Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

Apr 4, 2016

Jean Martapoura (Baritone) (Brussels, Belgium 1860 - Brussels, Belgium 1929)

Originally Baron van Heekeren. He studied singing at the Conservatoire de Bruxelles  and on 05. 04. 1886 made his debut at the Paris Opéra as Grand Prêtre in E. Reyer's ‘’Sigurd’’. In the 1890’s he had a huge success at the Grand Opéra in Paris. Here he appeared in the following opera premieres: ‘’Ascanio’’ by C. Saint-Saëns (21. 3. 1890), ‘’Le Mage’’ by J. Massenet (16. 3. 1891). In 1891 he was engaged by the Metropolitan Opera in New York (debut: Mercutio in ‘’Roméo et Juliette’’ opposite Victor Capoul, Jean and Édourad de Reszke). At the MET, during his engagement in the 1891-1894 seasons, his repertoire included Valentin in ‘’Faust’’, Nevers in ‘’Les Huguenots’’, Oberthal in ‘’Le Prophète’’, Escamillo in ‘’Carmen’’, Frédéric in ‘’Lakmé’’ and Alfio in ‘’Cavalleria Rusticana’’. In 1894 he appeared in Chicago as Albert in the American première of J. Massenet’s ‘’Werther’’. He made guest appearances in Boston and Chicago. After his return to Europe, he performed as a guest at the opera houses of Brussels, Monte Carlo and Nice. By the end of his career he was active also as an operetta singer. Later he lived in Brussels.

Chronology of some appearances

1886 Paris Grand Opéra Sigurd (Grand Prêtre)
1891 New York Metropolitan Opera Roméo et Juliette (Mercutio)
1894 Chicago Opera House Werther (Albert)


Zonophone, Bruxelles 1902-01/03?
Hamlet (Thomas): O vin, dissipe la tristesse 1227

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