Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

Jan 24, 2015

Émile Cossira (Tenor) (Orthez 1854 – Québec 1923)

The real name of this singer was Émile Coussival. He received his education at the Conservatoire de Bordeaux under the pedagogue Sarreau. He made his debut in 1883 at the Opéra-Comique in Paris in the title role of the opera ‘’Richard Coeur-de-Lion’’ by A. Grétry. Then he appeared in Ghent and Antwerp. In the 1886-1887 and 1893-1894 seasons he sang at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels, then at the Opéra National de Lyon. In the 1888-1891 seasons he performed at the Grand Opéra in Paris (debut as Fernando in ‘’La Favorita’’ by G. Donizetti) and appeared here on 21. 3. 1890 in the premiere of the opera ‘’Ascanio’’ of C. Saint-Saëns. In 1891 he travelled around North America and made guest appearances in New Orleans and New York and then sang during three seasons at the Opéra de Nice  (among other things as Werther and Turiddu in ‘’Cavalleria Rusticana’’). In 1894 he sang at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels in the première there of  R. Wagner’s ‘’Tristan und Isolde’’. Then the role of Tristan  he reported at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo. On 30. 12. 1896 he was at the Opéra de Lyon the first French Walther von Stolzing in the première of ‘’Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg’’, while his wife, the mezzo-soprano Emma Cossira appeared as Magdalene. In 1891, 1894 and 1900 he made guest appearances at the Covent Garden in London and among other things sang the role of Raoul in ‘’Huguenots’’ and Don José in ‘’Carmen’’. In 1900 he performed at the Théâtre Lyrique Renaissance in Paris in the premiere of the opera ‘’Le Duc de Ferrara’’ by G. Marty and as a Pylade in ‘’Iphigénie en Tauride’’. In Cairo he appeared as Lohengrin and Nadir in ‘’Pêcheurs de perles’’. In 1901 at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo he sang the role of Samson in ‘’Samson et Dalila’’ of C. Saint-Saëns. In 1902 he appeared at the Teatro Alla Scala in the La Scala première of C. M. von Weber’s ‘’Euryanthe’’ in the role of Adolar, here he also appeared as Carlo in ‘’Linda di Chamounix’’ of G. Donizetti and sang in G. Verdi's ‘’Requiem’’ under A. Toscanini. Later he lived in Canada.

Chronology of some appearances

1883 Paris Opéra-Comique
1886-1887 Brussels  Théâtre de la Monnaie
1888-1891 Paris Grand Opéra
1891 London Covent Garden
1893-1894 Brussels  Théâtre de la Monnaie
1894 London Covent Garden
1896 Lyon Opéra
1900 London Covent Garden
1901 Monte-Carlo Opéra
1902 Milano Teatro Alla Scala


Zonophone, Paris 1904
Prophète (Meyerbeer): Roi du ciel X-82105
Muette de Portici (Auber): Air du sommeil  X-82114

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