Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

Jul 29, 2013

Medea Mei-Figner (Soprano) (Florence 1859 – Paris 1952)

She made her debut in Sinaluga, Italy as Azucena in ‘’Il Trovatore’’. She had a successful career in Europe and South America. During her appearances in Milan she met her future husband, Russian tenor Nicolai Figner (1856-1919). They both joined the Imperial Opera in St. Petersburg, where they had highly regarded careers. Tchaikovsky, a friend of the Figners, wrote part of his opera ‘’The Queen of Spades’’ at their residence. The couple appeared in the 1890 world premiere of that work, Medea as Lisa and Nicolai as Hermann. At the Imperial Opera she and her husband also created roles in ‘’Iolanthe’’ (1892), and Napravnik's ‘’Doubrovsky’’ (1895) and ‘’Francesca da Rimini’’ (1902). The Figners were divorced in 1904; and after the Revolution (1919) she left Russia and lived permanently in Paris. She sang opposite Julian Gayarre (1844 –1890).

Chronology of some appearances

1882 Nice Teatro Municipal Rigoletto (Gilda)
1882  Madrid Teatro Lirico Rigoletto (Gilda)
1884  Montevideo Teatro Solis Favorita (Leonora)
1885  Bergamo Teatro Riccardi Favorita (Leonora)
1903 Montevideo Teatro Solis Adriana Lecouvreur (Adriana)
1903 Buenos Ayres Teatro dell'Opera Tosca (Tosca) opposite Enrico Caruso
1910 San Pietroburgo Teatro Conservatorio Favorita (Leonora)


G&T, St Petersburg 1901
Penso (Tosti) 23122  296x-D-Z2
Night  (Rubinstein) 23123 297x 
Werther (Massenet): Air des larmes  23124 298x-F-Z2
Carmen (Bizet): Habanera 23125 299x
Carmen (Bizet): Chanson Boheme 23131 300x-F-22
Night love and moon (Davidov) 23132 338x-D-2z
Fior che langue (Rotoli) 23133 339x-D-2z 
Tosca (Puccini): vissi d’arte 23134 341x-D-2z 
Pique Dame (Tchaikovsky): Lisa’s aria 23135 342x-D-2z
Le Crucifix (J.-B. Faure) with Nikolai Figner 24057 369x
Do not tempt me needlessly (Glinka) with Nikolai Figner 24058 370x-No-2z
Seagull’s cry (Grodsky) with Nikolai Figner 24059 371x
Mefistofele (Boito): Lontano, lontano with Nikolai Figner 24060 372x
Dubrovski (Napravnik): Ne jamais la voir with Nikolai Figner 373x-No-2z
Harold (Napravnik): Cradle song 23146 436x
Tosca (Puccini): Vissi d’arte 23147 437x
Carmen (Bizet): Habanera  23125X 362z
Night love and moon (Davidov) 23132X 363z
Carmen (Bizet): Chanson boheme 23131X 364z
(Napravnik): Cradle song 23146X 365z-T2-2z
Carmen (Bizet): Seguedille 23080
In the morning I bring you violets (Meyer-Helmund) 23081

Folksongs: Ein Mannlein steht im Walde & unknown song 593b
E canta il grillo (Billi) 642 18246
Stornellatrice (Respighi) 643  18246
Stornellatrice (Respighi) 643A 18246
At the ball (Tchaikovsky) 654 18247

Pathe cylinders & discs, St Petersburg 1903?
Carmen (Bizet): Seguidilla 348505

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