1931 at the Städtische Oper in Berlin. He also performed in Zurich, Munich, Amsterdam and Budapest. Robert Burg suffered a heartbeat during a concert in Dresden.

Dec 15, 2018

André Baugé (Baritone) (Toulouse 4 January 1893 - Clichy-La-Garenne 25 May 1966)




He was the son of an operetta singer Anna Tariol-Baugé (1872-1949) and a singing teacher. Originally he wanted to become a painter, studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and exhibited a portrait in the Parisian ‘’Salon’’. He received his education under his parents. In 1912 he made his debut in Grenoble under the name André Grillaud. In 1914 he became a soldier in the French army, in the war he was twice wounded and appointed Knight of the Legion of Honor. In 1917 he joined to the Opéra-Comique of Paris (debut: Frédéric in ‘’Lakmé’’). Until 1925 he was a member of the Opéra-Comique, where in 1923 he appeared in the world premiere of ‘’La brebis égarée’’ by Darius Milhaud. In 1924 he sang at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo the  role of Escamillo in ‘’Carmen’’, in 1925 at the Théâtre Marigny in Paris in ‘’Monsieur Beaucaire’’ of  Messager and then appeared mostly in operettas. In 1929 he became a director of the Théâtre Trianon-Lyrique in Paris, in the 1936-1937 season sang at the Opéra de Marseille, in 1938 at the Théâtre Châtelet, in 1940 at the Théâtre Mogador in Paris. In 1934 he performed at the Théâtre Lyrique de la Porte Saint-Martin in Paris in the premiere of the opera ‘’Fragonard’’ by Gabriel Pierné. He also participated in several French films. Since 1946 he became a professor of the École normale de Musique in Paris. Married the soprano Suzanne Laydeker.

Dec 11, 2018

Marie Goetze (Contralto) (Berlin, Germany November 2, 1865 - Berlin, Germany February 18, 1922)




She received her education at the Sternska Conservatory. She studied singing also under Désirée Artôt. She made her debut at the Berlin Kroll Opera as  Azucena in ‘’Trovatore’’ and sang here in the 1884-1887 seasons, in Hamburg she appeared from 1887 to 1890. In the 1890-1891 season she appeared at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.In 1892 she became the first contralto at the Berlin Opera House. In 1907 she performed in Stockholm at a concert. 

Dec 9, 2018

Germaine (Léontine Angélique) Lubin (Soprano) (Paris, France 1 February 1890 – Paris, France 27 October 1979)




She attended the Collège Sévigné in Paris and originally wanted to study medicine. Then she trained under Isnardon and Martini at the Conservatoire National in Paris. She was also taught by the famous Felia Litvinne. In 1912 she made her debut at the Opéra-Comique in Paris as Antonia in "Les contes d'Hoffmann". In 1913 she appeared in the premiere of the opera "Le Pays" by Guy Ropartz. In 1914 she was engaged by the Grand Opéra in Paris and remained for thirty years. In 1927 she had a special success there as Octavian in the premiere of the R. Strauss’s "Rosenkavalier". She appeared at the Grand Opéra in the world premieres of the operas "La Légende de St. Christophe" by Vincent d'Indy (6. 6. 1920), "Maximilien" by Darius Milhaud (5. 1. 1932) and "La Chartreuse de Parme" by Henri Sauguet (16. 3. 1939). In 1930, her Leonore was admired at the Grand Opéra in "Fidelio" under Bruno Walter, in 1928 her Cassandre in "Les Troyens" by H. Berlioz. In 1930 she sang in Amsterdam the title role in Gluck's "Iphigénie en Tauride". Guest performances have brought her great international success. So she sang in 1931 at the Salzburg Festival  the part of Donna Anna in "Don Giovanni", at the Covent Garden Opera in London in 1937 as Alceste by Gluck and the Ariane in "Ariane et Barbe-bleue" of Dukas, in 1938 the role of Kundry in "Parsifal". At the Bayreuth Festival she appeared in 1938 as Kundry, in 1939 as Isolde in "Tristan und Isolde". In 1933 she sang at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo the role of Octavian in "Rosenkavalier", at the Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in "Castor et Pollux" by Rameau (1935). In 1942 she sang the role of Charlotte in ‘’Werther’’ at the centenary for Jules Massenet in Paris. In 1944 she was arrested on suspicion of collaboration with the German occupying forces, but the subsequent process completely rehabilitated. In 1950 she gave a final concert at the Paris Salle Gaveau. Later she taught singing in Paris and among her pupils were Régine Crespin, Udo Reinemann, Nadine Denize, Émile Belcourt, Pierre Fleta and Rachel Yakar.

Robert Jysor (Baritone) (Neuilly Saint Front (Aisne) le 23/05/1893 - Les Mureaux le 05/11/1982)




His real name was Robert Bidaut. His father was a doctor, who died during the World War I. He received his first vocal lessons from his mother, who was a singer. Then he appeared in Montmartre cabarets and noticed by the director of Gaîté-Lyrique who helped him to join the troupe alongside with Louise Dhamarys, Georges Foix and Leon Ponzio. He sang the repertoire of baritone (Rip, Les Saltinbanques, Le Grand Mongol, 1922). He appeared in the premieres of ‘’Amour de Princesse’’ by Louis Urgel (October 1923) and ‘’La Hussarde’’ by Félix Fourdrain (February 1925). On October 9, 1926 he made his debut at the Opéra-Comique in ‘’Manon’’. He appeared in  ‘’Les contes d'Hoffmann’’, ‘’La Traviata’’, ‘’Paillasse’’, ‘’Lakmé’’, ‘’Herodiade’’. He appeardd in the premieres of ‘’Le Poirier de Misère’’ by Marcel Delannoy (1927) and ‘’Resurection’’ of Franco Alfano (1927). Between 1928 and 1930 he also shared the room of Ba-Ta-Clan directed by Jean Casanova at 50 boulevard Voltaire; he joins the Rozani, Henri Monval, Régianne, Clairefeuille and Jane Morlet to interpret his favorite roles De Montlandry of the Little Duke, Jean Robichon of the Cockade of Mimi Pinson, Brissac of the Musketeers at the Convent, Pippo of the Mascotte, Surcouf de Surcouf, Rodolphe of the Little Bride, and Didier de la Teresina. In 1931, after a change of direction and a series of disagreements with the Opéra-Comique, he left his theatre. He joins André Randall, Xavier Lemercier, R. Vincent, J. Brochard, F. Saala, R. Carlez, V. Troïzka and E. Carise on the stage of the Folies-Bergères. In 1932 he appeared in a series of short films made for Paramount with Champini and Tramel directed by Karkoff. Then continued his career at the music halls, performing in Bobino (1934) with Marainne Oswald and Mireille. At the Théâtre de Belleville (1935) with La Houppa. In 1938 with Georgette Plana, Pierre Clarel and Antonin Berval at the Alambra (1938). In 1938 he perfomed on the Radio des Mélodies by Marcel Vidal-Saint-André. After the Second World War his career seems to fall asleep little by little. In 1951 he made one of his last appearances at the Théâtre du Châtelet opposite Luis Mariano and Janes Rhodes.

Dec 8, 2018

Fanny Heldy (Soprano) (Ath, Hainaut, Belgium 29 February 1888 - Neuilly-Sur-Seine, France 13 December 1973)




Her real name was Marguerite-Virginie Emma Clementine Deceuninck. Her father was Belgian, her mother was English. She received her education at the Conservatory of Liège and made her debut  in 1910 at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels as Elena in ‘’Ivan le Terrible’’ of Gunsbourg. She stayed there for two seasons, then sang in Vichy and Aix-les-Bains and was engaged in 1917 by the Opéra-Comique in Paris. Here she made her debut as Violetta in ‘’Traviata’’. For more than twenty years she was a soloist of this opera house and since 1920 (debut as Juliette in ‘’Roméo et Juliette’’ by C. Gounod) also became a member of the Paris Grand Opéra. Here she sang in several world premieres: on March 14, 1921 in ‘’Antar’’ by Gabriel Dupont, on October 23, 1924 in ‘’Nerto’’ by Charles-Marie Widor, on January 12, 1928 in ‘’La Tour de Feu’’ by Sylvio Lazzari, on 15th May 1929 in ‘’Persée et Andromède’’ by J. Ibert, on 21. 3. 1935 in ‘’Le Marchand de Venise’’ by Reynaldo Hahn. At the Opéra de Monte-Carlo she appeared on 11. 3. 1937 in the premiere of the opera ‘’L'Aiglon’’ by Honegger and Ibert, whose title role was composed for her. In 1923 she was celebrated at the La Scala in Milan as Louise in G. Charpentier’s opera ‘’Louise’’ under A. Toscanini. In 1925 and 1928 she sang with similar success the part of Mélisande in ‘’Pelléas et Mélisande’’. In 1926 and 1928 she made guest appearances at the Covent Garden Opera in London as Manon of J. Masssenet, Concepcion in M. Ravel's ‘’L'Heure espagnole’’. In 1927 she was a guest at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires. In 1939 she retired from the stage and then lived with her husband Marcel Boussac at a castle in the Loire Valley.

Yvonne Brothier (Soprano) (Saint-Julien-l'Ars, Vienne 6 June 1889 - Paris, France 22 January 1967 )




Since 1910 she studied singing at the Conservatoire de Paris under Paul Vidal, Albert Wolff and Marguerite Long. She also received her education at the Paris Sorbonne and at the École du Louvre. After her appearances in Brussels (1914), she began her real stage career in 1916 at the Opéra-Comique in Paris. Here she made her debut as Lakmé. For almost twenty years she was one of the most prominent artists of this house. On 8. 4. 1920 she sang there in the premiere of the opera ‘’Le Sauteriot’’ by Sylvio Lazzari and on 9. 3. 1923 in the world premiere of Samuel-Rousseau's opera ’’La Hulla’’. In 1923 she sang at the Opéra-Comique in a gala performance of ‘’Le roi d'Ys’’ by Lalo on the composer's 100th birthday. Since 1931 she was also heard at the Grand Opéra in Paris and performed there in 1931 in the premiere of the opera ‘’Virginie’’ by A. Bruneau. In 1927 she guested in Amsterdam as Mélisande in the Dutch premiere of this opera ‘’Pelléas et Mélisande’’ by Debussy and in 1928 as Micaela in ‘’Carmen’’. In 1929 she was heard at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo as Sophie in ‘’Werther’’ and as Suzanne in ‘’La Croisade des Dames’’. From 1934 to 1939 she participated in the annual seasons lyric organized by Maurice Lehmann at the Théâtre Porte-Saint-Martin. In 1939 she retired from the stage, since then she taught singing in Paris.

Dec 4, 2018

Maurice Dubin (Tenor) (1885-1950)




Maurice’s career spanned more than 50 years in Europe and the United States and without exception was referred to as “The Great Russian Tenor”.
Maurice began his career under the tutelage of Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky when he was just 7 years old. In later years in England, he was coached by Hugo Heinz and represented by H. Bernhardt. His appearances included among others, the Royal Albert Hall and a command performance before King George V of England, as solo artist with a 125-piece symphony orchestra, conducted by Thomas Beecham. One of his favourite operatic roles of all time was in “Cavalleria Rusticana”. Maurice was in popular demand all over the United Kingdom where he was likened to the late Caruso. It was said he was one of the world’s greatest voice technicians and had a brilliant range from a low F to an F above high C.
Maurice and his partner Rosie Dubin (Mezzo Soprano) emigrated to America in 1922 after World War 1. In 1925 Maurice produced his own opera in Chicago. Whilst continuing his opera and concert work in the Northwest of America, he sang for President Roosevelt. In the 1930’s he was originator and director of the Northwest Civic Opera company of Seattle. In addition, Maurice together with Ivan Novikoff opened up the Russian School of Ballet and Opera.
In 1937 Maurice took the Grand National Opera Company on tour of the West Coast of America, producing a number of popular operas and some lesser known works such as the Chocolate Soldier and Billy Forget Me Not.
Maurice’s last big work was a concert presented during the opening ceremonies of the First Narrows Bridge (Galloping Gertie) in 1940.
Maurice and Rosie toured all over America but made Gig Harbour their permanent home. After the Second World War, Maurice continued to teach Voice coaching and technique until illness forced him into retirement.
Maurice died in June 1950.

I wish to thank Katherine Gorman for providing information and photo

Dec 3, 2018

Dmitri Tarkhov (Tenor) (Penza, Russia March 30, 1890 – Moscow, Russia October 5, 1966)




He was born in the family of a railway engineer. In 1908, after graduating from high school, he entered the law faculty of Moscow University. From 1915 to 1918 he studied at the Moscow Conservatory with V.M. Zarudnaya. In addition he perfected his vocal under N. P. Davydova. These classes lasted only three months, but they gave a lot to the young singer. He made his debut in Saratov (1918). In the 1920s-1930s he performed on the operatic stages of Sverdlovsk, Perm, Saratov, Astrakhan, Tsaritsyn (now Volgograd), Baku and other cities, performing the leading tenor parts (Lensky, Berendey, Prince, Synodal, Igorevich, Faust, Herman, Golitsyn, Canio, Radames, Jose, Alfred, Duke). He also sang in the theaters of Moscow (“People’s House”, “Free Opera”, the musical theater named after Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko). From 1936 to 1958 he worked at the All-Union Radio. He was one of the main singers of the opera group formed on the radio. This period includes a number of the best performing achievements of the singer. He sang the parts of Don Juan (“The Stone Guest” by A. S. Dargomyzhsky), Des Grieux and Cavaradossi (“Manon Lescaut” and “Tosca” by G. Puccini), Riccardo (“Ballo in maschera” by G. Verdi), Kiribeyevich (“The merchant Kalashnikov ”by A. G. Rubinshtein) etc. From 1948 to 1966 he taught in the class of singing at the Gnessin State Musical College. When he was a student at the Moscow Conservatory, he worked with M. M. Ippolitov-Ivanov in composition. He wrote a series of romances (not published). A lot of energy was spent by him in the sphere of literary activity, working as translator. On the radio, using his literary texts, the operas Fra-Diavolo by Aubert and Gioconda by A. Ponchielli were produced and recorded. He translated in Russian songs of Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn and others.

Dec 1, 2018

Hermine Bosetti (Soprano) (28 September 1875, Vienna - 1 May 1936, Hohenrain or Munich)




Her real name was Hermine von Flick. She studied singing under Ms. Aurelie Jäger-Wilczek in Vienna and made her debut in 1898 at the Hoftheater in Wiesbaden as Ännchen in ‘’Freischütz’’. She remained there until 1900 and in the 1900-1901 season sang at the Vienna Court Opera. Since 1901 until her retirement (1926) she was a member of the Munich Court Opera. In 1903 she appeared in the Munich premiere of the opera ‘’Le Donne curiose’’  by Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari (in the Residenztheater) as Colombine, in 1906 she sang here (again at the Residenztheater) in the premiere of the opera ‘’I Quattro Rusteghi’’ by E. Wolf-Ferrari, in 1912 at the Court Opera in the world premiere of the opera ‘’Franfreluche’’ by Wilhelm Mauke. In 1910 she created G. Puccini's Butterfly for Munich, in 1911 the Octavian in R. Strauss’s ‘’Rosenkavalier’’ and J. Massenet's Manon, in 1913 the Zerbinetta in ‘’Ariadne auf Naxos’’ by R. Strauss. She appeared as a guest in 1905 and 1914 at the Berlin Court Opera, in 1910 at the Court Opera in Dresden, in the 1908-1911 seasons several times at the Vienna Court Opera,  in the 1905-1915 seasons at the Court Theater of Stuttgart, in 1907 at the Deutsches Theater in Prague, in 1908 at the Vienna Volksoper, from 1906 to 1915 at the Frankfurt a.M. Opera House, also at the opera houses of Cologne and Leipzig, at the Stadttheater in Bremen, in 1906 and 1907 at the Riga Opera House, in 1912 at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels and in 1921 at the Stadttheater in Basel. Guest performances also brought her great successes in Russia; she sang in St. Petersburg among others as a partner of Mattia Battistini. In 1912 she made guest appearances at the Municipal Theater of Zurich as Susanna in ‘’Figaros Hochzeit’’, Violetta in  ‘’Traviata’’ and as Frau Fluth in ‘’Lustigen Weibern von Windsor’’. At the Covent Garden Opera (1907) she appeared in ‘’Bartered bride’’ by B. Smetana's and ‘’Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg’’ of R. Wagner. In 1913 she was heard at His Majesty's Theater of London in the English premiere of the Richard Strauss’s opera ‘’Ariadne auf Naxos’’. The same season, again at the Covent Garden Opera she sang the role of Octavian in R. Strauss’s ‘’Rosenkavalier’’. She remained active until 1926 at the Munich Opera (1924-1926 as a guest). From 1924 to 1930 she was a teacher at the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt a.M., then in Munich. Her daughter Elly Bosetti appeared in the 1930’s as soprano (debut in 1935 at the Municipal Theater of Bamberg as Lola in ‘’Cavalleria Rusticana’’).

Nov 20, 2018

Elisabeth Rethberg (Soprano) (Schwarzenberg, Germany 22 September 1894 – Yorktown Heights, New York 6 June 1976)




Her real name was Lisbeth Sättler. Already in her childhood, she showed an amazing musical talent and performed Schubert songs at the age of seven. First she studied piano (1912-1913), then singing at the Conservatory of Dresden, and finally with the Dresdner educator Otto Watrin. She made her debut at the Dresdner Hofoper in 1915 as Arsena in "Zigeunerbaron" and had her first great success there as Agathe in "Freischütz". In 1919 she sang the role of Empress in the Dresden premiere of  "Frau ohne Schatten" by R. Strauss. On 11. 12. 1917 she appeared in Dresden in the premiere of Hans Pfitzner's "Christelflein", on 23. 2. 1920 in Hugo Kaun's "Der Fremde". Then  she performed at the Hofopern in Vienna and also in Berlin. She was very successful at the Leipzig Gewandhaus concerts. She remained in Dresden until 1922 and then joined to the Metropolitan Opera in New York, where she had brilliant successes from 1922 to 1942. Her debut role in New York was Aida. Here she also sang in 1928 in the premiere of Respighi's  "Campana sommersa".  Arturo Toscanini called her voice the most beautiful soprano he has ever heard. In the 1928-1940 seasons she performed again and again at the San Francisco Opera,  from 1934 to 1941 at the Chicago Opera; she also appeared at the Ravinia Festival near Chicago. In 1923 and 1928 she sang at the Havana Opera,  in 1925 and from 1934 to 1939 at the Covent Garden Opera in London, in 1929 at La Scala in Milan (as Aida under Toscanini) and in 1934 at the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma. In 1936 she appeared with great success in R. Strauss’s  "Rosenkavalier" at the Covent Garden Opera in London. She was also heard in her native country: on June 6, 1928 she appeared in the title role at the Staatsoper in Dresden in the world premiere of R. Strauss’s opera "Die Ägyptische Helena". At the Salzburg Festival she sang the role of Konstanze in Mozart’s "Entführung aus dem Serail" (1922), in 1933 she performed as Leonore in "Fidelio" and in 1937 as Donna Anna in "Don Giovanni", in 1933 she sang the soprano solo in the G. Verdi’s ‘’Requiem’’. Concert tours have taken her through North America, Canada, Australia and Europe. Her first husband was the merchant Albert Doman. In 1957 she married the baritone George Cehanovsky (1892-1986). In 1942 she retired from the stage. In 1944 she gave a final concert at the New York Town Hall. She continued to live in New York. Her repertoire included Aida, Donna Anna, Desdemona, Leonora in "Trovatore", Butterfly, Tosca, Agathe in "Freischütz", Maddalena in "Andrea Chénier", Sieglinde, Elsa, Elisabeth in "Tannhäuser" and Sieglinde in "Walküre".

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.