Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

Jun 6, 2015

Maurizio Bensaude (Baritone) (Ponta Delgada, Portugal 1863 – Lisbon, Portugal 1912)

He was born into a Jewish family originally from Morocco and his real name was Moises. In 1884 he came to Lisbon, received there a short education and the same year made his debut at the Teatro da Trinidad in Lisbon in Charles Lecocq’s operetta ‘’La petite mariée’’. Then he appeared in operettas and and musical comedies at the Teatro de D. Maria in Lisbon. In 1889 he went to Italy and studied singing under the pedagogue Pozzo and made his real debut in 1891 at the Teatro Sociale in Voghera. In 1894 he appeared at the Teatro Malibran in Venezia. at Rome’s Teatro Costanzi he sang the part of Riccardo in V. Bellini’s ‘’Puritani’’ (1896). He was favorably received and this was followed by ‘’Götterdämmerung’’ (1897). In 1894 he was engaged by the Metropolitan Opera in New York, where he made his debut as Amonasro in ‘’Aida’’. He made guest appearances in Torino (Teatro Vittorio Emanuele, 1899), London (Covent Garden, 1900), Berlin (Kroll Opera House, 1901), Vienna (Theater an der Wien, 1902), Nice (Jetee Promenade, 1903) and Oporto (Teatro San Joao, 1905). In 1910 he picked up his stage career. Now he led temporarily an opera troupe and organized opera performances in the national language in Portugal. He been active as a pedagogue and also worked at the Teatro San Carlo of Lisbon in the sphere of management, but died two years after his farewell stage. Married to the opera singer Julia Defano. His repertoire included Enrico in ‘’Lucia di Lammermoor’’, Germont in ‘’Traviata’’, Lescaut in ‘’Manon’’, Escamillo in ‘’Carmen’’, Marcello in ‘’Bohème’’ and Alfio in ‘’Cavalleria Rusticana’’.

Chronology of some appearances

1894 New York Metropolitan Opera Aida (Amonasro)
1894 Venezia  Teatro Malibran Aida (Amonasro)
1896 Roma Teatro Costanzi Puritani (Riccardo)
1897 Roma Teatro Costanzi (Götterdämmerung)
1899 Torino Teatro Vittorio Emanuele Fedora ((De Siriex)
1900 London Covent Garden Cavalleria Rusticana (Alfio)
1901 Berlin Kroll Opera House Rigoletto (Rigoletto)
1902 Vienna Theater an der Wien Elisir d'amore (Belcore) 
1903 Nice Jetee Promenade Barbiere di Siviglia (Figaro)
1905 Oporto Teatro San Joao Boheme (Marcello)
1908 San Francisco, California Concerts

I wish to thank Antonio Brandão for providing me recordings


Odeon, Lisbon
Noite Serena (Canção Popular) 43125
Fado Hillario (Canção Popular) 43126

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