Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

Apr 23, 2012

Riccardo Martin (Tenor) (Hopkinsville, KY 1874 - New York 1952)



His real name was Hugh Whitfield Martin. He was granted an endowment which allowed him, in 1901, to go to Paris to study with Giovanni Sbriglia and Jean de Reszke; he later completed his studies with Vincenzo Lombardi in Florence and Beniamino Carelli in Naples, he sang Andrea Chénier at Verona. His first American appearances were at the French Opera House in New Orleans during the 1906-07 season. Shortly thereafter he made his Metropolitan Opera debut (20 Nov 1907) as Faust in Mefistofele, which also featured the debut of Feodor Chaliapin. He toured with the San Carlo Opera Company and in 1907 made his Metropolitan début as Arrigo Boito's Faust; he remained with the company until 1915. Martin appeared in three world premieres of American works at the Metropolitan: Converse's Pipe of Desire (18 Mar 1909), Parker's Mona (14 Mar 1912), and Damrosch's Cyrano (27 Feb 1913). Collectively, those works were only mounted thirteen times at that house. He made his Covent Garden début in 1910 as Pinkerton, also singing Giacomo Puccini's Des Grieux, Radames, Faust, Cavaradossi, Angel Clare (Frédéric d’Erlanger's Tess) and, in 1911, Canio and Dick Johnson. He appeared at Boston and in Chicago (1920–23) as Radames, Nicias (Thaïs) and Don José. He had a voice of great beauty, though lacking in individuality, and a fine presence, but he suffered comparison with Caruso throughout his career. Martin died in New York City in 1952.

Chronology of some appearances

1907 New York Metropolitan Opera  Mefistofele (Faust)
1910 London Covent Garden Madama Butterfly (Pinkerton)



Edison 4-min cylinders, New York 1908?
Trovatore (Verdi): Ah! si, ben mio B161 BA 28113
Cavalleria Rusticana (Mascagni): O  Lola B162 BA 28158
Тоsca (Puccini):  E lucevan le stelle B181
Cavalleria Rusticana (Mascagni): Brindisi 191
Goodbye  (Tosti)  BA 28167

Victor, 1910-02-24
Als die alte Mutter (Dvorak) 87051 B8656

Victor, 1910-03-07
Tosca (Puccini): E lucevan le stelle 87050 B8658
Madama Butterfly (Puccini): Lo so che with Rita Fornia and Antonio Scotti 87503 B8704

Victor, 1910-12-07
Madama Butterfly (Puccini): Amore o grillo 87081 B9690

Victor, 1910-12-08
Walkure (Wagner): Siegmunds Liebeslied 88276 C9694
Cid (Massenet): O Souverain 88316 C9695
Cavalleria Rusticana (Mascagni): Addio alla madre 88277 C9696

Martin by Stampanoni

1 comment: