Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

Mar 15, 2015

Richard Bonelli (Baritone) (Port Byron, New York 1889 - Los Angeles 1980)


His real name was George Richard Bunn. He studied singing under Arthur Alexander in Los Angeles, then with Jean de Reszke and William Valonat in Paris. He made his debut in 1915 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music as Valentin in C. Gounod’s ‘’Faust’’. From 1922 to 1924 he toured the USA with the San Carlo opera company. After touring in Europe with the Max Sauter Company in 1925 (including appearances at the Monte Carlo Opera, Milan's La Scala), he was engaged at the Theatre Gaite Lyrique in Paris. That same year he was to join the Chicago Opera Company, remaining there until 1931. Between 1926 and 1942 he was a frequent guest at the San Francisco Opera. On December 1, 1932, he made his Metropolitan Opera debut in New York as Germont, remaining on its roster until 1945. Bonelli debuted in Italy as Riccardo Bonelli, making him an international star. He was best known for his Verdi roles, but also was praised for his portrayals of Wolfram, Tonio, and Sharpless. Richard Bonelli also was a movie actor. After retiring from the stage Richard Bonelli dedicated himself to voice pedagogy and was a much-appreciated teacher. He taught at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California and in New York

Chronology of some appearances

Rigoletto 11/21/1922, Tonio 11/25/1922, Valentin 11/28/1922, Tonio 11/30/1922, Sharpless 12/2/1922, Figaro 11/29/1932, Giorgio Germont 12/27/1932, Tonio 1/10/1933, Giorgio Germont 1/16/1934, Lord Enrico Asthon 3/6/1934, Amonasro 3/27/1934, Escamillo 5/14/1938, Il barone Scarpia 12/27/1938, Sharpless 10/4/1946, 1/7/1948 (in Filadelfia).


Brunswick, USA 1920-08?
Smilin' through 5100 4065

Brunswick, USA 1920-12?
Mother o'mine 5100 4736

Brunswick, USA 1928-05-15
Forza del destino (Verdi): Solenne in quest'ora with Mario Chamlee 50142 XE27552-B
Martha (Flotow): Solo, profugo with Mario Chamlee 50142 XE27553-B

Brunswick, USA 1928-05-16
Visione Veneziana 15198 E27561-B

Brunswick, USA 1928-05-17
Bird songs at eventide 15183 E27563-B

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