Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers
Forgotten Tenors: Leon Laffitte (2 photos), Richard Kubla, Luigi Marletta and William Miller

Sep 11, 2014

Louise Kirkby-Lunn (Mezzo-Soprano) (Manchester 1873 – London 1930)




She received her education by J. H. Greenwood in Manchester, then with the help of a scholarship under Alberto Antonio Visetti in London. She made her debut in 1893 (still during her study) at the Drury Lane Theatre in London as Margaret in ‘’Genoveva’’ of R. Schumann and in ‘’Le Roi l'a dit’’ of Delibes. In 1893 she gave her first concert in London. Her real stage debut took place in 1896 at the London Opéra Comique as Nora in the premiere of the opera ‘’Shamus O'Brien’’ of Charles Stanford. In the 1897 to 1899 seasons she appeared as a member of the Carl Rose Opera Company. After her marriage in 1899 she retired from the stage, but in 1901 appeared at the Covent Garden in London, where she sang till 1914 and again in the 1921-1922 season. She took part there in the English premières of the operas ‘’Hérodiade’’ of Massenet (1904), ‘’Hélène’’ of Saint-Saëns (1904) and ‘’Armide’’ of Gluck (1906). In 1902 she was engaged by the Metropolitan Opera in New York, where she sang the role of Ortrud in ‘’Lohengrin’’ as a beginning role. She remained during two seasons in this opera house, where she also appeared as Brangäne in ‘’Tristan und Isolde’’ and as Amneris in ‘’Aida’’. In 1904 she undertook an USA tour with the Savage Opera Comppany with which she sang the role of Kundry in ‘’Parsifal’’ (the first performances in America in English at Boston and in other American towns). In   the 1906-1908 seasons she was engaged again by the Metropolitan Opera in New York, where she appeared now as Fricka and Erda in ‘’Der Ring des Nibelungen’’. At the London Covent Garden in London she created in 1909 in the English première of ‘’Samson et Dalila’’ of Saint-Saëns the role of Dalila. In 1914 she appeared there with great success as Quickly in Verdi’s ‘’Falstaff’’. At the Budapest  Opera she performed in ‘’Aida’’, ‘’Samson et Dalila’’ and ‘’Carmen’’. In 1922 she again sang at the Covent Garden the role of Amneris in ‘’Aida’’. Then she still gave some concerts and then worked as a pedagogue in London.

 Chronology of some appearances

St. John’s Wood Erda 2/3/191903, Ortrud 1/8/1907, Erda 1/24/1907, Fricka 2/26/1907, Ortrud (Filadelfia) 1/7/1908, Fricka 2/11/1908, Waltraute 2/11/1908, Amneris 3/17/1908, Erda (Filadelfia) 3/24/1908 (Filadelfia)

RECORDINGS FOR SALE








HMV, London 1911-07-06
Aida (Verdi): Ebben, qual nuovo fremito with Destinn 2-054023 5145f
Gioconda (Ponchielli): L'amo come il fulgor with Destinn 2-054020 5143f

HMV, London 1911-09-21
Trovatore (Verdi): Stride la vampa 2-053067 z5494f
Samson et Dalila (Saint-Saëns): Amour viens aider ma faiblesse 2-033032 z5495f

HMV, London 1912-07-11
Gioconda (Ponchielli): Voce di donna 2-053074 z6316f

HMV, London 1912-07-15
Gioielli della Madonna (Wolf-Ferrari): T'eri un giorno with McCormack 2-054040 Ho201af


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