Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

Jan 21, 2015

Frank Forest (Tenor) ( St. Paul, Minnesota 1896 – Santa Monica, California 1976)

His real name was Frank Hayek. Descended from a family of musicians, he studied engineering in Minnesota University. During his education he appeared as an amateur singer in concerts and operetta performances. The famous tenor Mario Chamlee advised him to continue his studies in Italy. His stage debut took place in 1928 at the Opera House in Faenza in G. Puccini’s ‘’La Bohème’’. Then he appeared in Turin, Parma, Bari, Venice, Palermo and at the Royal Theatre in Malta. Afterwards in Italy and later in England he began a career in sound films, which he continued during the 1930’s in Hollywood. Here he appeared in music films opposite Grace Moore and Gladys Swarthout. In 1935 he sang at the Chicago Opera in A. Boito’s ‘’Mefistofele’’ as a partner of Ezio Pinza. He made guest appearances in San Francisco, Cairo, Oslo (here among other things together with Toti dal Monte) and in 1932 performed at the Teatro Alla Scala. Llater he lived in Los Angeles. In 1934 he made some records for Excelsius under the name Franco Foresta, under which he sang in Italy. The same records later were brought out on another small Italian brand Italo Disco under the name Francesco (Franco?) Forti. 

I wish to thank Victor Toledo for sending me photo articles

Chronology of some appearances

1928 Faenza Opera House
1935 Chicago Opera


Excelsius 1934
Gioconda (Ponchielli): O grido di quest'anima with Domenico Mastronardi M7104  25M/884
Pêcheurs de perles (Bizet): Mi par d'udir ancora M7207 25M/891
Pêcheurs de perles (Bizet): Del tempio al limitar with Domenico Mastronardi 25M 891

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