Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

Sep 22, 2022

Nicolae Leonard (Tenor) (Galați December 13, 1886 - Câmpulung December 24, 1928)


Nicknamed "The Prince of Operetta", Nicolae Leonard or Nae Leonard, the son of the locomotive driver from Galati Constantin Nae and the Viennese woman Carolina Schäffer, was born on December 13, 1886 in Bădălani, Galaţi. Shortly afterwards his mother died (March, 1887). His father remarried and moved to Buzău, where he was a employee of the private railway Buzău-Nehoiaş. In December 1893 he appeared at the school celebration and sang the song Soldan Viteazul by Vasile Alecsandri. The celebration took place at the Moldavia Theater. Later he finished primary school in 1897 and entered the high school "Al. Hâjdeu”. Here he learns French very easily, memorizes perfectly the texts and the music of opera and operetta. He also had a passion for the violin, starting to take lessons with the Buzau professor N. Athanasiu. In 1900, Elena, Nae Leonard's second mother, died of a chest disease. Together with his father, he arrives in Bucharest, living in Leonard's grandmother's house. Constantin Nae gives his son to a pension, the famous Otescu Institute. At the age of 16, he manages to join Nicu Poenaru's band. It was in 1903, in Focsani. In 1904 Al . P. Marinescu cast him in the role of an old man, in Fetiţă dulce. A full-fledged singer and actor, he proves supreme maturity. Leonard has nothing to wait for; just the triumph!. Due to the extremely demanding program and due to a pneumonia, in 1910, the tenor Nicolae Leonard is on the verge of death. At one point, the news spread that the "operetta prince" - adored by all audiences, not just women - had died. The country is in mourning, but soon finds out that the information was wrong. And poor Leonard is besieged, literally, by the letters of the fans. In 1916 he appeared with great success in the title role in J. Massenet’s opera "Werther". His wife left for Moldova, with the beginning of the First World War, the tenor remaining in Bucharest, where he will meet the one, who would become his third wife, Dora Stauermann. On January 19, 1920, the Union of Dramatic and Lyrical Artists was created. The hall of the "Lyric Theater" is taken by order of the City Hall, and the company led by Maximilian and Leonard is finally established in Timisoara, where it will have some success, but unfortunately the hall will be burned by flames. The band Grigoriu Lyrical Company will tour in Arad and Oradea. The first season of the lyrical company set up by Constantin Grigoriu ends in September 1904. For a year, the band that Grigoriu had formed leaves the cultural landscape of the Capital. In the summer of 1905, the Grigoriu company recovered, but new people came, including the young tenor Nicolae Leonard. The band is hugely successful with Winterberg's "Happy Heirs." For a long time, Otetelişanu Garden remains the summer headquarters of the Grigoriu Company. Almost a decade after the company's founding, Grigoriu fell ill and relinquished leadership to Maximilian and Leonard. Shortly afterwards, in 1913, he died. However, the band does not break up and continues to play on the stage in Otetelişanu during the summer, touring in winter or playing at the Lyric Theater. In 1922, the band moved back to Bucharest, but due to the decline of the operetta, it would not be a resounding success, and Maximlian withdrew completely from the band, joining the Bulandra couple. Leonard fell ill in 1924, when he received two offers of engagement from France and left for Paris, where he was hired after an audition. In 1925 he made his debut in Lyon, in "Baiadera", representing a great success. He returns to the country, but fails to relaunch the operetta on the lands of Bucharest, being recalled to France, where he will start the tour in Marseille. Sick, with chills and temperature, Leonard will play as if he had nothing, with a resounding success. Following is a series of 40 highly successful shows held in Marseille, with crowded halls. He sang in Paris (1926), at "Mogador". Returns to Bucharest, where he stages the operetta "Countess Maritza", but will have only 10 shows with dubious success. His health is deteriorating. In 1928 he played at the "Alhambra" in the operetta "Fritz". He gives 50 shows in a row, and due to his health, he finds it harder and harder to cope, he has coughing fits right on the stage, and at the last show he collapses on the stage and the show is suspended. He was hospitalized in a sanatorium and not long after was transported to Câmpulung-Muscel, where his father now lived. On December 24, 1928, he passed away, in his father's house, while listening to the gramophone, the plate on which was printed an aria from "Countess Maritza", performed by him.

Aug 19, 2022

Arnaldo Matteucci (Tenor)




His career lasted around 10 years, which he spent mostly at the Italian provincial opera houses. He went abroad only to appear at the Teatro Coliseo in Buenos Ayres. His repertoire included Cavaradossi in ‘’Tosca’’, Alfredo in ‘’Traviata’’, Rodolfo in ‘’Boheme’’, Pinkerton in ‘’Madama Butterfly’’, Almaviva in ‘’Barbiere di Siviglia’’, Ernesto in ‘’Don Pasquale’’. He never made records.


Chronology of some appearances


1919 Roma Teatro Nazionale Tosca (Cavaradossi)

1919 Roma Teatro Nazionale Traviata (Alfredo)

1920 Torino Teatro Verdi Boheme (Rodolfo)

1920 Carpi Teatro Comunale Boheme (Rodolfo)

1920 Ancona Teatro delle Muse Madama Butterfly (Pinkerton)

1920 Faenza Teatro Masini Boheme (Rodolfo)

1921 Palazzolo sull'Oglio Teatro Sociale Boheme (Rodolfo)

1922 Domodossola Teatro Galletti Boheme (Rodolfo)

1922 San Giovanni in Persiceto Teatro Sociale Boheme (Rodolfo)

1922 Domodossola Teatro Galletti Don Pasquale (Ernesto)

1922 Mantova Teatro Sociale Madama Butterfly (Pinkerton)

1922 Milano Teatro Fossati Tosca (Cavaradossi)

1922 Milano Teatro Fossati Traviata (Alfredo)

1923 Milano Teatro Verdi Tosca (Cavaradossi)

1923 Milano Teatro Verdi Traviata (Alfredo)

1923 Merano Teatro Civico Barbiere di Siviglia (Almaviva)

1923 Parma Teatro Regio Madama Butterfly (Pinkerton)

1923 Suzzara Teatro Sociale Madama Butterfly (Pinkerton)

1925 Merano Teatro Civico Boheme (Rodolfo)

1925 Genova Politeama Genovese Boheme (Rodolfo)

1926 Venezia Teatro La Fenice Madama Butterfly (Pinkerton)

1927 Buenos Ayres Teatro Coliseo Tosca (Cavaradossi)

1927 Buenos Ayres Teatro Coliseo Madama Butterfly (Pinkerton)

1927 Buenos Ayres Teatro Coliseo Mefistofele (Faust)

1927 Buenos Ayres Teatro Coliseo Madama Butterfly (Pinkerton)

1927 Buenos Ayres Teatro Coliseo Rigoletto (Duca)

1927 Buenos Ayres Teatro Coliseo Traviata (Alfredo)

1928 Modena Teatro Storchi Tosca (Cavaradossi)

1928 Modena Teatro Storchi Traviata (Alfredo)

Aug 14, 2022

Enzo Bannino (Tenor)


Probably he made his debut in 1910. It seems to me, that his career was limited by appearances only in Buenos Ayres, Montevideo and San Paolo. At the end of his career he performed as comprimario. He never made records.


Chronology of some appearances


1910 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Marconi Rigoletto (Duca)

1910 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Marconi Trovatore (Manrico)

1910 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Marconi Traviata (Alfredo)

1910 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Marconi Tosca (Cavaradossi)

1910 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Marconi Cavalleria Rusticana (Turiddu)

1910 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Victoria Cavalleria Rusticana (Turiddu)

1910 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Victoria Trovatore (Manrico)

1910 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Victoria Traviata (Alfredo)

1910 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Victoria Rigoletto (Duca)

1911 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Marconi Trovatore (Manrico)

1911 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Marconi Pagliacci (Canio)

1911 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Marconi Rigoletto (Duca)

1911 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Marconi Ernani (Ernani)

1912 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Marconi Pagliacci (Canio)

1912 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Marconi Ernani (Ernani)

1912 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Marconi Rigoletto (Duca)

1912 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Marconi Cavalleria Rusticana (Turiddu)

1912 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Marconi Boheme (Rodolfo)

1913 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Marconi Traviata (Alfredo)

1913 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Marconi Trovatore (Manrico)

1913 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Marconi Tosca (Cavaradossi)

1915 Montevideo Teatro Solis Ballo in maschera (Riccardo)

1915 Montevideo  Teatro Solis Pagliacci (Canio)

1915 Montevideo  Teatro Solis Trovatore (Manrico)

1915 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Marconi Pagliacci (Canio)

1916 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Marconi Trovatore (Manrico)

1916 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Coliseo Ballo in maschera (Riccardo)

1917 San Paolo  Teatro San Jose Tosca (Cavaradossi)

1917 San Paolo  Teatro San Josè Traviata (Alfredo)

1917 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Marconi Traviata (Alfredo)

1917 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Marconi Cavalleria Rusticana (Turiddu)

1917 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Marconi Ernani (Ernani)

1919 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Marconi Boheme (Rodolfo)

1919 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Marconi Pagliacci (Canio)

1924 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Coliseo Pagliacci (Arlecchino)

Oct 10, 2021

Giuseppe Micheli (Tenor)


Giuseppe Micheli made his debut in 1909. During his career he rarely made guest appearances abroad (Alessandria 1909/1910 season) and mostly spent his career by performing at the provincial Italian opera stages. At the end of his career he switched to baritone and sang the role of Tonio in ‘’Pagliacci’’ in Torino (Teatro Balbo/1925) and Bergamo (Teatro Nuovo/1926). His repertoire included Cavaradossi in ‘’Tosca’’, Rodolfo in ‘’Boheme’’, Canio in ‘’Pagliacci’’, Don Jose in ‘’Carmen’’, Duca in ‘’Rigoletto’’, Turiddu in ‘’Cavalleria Rusticana’’, Alfredo in ‘’Traviata’’ and Hagenbach in ‘’Wally’’. He retired from the stage in 1926 and taught singing in Italy. Giuseppe Micheli never made records.


Chronology of appearances


1909 Treviglio Teatro Sociale Tosca (Cavaradossi)

1909 Alessandria  Teatro Verdi Tosca (Cavaradossi)

1910 Alessandria  Teatro Verdi Tosca (Cavaradossi)

1910 Asti  Politeama Nazionale Tosca (Cavaradossi)

1910 Alba Teatro Sociale Boheme (Rodolfo)

1910 Bergamo Teatro Sociale Tosca (Cavaradossi)

1912 Pisa Teatro Rossi Boheme (Rodolfo)

Vicenza Teatro Eretenio Boheme (Rodolfo)

1913 Napoli Teatro Mercadante Ballo in maschera (Riccardo)

1913 Como Politeama Lariano Carmen (Don Jose)

1913 Bergamo Teatro Donizetti Wally (Hagenbach)

1914 Pisa Politeama Boheme (Rodolfo)

1915 Genova Politeama Genovese Boheme (Rodolfo)

1915 Parma Politeama Reinach Pagliacci (Canio)

1915 Reggio Emilia Teatro Municipale Pagliacci (Canio)

1915 Asti Teatro Alfieri Boheme (Rodolfo)

1915 Bergamo Teatro Donizetti Boheme (Rodolfo)

1915 Napoli Teatro San Carlo Traviata (Alfredo)

1916 Amica Milano Teatro Dal Verme (Giorgio)

1916 Vigevano Teatro Cagnoni Carmen (Don Jose)

1916 Casalmaggiore Teatro Sociale Rigoletto (Duca)

1916 Roma Teatro Adriano Rigoletto (Duca)

1917 Novara Teatro Coccia Cavalleria Rusticana (Turiddu)

1917 Novara Teatro Coccia Pagliacci (Canio)

1917 Genova Politeama Genovese Cavalleria Rusticana (Turiddu)

1917 Genova Politeama Genovese Pagliacci (Canio)

1917 Como Politeama Lariano Carmen (Don Jose)

1917  Milano Teatro Lirico Carmen (Don Jose)

1917 La Valletta/Malta Teatro Reale Boheme (Rodolfo)

1917 Roma Teatro Costanzi Pagliacci (Canio)

1917 Roma Teatro Costanzi Pagliacci (Canio)

1918 La Valletta/Malta Teatro Reale Boheme (Rodolfo)

1918 Torino Politeama Chiarella Cavalleria Rusticana (Turiddu)

1919 Ravenna Teatro Mariani Carmen (Don Jose)

1922 Lodi Teatro Verdi Carmen (Don Jose)

1925 Torino Teatro Balbo Pagliacci (Tonio)

1926 Bergamo Teatro Nuovo Pagliacci (Tonio)

May 31, 2021

Alexander Ilyich Mozzhukhin (Bass) (Village Sergievka, Saratov Province, Russian Empire August 11, 1878 (or March 11 (23), 1879) - AsnièreS-Sur-Seine, Near Paris July 1, 1952)

He was Born into a peasant family. He graduated from a theological school and a theological seminary in Penza. In 1900 he entered the Moscow Philharmonic School of Music and Drama, where he studied violin until 1903, teachers prof. M. I. Press and V. Bezekirsky. For the last year and a half of his studies there, he simultaneously took singing lessons from the singer prof. Y. Vishnevetskaya. Then he began his artistic career, performing in 1903 in a charity performance on the stage of the Moscow Bolshoi Theater as Ivan Susanin in "A Life for the Tsar " by M. Glinka. In 1904 he performed in Penza on the stage of the Summer Theater. Since that time, since 1904, he took part in concerts of the Circle of Russian Music Lovers. He entered the vocal department at the Moscow Conservatory (teacher M. Medvedev ). However, without completing his studies, in 1905 he began performing in private opera houses.

His career was developed as follows:

1906-1907 - M. K. Maksakov's entreprise, on the stage of the Moscow Solodovnikov Theater.

1908, 1909 - in Kazan

Winter 1909-1910 - in Saratov, Samara (as Boris Godunov); later he came on tour as part of the Yuzhin enterprise.

1909 - made his debut as Melnik in A. Dargomyzhsky 's Rusalka at the Bolshoi Theater.

1910 - in Tiflis.

1911-1914 or before 1921  - in St. Petersburg (Theater of Musical Drama). Since 1914 he performed mainly as a chamber singer.

1915-1920 - toured a lot, sang in the troupe of the permanent opera house under the direction of D. Kh. Yuzhin.

In 1921 he organized the Society of Chamber Music Lovers, where he taught.

1922-1923 - in Moscow, Zimin's Opera.

1923 - in Petrograd (People's House), Yekaterinburg.

He performed a number of concerts abroad together with the accompanist-wife of K. Carini:

May - September 1923-1924 - a tour of Europe: Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, France, England, Italy.

October 1923 - May 1924 - in America.

1924-1925 - in China (Shanghai) and Japan (Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto).

1925 - in Tiflis and Baku.

From 1926 he lived abroad, in exile, where he continued his musical activity, performing both in opera performances and in concerts. Collaborated with the Russian émigré opera troupe A. Tsereteli.

He was buried in the cemetery Cemetery Sainte-Genevieve-des-Bois.

His widow Cleo Carini, returning to Russia from Paris, brought archival materials (over 5 thousand documents) and the singer's things, which are now kept in the Russian State Archive of Literature and Art ( f. 2625), in the Bakhrushin Museum (Moscow) and the Penza Regional Museum of Local Lore.

Einar Nørby (Bass-Baritone) (Thisted, Denmark May 8, 1896 - Copenhagen, Denmark January 12, 1983)


Originally he was employed in the state telegraph service. His voice was noticed in an amateur competition. Then he trained as a singer in the opera school of the Royal Copenhagen Opera under Vilhelm Herold and Valdemar Lincke. He supplemented this with studies with Albert Huberty in Paris. In 1928 he made his debut at the Copenhagen Opera as Mephisto in Gounod's "Faust" and remained active for a long time until 1969 at this largest Danish opera house. In almost 40 years he sang a multitude of very different roles. His repertoire included Basilio in "Barbiere di Siviglia", Osmin in "Entführung aus dem Serail", Sarastro in "Zauberflöte", Figaro in "Figaros Hochzeit", Leporello in" Don Giovanni ", Salomon in "Saul og David" and Henrik in "Maskarade" by C. Nielsen, Daland in "Fliegende Holländer", Landgrave in "Tannhäuser", King Heinrich in "Lohengrin", Pater Guardian in "La Forza del Destino" and Porgy in" Porgy and Bess" by G. Gershwin. He has made guest appearances in Hungary, France and the Scandinavian countries and has been a successful concert and oratorio soloist, making recordings under the labels of Columbia, HMV, Tono, Parlophon and Haydn Society. He also appeared on the radio. He was a teacher at the Funen Music Conservatory and chairman of the Music Students' Association (1956-1960). Married to the pianist Guldborg Laursen (1903 - 2002). Father of the actress Ghita Nørby and opera singer Claus Nørby. He became a Knight of Dannebrog in 1942.

Rudolf Krasa (Bass-Baritone) (Loket, Czech Republic 16. 1. 1859 – Berlin, Germany 24. 7. 1936)


His voice was discovered when, after his service as an officer in the Austrian artillery, he took part in a concert of the German students in Prague. The Prague pedagogue A. Vogel took over his training, after which he started his stage career at the Court theater of Gera (Thuringia). In 1886 he joined to the Berlin Court Opera, then he appeared at the City Theater of St. Gallen, also sang at the Court Theaters of Neustrelitz and Darmstadt and at the City Theater of Zurich. He remained a member of this opera house for many years. He had a sensational successes as Beckmaesser in the "Meistersingern" (1898) and as Alberich in the Nibelungenring (1899), which then resulted in roles such as Biterolf in "Tannhäuser" and Fasolt in "Rheingold". On December 13th, 1904 he appeared at the Königliches Opernhaus in Berlin in the world premiere of Ruggero Leoncavallo's opera "Der Roland von Berlin" and before that he sang in the world premieres of three operas by Wilhelm Kienzl "Der Evangelimann" (May 4, 1895), "Don Quixote" (November 18, 1898 ) and "Heilmar, der Narr" (January 28, 1902). In 1897 he participated also in the world premiere of the opera "Enoch Arden" by Victor Hansmann, in 1899 in the posthumous opera "Regina" by Albert Lortzing. After his retirement (1927), he taught singing in Berlin.

Hermann Gallos (Tenor) (Vienna, Austria 21 January 1886 – Vienna, Austria 20 February 1957)


First he studied law at the University of Vienna, but also took singing lessons at the Vienna Conservatory with Philipp Forstén. He joined the Vienna Academic Choral Society; His voice was discovered on a tour of this choir in North America. In 1915 he made his debut at the Vienna Court Opera; throughout his long career he stayed at this opera house, which later became the State Opera. He was the first tenor buffo at the Vienna Opera and was incredibly popular with opera audiences in the Austrian metropolis. On October 4th, 1916, at the Vienna Court Opera, he took part in the world premiere of the new adaptation of the opera 'Ariadne auf Naxos' by R. Strauss. As early as 1922 he sang the role of Pedrillo in 'Entführung aus dem Serail' at the Salzburg Festival, and since then he has participated in these festivals almost year after year until 1950; here he appeared as Valzacchi in 'Rosenkavalier' (1929-1935, 1937-1939, 1941 and 1946), Pedrillo (1922, 1926, 1932), Jacquino in 'Fidelio' (1927-1929 and 1932-1933), Don Curzio in 'Figaros Hochzeit' (1925, 1927, 1930-1935, 1941), Augustin Moser in 'Meistersingern' (1936-1938) and, as the last part in 1950, the first prisoner in 'Fidelio'. In addition, he repeatedly appeared in the Salzburg Mozart and church concerts. In 1928 he sang in a guest performance by the Vienna Opera at the Grand Opéra in Paris. He was also a highly valued concert and oratorio singer, especially in the context of the Salzburg Festival. Almost until his death he appeared on the stage of the Vienna State Opera and in the concert hall; Since 1937 he has been a professor at the Vienna Music Academy.

Max Meili (Tenor) (Winterthur, Switzerland 11 December 1899 - Zürich, Switzerland 17 March 1970)

His voice was trained by the famous Felix von Kraus in Munich. The artist was then able to distinguish himself as a concert and oratorio singer, devoting himself particularly to the interpretation of early music and the compositions of the Baroque era. The taste of his presentation, the delicacy of the text handling and the nuanced beauty of the voice were emphasized in his performances in his Swiss homeland as well as in Germany, Austria, France and other countries. He made great contributions as a co-founder of the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in 1933, with which he undertook extensive concert tours. Appreciated as a Bach and Handel interpreter, at the same time an important educational activity. In 1955 he founded the Collegium Cantorum Turicense, which, under his leadership, advocated the music of Monteverdi and Heinrich Schütz on an international level. He was considered a specialist in medieval vocal music, works by the Ars nova, the troubadours, trouvères and the minstrels. As an opera singer he only appeared occasionally. In 1936 and 1937 he appeared as a concert singer at the Salzburg Festival, from 1932 to 1937 he made a guest appearance in Berlin, and in 1947 at the Openhaus in Zurich. On May 17, 1931 he took part in the world premiere of the opera "Die Mutter" by A. Hába at the Gärtnerplatztheater in Munich.

Aug 24, 2020

Maria Ivogün (Soprano) (Budapest, Hungary 18 November 1891 – Beatenberg, Switzerland 3 October 1987)


Her real name Maria Kempner was shortened to "Ivogün" after the maiden name of her mother, the operetta singer I (da) vo (n) Gün (ther); her father, Pál Kempner, was an Austro-Hungarian officer; she was not related to the soprano Mizzi Günther, who created Lehár's "Lustige Witwe". She was trained by Irene Schlemmer-Ambros in Vienna. Bruno Walter recognized her outstanding talent and engaged her for his new workplace at the Court Opera in Munich. She gave her debut in Munich in the role of Mimi in Puccini's "La bohème". From 1913 to 1925 she worked as a highly valued prima donna at the Court Opera in Munich; Here she sang the part of Ighino in the world premiere of Hans Pfitzner's "Palestrina" on June 12th, 1917, and in 1918 the title role in "Das Christelflein" by the same composer in a new version of the opera. In Munich she continued to work in the world premieres of the operas "Der Ring des Polykrates" by Korngold (March 28, 1916) and "Die Vögel" (December 4, 1920) by Walter Braunfels. In 1916 and 1919 she made guest appearances at the Berlin Court Opera and the Berlin State Opera, in 1917 at the Dresden Court Opera, in the 1916-1919 at the City Theater of Zurich, in 1919 and 1932 at the City Theater of Basel. From 1921 to 1932 she was married to the tenor Karl Erb (1877-1958), and from 1933 to the pianist and song accompanist Michael Raucheisen (1889-1984). Since 1925 she has belonged to the ensemble of the Berliner Städtische Oper. She made guest appearances at the Covent Garden Opera in London (1924 as Zerbinetta in "Ariadne auf Naxos", one of her great creations, and as Gilda in "Rigoletto", in 1927 as Konstanze in "Entführung aus dem Serail") at La Scala in Milan, brilliant successes at the Vienna State Opera and at the Berlin State Opera. In 1922 she undertook a very successful concert tour through the USA, in 1923 she toured North America as a guest artist with the German Opera Company; she was heard in New York as Frau Fluth in Nicolai's "Lustige Weibern von Windsor". From 1922 to 1923 she sang at the Chicago Opera and made guest appearances with their ensemble in 1926 at the Metropolitan Opera in New York as Rosina in "Barbiere di Siviglia". (However, she did not become a member of this House). At the Salzburg Festival in 1925 and 1930 she was seen as Norina in "Don Pasquale" as well as at recitals and concerts. As a concert singer she also appeared in Budapest (1926, 1933), Paris (1931), Amsterdam (1932, 1933), Oslo (1922), Copenhagen (1932) and in Spain. She was famous as an operetta singer and as an interpreter of coloratura waltzes and canzons. When she made her debut, she had decided to sing for twenty years and not a day longer, which she then did. So she gave up her career in 1932, but sang Zerbinetta again in Berlin in 1934. In 1948 she received a professorship at the Vienna Music Academy, and in 1950 at the Berlin Music Academy. Her students included the famous sopranos Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Rita Streich, Renate Holm, Michi Tanaka and Alexandra Trianti. She spent her twilight years in Beatenberg, where she died very old.

Aug 18, 2020

Jul 29, 2020

Teresa Di Leva (Soprano)

I wish to thank Jerry Carbone for providing information

Francesco Garguilo

Born: Around 1858 (or thereabouts) in Sorrento, Napoli, Campania, Italy (father listed as Antonio, mother unknown) – he died in Sydney Australia in 1915 and at that time his death certificate states he was Caretaker at Her Majesty’s Theatre in Sydney.

Married: Anne Elizabeth ORPWOOD (she was English) in Vichy, Allier, Auvergne, France on 22 Nov 1882. She was described as an Actress (died in 1899 in Sydney Australia) on her death certificate.

The family story was that either or both of them were opera singers – possibly performed or lived in Scotland at some point.

Francesco and Ann and their first child - (Elanor Kate/Eleanor Kate) also known as Annie was born in Mile End, Middlesex, England in 1884/1885 – the three of them emigrated to Australia arriving in 1885.

Family story also states that he was related (a cousin of some kind) of Antonietta Meneghel (Toti Dal Monte). An Australian newspaper article notes that he sang at his daughter’s (Marie Carmella) wedding in 1915 – from what I can gather only a few days before his death. I cannot seem to find any other information as to whether he sang (either professionally or as an amateur).

I wish to thank Helene Murphy for providing me information

Eduard Habich (Baritone) (Kassel, Germany Sept. 3, 1880 - Berlin, Germany March 15, 1960)

He attended the Raff Conservatory in Frankfurt a.M., where he was a student of Max Fleisch. He began his stage career in the 1904-1905 season with an engagement by the City Theater in Koblenz. In the 1905-1906 season he appeared at the Theater von Posen (Poznan), from 1906 to 1907 he sang at the City Theater in Halle / Saale, in the 1907-1910 season he performed at the Opera House in Düsseldorf and from 1910 to 1930 he was engaged by the Hofoper (since 1918 State Opera) in Berlin. He was heard there, among others, in 1924 in the premiere of 'Die Zwingburg' by E. Kr venek, in 1928 in the premiere of the opera 'Der singende Teufel' by Franz Schreker. He gave numerous guest appearances, such as 1908 in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, in 1929 and 1942 at the Sopot Festival (as Alberich and Beckmesser), in 1930 and 1933 at the Grand Théâtre in Geneva (Alberich in ring performances), in 1933 at the Stadttheater in Basel, in 1934 at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels, in 1935 at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, also in 1935 at the Monte Carlo Opera (again as Alberich). His stage roles included Masetto in 'Don Giovanni', Figaro in 'Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Monterone in 'Rigoletto', Alfio in 'Cavalleria Rusticana', Colline in 'La Bohème', Escamillo in 'Carmen', the Laërte in 'Mignon' and the Harlequin in 'Ariadne auf Naxos' by R. Strauss. Alberich was considered to be his major role in the operas of the Ring Cycle, which he also sang at the Bayreuth Festival (1911, 1912, 1914 and 1924-31), where he also appeared as Klingsor in 'Parsifal' and in 1912 and 1924-1927 as Kurwenal in 'Tristan und Isolde'. He also sang the part of Klingsor in 1914 in the Berliner 'Parsifal' premiere. From 1924 to 1936 (and again 1938) he was a regular guest at the Covent Garden Opera in London. In 1928 he appeared in Amsterdam, in the 1930-1932 season sang at the Chicago Opera. In the 1935-1937 seasons he was a member of the Metropolitan Opera in New York, where he made his debut as father in 'Hansel and Gretel'. In 1939 he sang at the State Theater of Kassel in the premiere of the opera 'Elisabeth von England' by Paul von Klenau. In 1944 he was still a guest at the theater in his hometown Kassel as Bartolo in 'Il Barbiere di Siviglia'. After completing his long career, he taught singing in Berlin. Married to the singer Mathilde Schrecker, who was engaged in Koblenz, Krefeld and Düsseldorf.

Jul 1, 2020

Mary C. Carbone (aka Marie Montain) “She Lived for Her Music”

Mary C. Carbone (aka Marie Montain)
“She Lived for Her Music”

Short Bio

Mary C. Carbone was born in the Wyoming mining  coal-camp of Carneyville, Wyo. on 19 January 1914 to the parents, Rosa (Montegna) Carbone and Francisco Carbone.

Mary studied violin and chorus at Sheridan (Wyoming) High School, and in April 1930 won the state high school championship for violin. In 1932 she and her mother set sail for Naples, Italy, where she undertook study for three years at the Conservatorio di Musica San Pietro a Majella. She studied there under Signora Giuseppina de Rogatis, director of the Neapolitan Quartet and Trio;  Signora Rachele Maragalino Mori, director of the singing school at Consevatory in Naples; pianist, Benedetto Rizzo; and  Ottilia Haffeli, composer and music critic.

She concentrated on voice and after she returned to New York City in late 1935, she sang with the J.J. Schubert Operettas. Eventually during the war years, beginning in 1943, she went on tour with the Philadelphia Opera Company, whose primary mission was to bring opera to the mid- sized and smaller cities in the U.S. and Canada to be sung in English. 

She performed as Adele in Mozart’s “Die Fledermaus (English)”and Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia (English), as well as other roles, including, Violetta in La Traviata; Micaela in Carmen; Nedda in Pagliacci; Mimi and Musetta in La Boheme; Marguerite in Faust; Norina in Don Pasquale; Gretel (The Dew Fairy & Sandman arias); and Gilda in Rigoletto.

In the late 1940’s she moved to Santa Barbara, California, and continued singing radio concerts and likely did teaching.

By 1975 she retired to her hometown, Sheridan, Wyoming. She passed away on 31 May 2004.

I wish to thank Jerry Carbone for providing me information and photo

Jun 22, 2020

Sara Melita (Soprano)

She came from Trecastle (South Wales).  Her real name was Sara Davies   [ Davies is a very common family name in Wales. ]

From the BBC Archives:  She was the soprano at the Weds 25 Sep 1912 Queen's Hall   "Proms"
[ I've copied details of the programme below ]

From newspaper archives:

London Standard (Newspaper) – Weds July 8, 1914,

 Advert in “The  Stars and Stripes”,  France  Friday   July 5th, 1918
for the London Coliseum (described as "Europe's Principal Variety Theatre" )
"Present attractions include.. " (amongst others) ".. Sara Melita.. "

A review  dated  July 28th, 1923 relating to the "Welsh concert at Queen's Hall, London, on Wednesday evening" reports:
"Miss Sara Melita has clearly under-gone a long and careful training ; she showed an astonishing mastery of technique, especially in the difficult aria of Verdi's, " Ah ! Fors e lui,"  .
[Other artistes were Miss Elsie Owen (violin), Walter Glynne (tenor) ]

Kindest Regards  Trevor  (Davies.  Almost certainly no relation to Sara )
1912 Programme & Artistes
[ Conductor, Henry Wood; Robert Burnett, base-baritone; The New Queen’s Hall Orchestra]
Felix Mendelssohn:      Overture 'The Hebrides' ('Fingal's Cave')
Edward Elgar:           The Light of Life, Op 29
Giuseppe Verdi: La Traviata - 'È strano! è strano!'
Claude Debussy: Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker, Suite, Op 71a
Benjamin Dale:          Concertstück  (premiere)
Charles‐François Gounod:        Le Vallon (arr. Henry Wood)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart:        Symphony No 39 in E flat major, K543
Frederic Hymen Cowen:   4 English Dances in the Olden Style Set 1
Sir Henry Rowley Bishop:        The Comedy of Errors: "Lo! Here the Gentle Lark"
Sir Arthur Somervell:           Maud. No. 4 O let the solid ground   (Proms premiere)
                                Maud. No. 5 Birds in the high hall garden (Proms premiere)
Richard Wagner: Lohengrin. No. 17 Prelude Act 3

I wish to thank Trevor Davies for providing me information

Charles Moorhouse (Baritone)

He performed with the Moody Manners, Harrison Frewin and Carl Rosa opera companies between 1908 and at least 1917.

I wish to thank Richard V Jones for providing information and photo

Dan Beddoe (Dan Theophilus Beddoe) (Tenor) (Aberdare, Wales, UK March 16th 1863 - New York, USA December 1937)

He won a gold medal in a singing competition in Wales (1882). He emigrated to North America and studied singing first in Pittsburgh and Cleveland, then in New York. After an unsuccessful concert tour in England, he sang in New York churches. In 1903 he made his official debut as an oratorio singer. In 1904 Walter Damrosch selected him for a concert performance of ‘’Parsifal’’. In 1910 he was celebrated at the Cincinnati Festival, where he also achieved great success in 1914, 1920, 1925 and 1927. In 1925 he sang the tenor solo in Mendelssohn's ‘’Elias’’ with great success in New York. From 1925 to 1929 and still in 1934 (71 years old) he was admired in New York at performances of the Messiah by Handel. In 1911 he came to England and sang at the London Crystal Palace at the celebrations for the coronation of George V in Handel's ‘’Messiah’’ and Mendelssohn's ‘’Elias’’. He was considered one of the most important oratorio singers of his era. Enrico Caruso attended his concerts in New York because he admired his incomparable messa-di-voce technique. He didn't appear on stage.

May 28, 2020

Licinio Francardi (Tenor) (Pitigliano December 13, 1920 – Roma March 31, 1994)

He was the third of four children, who was born into a family of barber. In 1939 he began his education at the school of Manfredo Polverosi, an excellent tenor and, at the time, director of the Experimental School of Singing and Dance at the Teatro dell'Opera in Roma and later with Beniamino Gigli, who was an enthusiastic about his vocal qualities and became his protector and friend.  In 1948 he was presented by Gigli himself on the radio with this statement: "authentic golden voice, a voice where you hear not only a beautiful sound but, above all, a soul". In 1949 he took part in "Viotti" International Singing Competition and was the winner. On 11 August 1949 he made his debut as Elvino in "Sonnambula" by Vincenzo Bellini at the Teatro Lirico Sperimentale in Spoleto and on November 3 at the Teatro “Morlacchi” in Perugia as Nemorino in G. Donizetti’s "Elisir d'amore". In 1950 he won the International Singing Competition in Spoleto. Then he appeared in "Sonnambula" and "Puritani" at the major Roman theaters: Teatro dell’Opera, Teatro Argentina, Teatro Costanzi, sharing the scene with singers of the first orders such as the bass Boris Christoff and the soprano Margherita Carosio under the direction of Vincenzo Bellezza and Gianandrea Gavazzeni. He added to his repertoire also "Favorita", "Werther", "Manon Lescaut", "Boheme", "Tosca" and "Il Signor Bruschino" by G. Rossini. In 1953, still on the recommendation of Beniamino Gigli, he signed the contract with CETRA for the recording of operatic arias with the Lyric Orchestra conducted by Arturo Basile. In the 1950-1954 seasons he appeared at the Teatro dell'Opera in Roma, at the Teatro “Pergolesi” in Jesi and other minor performances as well as concerts for various institutions including National Academy of Santa Cecilia in Roma. At the same time and until 1957 he participated in the radio lyric seasons of RAI ("Monte Ivnor" by L. Rocca, "Morte dell'Aria" by Goffredo Petrassi, "Luisa" by Gustave Charpentier, "Antigone" by Lino Liviabella, " From the House of the Dead " by Leos Janacek). Starting in the 60s, he decided to devote himself almost entirely to teaching. From 1973 to 1982 he taught singing in Tampere (Finland). In 1975 he was invited again as vocal pedagogue at the Tokyo College of Music and at the Showa College of Music in Tokyo (Japan). In 1978, at the height of his artistic maturity, his last solo concert was held at Tokyo's Aoyama Tower Hall. On October 1, 1988 he received In Roma, along with other famous Italian opera singers, the award organized by the OIPEC (International Organization for Economic and Cultural Programming) - "Targa d'Oro - Tribute to Beniamino Gigli" at the Sala Borromini and on January 21, 1989 the "Tito Schipa" award (OIPEC) at the Sala della Protomoteca in Campidoglio. He died suddenly in Roma on March 31, 1994.

Ermanno Lorenzi (Tenor)

He made guest appearances at the Vienna State Opera, at the Teatro alla Scala and sang in many other major Italian opera houses and also at the Metropolitan in New York. Here he made hius debut as Cassio in ‘’Otello’’. He was famous as an interpreter of comprimario roles and appeared in parts such as Goro in ‘’Madama Butterfly’’, Pang in ‘’Turandot’’ and Beppe in ‘’Pagliacci’’.

Chronology of some appearances

1965-1966 Lisbon, Portugal (S. Carlos)
1965-1966 Venezia, Italy (La Fenici)     
1968 Genova, Italy (E. A. Comunale dell'Opera)            
1970 Genova, Italy (Comunale dell'Opera)       
1972 Genova, Italy (E .A. Comunale dell'Opera)            
1974 Genova, Italy (E. A. Comunale dell'Opera)            
1975 Genova, Italy (E. A. Comunale dell'Opera)            
1978 Genova, Italy (E. A. Comunale dell'Opera)

Miroslav Staryckyj (Tenor) (also known as Miroslav Grygorovich Skala-sStaryckyj; alias Miro Skala) (Skala-Podilska, now Borshchiv district of Ternopil region, Ukraine June 13, 1909 - Epine, Suburb of Paris, France February 17, 1969)

He studied in high schools in the cities of Stanislav (now Ivano-Frankivsk) and Lviv. Then he graduated from the Higher Music Institute. M. Lysenko (1939) and the Ukrainian State Conservatory (1941) in Lviv and the Vienna Music Academy (1942). He worked as a soloist at the Ukrainian National Theater named after Ivan Tobilevich, from 1939 to 1941 he was a soloist of the Lviv Radio. He performed his first roles at the Lviv Opera House. He appeared in the cities of Lviv (1941-1942), Kaiserslautern (1943-1944), Vienna (Folksoper, 1945-1947), Madrid (1948), Barcelona (Gran teatro del Liceo, 1948-1949), Paris (Opera Comique, 1949), Lille (1949), Bordeaux (1949, 1950), Zurich (1950), Brussels (Theater Royal de La Monnaie, 1953-1963), San Francisco (1959). From 1940 to 1960 he appeared in solo concerts in Berlin, Munich, Prague, Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Paris, New York, Detroit, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Chicago), Vancouver, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Edinburgh, Leicester, London, Manchester, Nottingham, Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. In 1963 he organized his own music and drama studio, where he taught singing to Ukrainians. He is active in the public-art life of Ukrainian emigration. Miroslav Staryckyj was married to soprano Eugene Lasovskaya.

May 16, 2020

Johanna Gadski (Soprano) (Anklam, Prussia 15 June 1872 – Berlin, Germany 22 February 1932)

Johanna Emilia Agnes Gadski. She was blessed with a secure, powerful, ringing voice, fine musicianship and an excellent technique. These attributes enabled her to enjoy a top-flight career in New York City and London, performing heavy dramatic roles in the German and Italian repertoires. She made her debut at the Kroll Opera in Berlin (1894), Covent Garden (1898), Metropolitan Opera (1900), Munich (1905), Salzburg (1917); became leader of Wagnerian touring company (1920s). Johanna Gadski was one of the first Victor Red Seal artists and made almost 100 recordings during her career. Singing in Germany between 1889 and 1895, she debuted at age 17 in Lortzing's Undine at the Kroll Opera in Berlin. When she joined New York's Metropolitan Opera in 1900, she became one of the company's leading Wagnerian sopranos although she performed Mozart and Mahler ably as well. Also a recitalist, Gadski was one of the few to include songs by American composers on her program. An extremely popular recitalist, Gadski was much loved by audiences but fared less well with critics who complained that her pitch varied, her interpretation was flawed, and that she had a limited emotional range. Numerous recordings, however, demonstrate that she had a large voice with a pure tone. Her recordings, in fact, are considered classics. Gadski was forced to discontinue her American career during World War I due to anti-German sentiment, but she returned as a popular performer after the Armistice. She formed her own Wagnerian touring company in the 1920s which performed in Europe and the United States. Johanna Gadski died in an auto accident on February 22, 1932. Records kept her voice alive, giving Gadski a much deserved reputation—far greater than the one she enjoyed in her lifetime.