Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

Mar 17, 2015

David Bispham (Baritone) ( Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1857 - Manhattan, New York City 1921)

He first sang as an amateur in church choruses in Philadelphia. In 1886 he went to Italy, where he studied with Vannuccini in Florence and Francesco Lamperti in Milan; later studied in London with Shakespeare and Randegger. He made his operatic debut as Longueville in Messager’s ''La Basoche'' (English Opera House, London, Nov. 3, 1891), in which his comic acting ability, as well as his singing, won praise. He made his first appearance in serious opera as Kurwenal in ''Tristan und Isolde'' (Drury Lane, June 25, 1892). He was particularly effective in the Wagnerian baritone roles; made his American debut with the Metropolitan Opera in N.Y. as Beckmesser (Nov. 18, 1896), and was on the Metropolitan roster 1896-97, 1898-99, and 1900-03. He was a strong advocate of opera in English. A Soc. of American Singers was organized under his guidance, presenting light operas in the English language. He publ. an autobiography, A Quaker Singer’s Recollections (N.Y., 1920). A Bispham Memorial Medal Award was established by the Opera Soc. of America in 1921 for an opera in English by an American composer.

Chronology of some appearances

Friedrich von Telramund 12/25/191900, Alberich 1/24/191901, 1/31/191901, Kurwenal 12/26/191901, Sixtus Beckmesser 1/9/191902, Urok 2/18/191902, Friedrich von Telramund 12/11/191902, Wolfram von Eschenbach 12/23/191902, Alberich 1/27/191903, 2/3/191903, 2/5/191903, Sixtus Beckmesser 3/17/191903 (in Filadelfia).


G&T, London 1902-06

Falstaff (Verdi): Quand'ero paggio 2-2686 1992b 
My love Nell (arr Fox) 2-2689 1998b
Drink to me only with thine eyes (trad) 2-2683 1993b
Hark, hark the lark (Schubert) 2-2684 1994b

Mapleson cylinders, New York 1903
Walküre (Wagner): Wotans Abschied

G&T, London 1903-08-20
Tannhäuser (Wagner): Als du in kühnem Sange 042050 266c

Columbia, New York 1906-03?
Der Wanderer (Schubert) 30018
Who is Sylvia? (Schubert) 30020

Columbia, New York 1906-06-14
Faust (Gounod): Dio possente 30037

Columbia, New York 1907-08-07
Acis and Galatea (Händel): O ruddier then the cherry A5095 5033M

Columbia, New York 1909-02-09
Elijah (Mendelssohn): It is enough 30212 A5100

Columbia, New York 1909-02-24
Faithful Johnny (Beethoven) 30149 A5121
Ivanhoe (Sullivan): Ho, Jolly Jenkin 30218 A5099
The pretty Creature (Storace) 30220 A5121
By Celia's Arbour (Mendelssohn) 30221 A5100

Columbia, New York 1909-08-14
Trovatore (Verdi): Il balen A5137 30286
Ivanhoe (Sullivan): Woo thy snowflake 30287 A5137

Columbia, New York 1910-10-04
Samson (Händel): Honor and arms A5332 30544
Messiah (Händel): Why do the nations A5332 30545
Paulus (Mendelssohn): O God have mercy A5258 30546

Columbia, New York 1911-05-19
Rock'd in the cradle of the deep (Gooch)  30766 385

Columbia, New York 1911-05-22
Danny Deever (Damrosch) (w. orch) A5021 30773

Columbia, New York 1911-06-23
Oft in the Stilly Night (Stevenson)  30792 384
The Banks of Allan Water (Horne) A5377 30791

Columbia, New York 1912-04-08
Loch Lomond (trad) A5420 36352
Hedge Roses (Schumann) A5420 36355

Columbia, New York 1912-10-23
The Arrow and the Song (Balfe)  36473 384

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