Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

Mar 4, 2012

Alexander Davidov (Alexander Davidoff) (Tenor) (Poltava 1872 – Moscow 1944)

Ioakim Tartakov and Alexander Davidov

                                                        Canio in ‘’Pagliacci’’

His real name was Israel Levenson. He received early vocal training in church choirs and eventually became a pupil of the well-known professor Camillo Everardi in St. Petersburg (1890-1892). He made his stage debut in 1889 at Ekaterinoslav in Verdi’s ‘’Traviata’’. Then he toured in opera and operetta with various companies, visiting Kharkov, Nizhny-Novgorod and other provincial centers. He then joined the Odessa Opera, and in 1896 joined Mamantov's private opera company in Moscow. In 1900 he was engaged by the Imperial Opera in St. Petersburg (Mariinsky Theatre), and also appeared with great success in  guest performances in Paris. He remained a member of the St. Petersburg Opera (Mariinsky Theatre) until 1914, but because of increasing deafness, he was seldom able to perform after 1912. Between 1914 and 1924 he was active as a concert singer; thereafter he lived abroad for some years, and for a short time worked as regisseur to some Russian opera companies in Paris. He returned to Russia in 1935, and from 1936 until his death in 1944, taught at the Kirov Theatre in Leningrad. Davidov was considered one of the greatest Russian tenors of his time, and sang a wide variety of roles, ranging from the lyrical to the dramatic. It should be noted that, in spite of his deafness, Davidov did record some  electrical recordings while in Paris in the late Twenties, the self-composed song on our disc being one of them.

Chronology of some appearances

1889 Ekaterinoslav  Opera House
1896 Moscow Mamantov's Private Opera Company
1900-1914 St. Petersburg Mariinksy Theatre



G&T, Moscow 1901
The Queen of Spades (Tchaikovsky): What is our life? 22515 256G
Juive (Halevy): Rachel, quand du Seigneur 22518 261G

G&T, St. Petersburg 1901
Il segreto (Tosti)  22808 468x
The donkey and the nightingale, Fable  (Rubinstein) 22809 469x
Africana (Meyerbeer): O Paradis 22810 470x
Night (Why do I love thee, night?) (op 60 n° 9) (Tchaikovsky) 22811  471x
Aida (Verdi): Celeste Aida 22812 472x
Pescatori di perle (Bizet): Mi par d’udire ancora  22813  474x
Cavalleria Rusticana (Mascagni): O Lola 22814 322z
Leave me! (Gypsy song) (A. D. Davidov) 22815 295z
The Queen of Spades (Tchaikovsky): Forgive me, bright celestial vision 22460  2920G

G&T, St. Petersburg 1902
Dubrovsky (Napravnik): O give me oblivion 22062 296z

Gramophone, St. Petersburg 1905
Traviata (Verdi): Un dì felice with Maria Michailova 24389 2967L
Traviata (Verdi): Parigi, o cara with Maria Michailova  24394 2968L
Eugen Onegin (Tchaikovsky): Stzena pered duelyu - Cho zhe? Nachinat? with O. Kamionsky 24388 2833L

Gramophone, St. Petersburg 1907
Faust (Gounod): Il se fait tard with Maria Michailova 24486 6314L

Gramophone, St. Petersburg 1907
Faust (Gounod): Oui, c'est toi, je t'aime with Maria Michailova 24488 6316L
Eugene Onegin (Tchaikovsky) Mazurka and Quarrel scene - You do not dance with Mikhail Sokolsky 24478 6280L

Gramophone, St. Petersburg 1908
Carmen (Bizet): C'est toi! C'est moi! with  Evgenia Zbrueva   024025  316m

Gramophone, St. Petersburg 1909

The evening's golden clounds, Romance (Dargomyzhsky) with Evgenia Zbrueva and Vladimir Kastorsky 024034 420s

Gramophone, St. Petersburg 1909
In the Wild North (Dargomyzhsky) with Maria Michailova and Vladimir Kastorsky 024031 419s

Pathe, St Petersburg 1909?
Africana (Meyerbeer): O paradiso 24373
The last little day  (guitar: Amici) 24375

Gramophone, St. Petersburg -11-09
Traviata (Verdi): Un dì felice with Maria Michailova 2-24072 6907r

Gramophone, St. Petersburg 4-10-10
Don't leave me (Torna a Surriento), Neapolitan romance 4-22184  14927b 

Gramophone, St. Petersburg  6-10-10
Don't go away, stay with me, Gipsy romance (Zubov)  4-22193  14936b

Pagliacci (Leoncavallo): O Colombina 1-75127 6605-0
Pagliacci (Leoncavallo): Vesti la giubba 1-75121 6558-0

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