Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

Oct 22, 2018

Mária Basilides (Contralto) (Ilosvár, Hungary November 11, 1886 – Budapest, Hungary September 26, 1946)




She received her education at the Music Academy of Budapest. In 1911 she made her stage debut at the Volksoper in Budapest; she made her debut in ‘’Quo vadis?’’ by Nouguès. In 1915 she was engaged by the National Opera of Budapest, where she was so popular, that in 1934 she became a lifelong member of this House. Here, on 24. 4. 1932, she sang in the premiere of ‘’Székely fono’’ by Zoltán Kodály. She made successful guest appearances at the Berlin State Opera, at the state operas in Dresden and Munich, at the Opera in Prague and at the Antwerp Opera House. She also toured in Brussels (1929), The Hague (1929) and in Bucharest, gave very successful concerts in Berlin (1927-1929) and London (1930). One of her last stage performances was in Budapest, where she sang the part of an old countess in ‘’Pique Dame’’ by Tchaikovsky (1945). She was considered an outstanding concert singer. In 1937 she sang in a cathedral concert at the Salzburg Festival. She was one of the first singers to support Hungarian folk music, rediscovered by Bela Bartók and Zoltan Kodály, and had a great influence on the entire musical life of her time in Hungary. She made a few records for Parlophon and HMV.

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