Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

Aug 21, 2016

Carmen Bonaplata-Bau (Soprano) (Barcelona, Spain 1871 - Barcelona, Spain 11/2 1911)

She was the daughter of the Spanish author Teodoro Bonaplata. In 1886 she made her debut at the Teatro Dal Verme in Milano in G. Verdi’s ‘’Aida’’. During her career this part remained her special star role . In 1891 she appeared at the Teatro Argentina in Roma again as Aida. In 1890 she married the conductor Lorenzo Bau. In the 1892-1893 season she sang at the Teatro alla Scala in Milano. Here she made her debut as Isabella in ‘’Cristoforo Colombo’’ and participated also in performances of R. Wagner’s ‘’Fliegenden Holländer’’ and in ‘’Il figliuol prodigo’’ by A. Ponchielli. In 1894 at the same opera house she sang the part of Sieglinde in R. Wagner’s ‘’Walküre’’ and in the title role in A. Catalani’s ‘’Loreley’’, in 1897 as Elisabetta in ’’Don Carlo’’. In 1894 she was active at the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genova, in 1896 in Buenos Aires. In the 1896-97 season she was to be heard at the Teatro San Carlo in Napoli. She undertook a tour through the USA and appeared as a guest at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo (1901) and at the Court Operas of St. Petersburg and Moscow (1897). In 1900 she was active at the Teatro Regio in Parma, where she sang the part of Aida opposite the Spanish tenor Carlo Barrera. As Gioconda she appeared with great success at the Teatro Regio in Torino (1892) and at the Teatro Politeama in Palermo (1893). She retired from the stage in 1904. Her daughter Carmen (Carmelita) Bau de Bonaplata, like her mother, became a respected soprano and appeared with success at italian and Spanish operatic stages.

Chronology of some appearances

1886 Milano Teatro Dal Verme Aida (Aida)
1890 Verona Ristori Aida (Aida)
1891 Roma Teatro Argentina Aida (Aida)
1891 Bergamo Riccardi Aida (Aida)
1891 Bergamo Riccardi Cavalleria Rusticana (Santuzza)
1891 Bari Piccinni Cavalleria Rusticana (Santuzza)
1891 Barcellona Liceo Aida (Aida)
1891 Barcellona  Liceo Lohengrin (Elsa)
1892 Santander Principal Africana (Selika)
1892 Siviglia San Ferdinando Aida (Aida)
1892 Bilbao  Arriaga Aida (Aida)
1892 Torino Teatro Regio Gioconda (Gioconda)
1892 Milano Teatro alla Scala Cristoforo Colombo (Isabella)
1893 Palermo Politeama Gioconda (Gioconda)
1893 Madrid  Reale Lohengrin (Elsa)
1893 Madrid Reale Gioconda (Gioconda)
1894 Cadice Principal Africana (Selika)
1894 Cadice Principal Aida (Aida)
1894 Cadice Principal Norma (Norma)
1894 Varsavia Imperiale Aida (Aida)
1894 Milano Teatro alla Scala Walküre (Sieglinde)
1894 Milano Teatro alla Scala Loreley (Loreley)
1895 Montevideo Solis Aida (Aida)
1895 Varsavia Imperiale Otello (Desdemona)
1896 Lisbona San Carlos Africana (Selika)
1896 Lisbona  San Carlos Lohengrin (Elsa)
1896 Buenos Ayres Opera Africana (Selika)
1896 Buenos Ayres Opera Aida (Aida)
1896 Brooklyn  Academy of Music Andrea Chenier (Maddalena)
1896 Philadelphia Academy of Music Andrea Chenier (Maddalena)
1897 Buenos Ayres Opera Andrea Chenier (Maddalena)
1897 Montevideo Solis Andrea Chenier (Maddalena)
1897 Montevideo Solis Africana (Selika)
1897 Milano Teatro alla Scala Don Carlo (Elisabetta) 
1899 Valencia  Principal Africana (Selika)
1899 Lisbona San Carlos Mefistofele (Margherita)
1900 Parma Teatro Regio Aida (Aida)   
1901 Parma Teatro Regio Tosca (Tosca)
1901 Siviglia San Ferdinando Africana (Selika)
1901 Siviglia  San Ferdinando Lohengrin (Elsa)
1902 Valencia Principal Tosca (Tosca)
1902 Barcellona  Liceo Tosca (Tosca)
1902 Vera Cruz  Dehesa  Traviata (Violetta)

Carmen Bonaplata-Bau never made recordings


  1. No musical excerpt on which to comment.

  2. Thank you for your very useful information.

  3. My great grandmother was her assistant, I am from Bacelona, my grandma, who is still alive, always told me the story of how she went to Argentina and Italy, I have some postcards of the time. But no photo of them together or any other details. Her familiy was friends with my grandma, because her daughter and my grandma were close age.