Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

Mar 8, 2016

Alfred Piccaver (Tenor) (February 5, 1883 Long Sutton, England - September 23, 1958 Vienna, Austria)



His voice was discovered in Tirol by Angelo Neumann, who engaged him to appear at the Deutsche Theater in Prague. In 1907 he made his debut there as Roméo in ‘’Roméo et Juliette’’ by C. Gounod. After his stage debut he trained under Prochazková-Neumannová in Prague and with Rosario in Milan.  In Prague the famous baritone Mattia Battistini recognized his talent and insisted on the fact, that Piccaver should become his partner in ‘’Rigoletto’’ and ‘’Ballo in maschera’’. In 1910, together with Mattia Battistini, he came to Vienna, where he was so successful, that he was engaged in 1912 by the Staatsoper of Vienna. Here, as a partner of Maria Jeritza, he appeared in 1913 in the première of G. Puccini’s ‘’La Fanciulla del West‘’, later he sang also in the Viennese première of ‘’Il Tabarro’’. Till 1937 he performed as the famed first tenor at the Staatsoper in Vienna. He had an effortless top to his voice and a beautiful middle, qualities that Piccaver would safeguard to compulsion. He was apt to cancel a performance if, he thought, during the course of warming up, that his middle register was not 100 percent to his satisfaction. One critic observed, "Piccaver has already arranged all his indispositions a year ahead." Almost annually he guested at the Staatsoper in Berlin (debut as Fenton in "Lustigen Weibern von Windsor" by Nicolai). In 1924 he sang at the Covent Garden in London (as Duke in ‘’Rigoletto’’ and Cavaradossi in ‘’Tosca’’). At the Salzburg festival he sang in 1927 the part of Don Ottavio in ‘’Don of Giovanni’’ and Florestan in ‘’Fidelio’’. In the 1923-1925 seasons Piccaver appeared at the Chicago Civil Opera. Shortly before outbreak of the Second World War he left Vienna and worked till 1955 as a concert singer and later as vocal pedagogue in London, then came back to Vienna and as a guest took part in the opening of the Vienna Staatsoper (1955). He remained educationally active up to his death in Vienna.

Chronology of some appearances

1907 Prague Deutsche Theater Romeo et Juliette (Romeo)
1913 Vienna Staatsoper La Fanciulla del West (Johnson)
1914 Vienna Hofoperntheater Parsifal (Parsifal)
1923 Chicago Civil Opera Rigoletto (Duke)
1924 London Covent Garden Rigoletto (Duke)
1924 London Covent Garden Tosca (Cavaradossi)
1926 Vienna Staatsoper Andrea Chenier (Andrea Chenier)


Odeon, Berlin 1912-06?
Favorita (Donizetti) Spirito gentil Odeon 99935 xB5656
Carmen (Bizet) Blumenarie 99929 xB5664
Faust (Gounod) Gegrüßt sei mir 80334 xxB5662
Martha (Flotow) Ach so fromm 99931 xB5660-2

Odeon, Berlin 1914
Lucia di Lammermoor (Donizetti) Auf zu dir, verklärter Engel (Tu che a Dio) 76953 xxB6155
Africaine (Meyerbeer) Land so wunderbar (Pays merveilleux) 76963 xxB6167
Aida (Verdi) Holde Aida (Celeste Aida) 76956 xxB6161
Ballo in maschera (Verdi) O sag, wenn ich fahr' 76955 xxB6160
Bohème (Puccini) Wie eiskalt ist dies Händchen (Che gelida manina)  80333 xxB6177
Cavalleria Rusticana (Mascagni) O Lola rosengleich 99937 xB6158
Don Sebastiano (Donizetti) Einsam auf Erden (Deserto in terra) 76962 xxB6166
Elisir d'amore (Donizetti) Heimlich aus ihrem Auge (Una furtiva lagrima) 6964 xxB6168
Fanciulla del West (Puccini) Lasset sie glauben 99939 xB6175
Favorita (Donizetti) Es war eine holde Unbek. (Una vergine) 76958 xxB6162
Gioconda (Ponchielli) Himmel und Meer (Cielo e mar) 76954 xxB6159
Madama Butterfly (Puccini) Leb' wohl 76965 xxB6170
Madama Butterfly (Puccini) Leb' wohl  80337 xxB6170
Manon (Massenet) Flieh, o flieh, holdes Bild (Ah, fuyez, douce image) 76968 xxB6173
Manon (Massenet) Ich schloß die Augen 99938 xB6174
Mignon (Thomas) Leb' wohl Mignon 76961 xxB6165
Mignon (Thomas) Wie ihre Unschuld 76960 xxB6164
Rigoletto (Verdi) O wie so trügerisch (La donna è mobile) 98101 xB5658
Rigoletto (Verdi) Parmi veder le lagrime 99930 xB5663
Roméo et Juliette (Gounod) Ach, gehe auf 99928 xB5665
Roméo et Juliette (Gounod) Gegrüßt, o Grab 80345 xxB6163
Tosca (Puccini) Und es blitzten die Sterne 99927 xB5666
Tosca (Puccini) Wie sich die Bilder gleichen 99936 xB6157
Traviata (Verdi) Ach ihres Auges Zauberblick (De miei bollenti spiriti) 76957 xxB6156
Werther (Massenet) O wie süß, hier zu weilen 80352 xxB6171
Werther (Massenet) Was, bin ich aufgewacht 80353 xxB6172

Odeon, Wien 1920-07-06/15
Bohème (Leoncavallo) Io non ho che una povera stanzetta 80332 xxB6518
Cavalleria Rusticana (Mascagni) Addio alla madre 80325 xxB6532
Cavalleria Rusticana (Mascagni) Brindisi 99942 xB6540-2
Contes d'Hoffmann (Offenbach) Ha, wie in meiner Seele 76989 xxB6521
Don Pasquale (Donizetti) Com'è gentil 76805 xxB6534
Eugen Onegin (Tchaikovsky) Wohin seid ihr entschwunden 80336 xxB6530
Fedora (Giordano) Amor ti vieta  99945 xB6543-2
Forza del destino (Verdi) O, tu che in seno 76818 xxB6538
Ideale (Tosti) 80351 xxB6517
Je t'aime (Massenet) 80357 xxB6524
Manon Lescaut (Puccini) Ah, Manon, mi tradisce 80343 xxB6535
Manon Lescaut (Puccini) Donna non vidi mai 80342 xxB6536
Mattinata (Leoncavallo) 98104 xB6541
Pagliacci (Leoncavallo) Recitar!... Vesti la giubba  80324 xxB6527-2
Pêcheurs de perles (Bizet) Mi par d'udir 80350 xxB6523
Pour un baiser (Tosti) 76987 xxB6519
Silvana (Weber) So soll denn dieses Herz nie Ruhe finden 76802 xxB6531
The Lord is my Light (Allitson) 76992 xxB6525
Torna a Surriento (de Curtis)  98105 xB6545

Vox, Berlin 1921-12-09? (date on test pressings)
Africaine (Meyerbeer) O paradiso 03019 92A
Carmen (Bizet) La fleur 03026 99A
Carmen (Bizet) La fleur 03019 99A
Elisir d'amore (Donizetti) Una furtiva lagrima 03361 102½A
Gioconda (Ponchielli) Cielo e mar 03018 91A
Pagliacci (Leoncavallo) Vesti la giubba 03023 100A
Rigoletto (Verdi) Ella mi fu rapita 03021 94A
Rigoletto (Verdi) La donna è mobile 03023 96A
Rigoletto (Verdi) Parmi veder le lagrime 03022 95A
Rigoletto (Verdi) Questa o quella  03020 93A
Tosca (Puccini) E lucevan le stelle  03025 98A
Tosca (Puccini) Recondita armonia 03024  97A
Trovatore (Verdi) Ah si ben mio 03023 101A

Polydor, Berlin 1923-07?
Addio (Tosti) Polydor 72884 1389as
Africaine (Meyerbeer) O paradiso 72879 1371as
Aida (Verdi) Celeste Aida 72881 1376as
Bohème (Puccini) Che gelida manina 72880 1377as
Bohème (Puccini) O soave fanciulla with Angerer  (J25037) 1475BM I
Bohème (Puccini) Sono andati with Angerer (J25036)  1474BM I
Cavalleria Rusticana (Mascagni) Addio alla madre 72880 1374as
Don Sebastiano (Donizetti) Deserto in terra 72877 1373as
Gioconda (Ponchielli) Cielo e mar 72877 1369as
Ideale (Tosti) 70711 2592ar
Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Wagner) Am stillen Herd 72883 1379as
Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Wagner) Preislied 76547 1378as
Pagliacci (Leoncavallo) No Pagliaccio non son 72882 1390as
Rigoletto (Verdi) Ella mi fu rapita!... Parmi veder le lagrime 72881 1384as

Polydor, Berlin 1923-09?
Ballo in maschera (Verdi) Forse la soglia attinse 76535 1410as
Madama Butterfly (Puccini) Addio fiorito asil 72882 1416as

Polydor, Berlin 1928
Fanciulla del West (Puccini) Ch'ella mi creda 35073 1031bm
Faust (Gounod) Es ist schon spät with Angerer (B25192) 1480BM I
Faust (Gounod) O Mondenschein with Angerer (B25193) 1481BM I
Lohengrin (Wagner) Das süsse Lied verhallt with Angerer 1477BM I (B25175)
Lohengrin (Wagner) Wenn ich im Kampfe with Angerer 66833 1476BM I
Kashmiri love song (Woodforde-Finden) 66772 1044bm
Madama Butterfly (Puccini) Non ve l'avevo detto... Addio fiorito asil with Scheidl 35073 1032bm
Tosca (Puccini) E lucevan le stelle 66770 1041bm
Tosca (Puccini) Recondita armonia 66770 1040bm

Polydor, Berlin 1929
Di te (Tirindelli) 90150 1920BK I
Lohengrin (Wagner) In fernem Land   B22462 1613BM I
Lohengrin (Wagner) Mein lieber Schwan (B22463) 1614BM I
Requiem (Verdi) Ingemisco J22214 1616BM I

Polydor, Berlin 1930
Fidelio (Beethoven) In des Lebens Frühlingstagen 95482 231BV I
Fidelio (Beethoven) Und spür ich nicht linde, sanft säuselnde Luft 95482 232BV I
The rosary (Nevin) 35070 227BV I
Turandot (Puccini) Nessun dorma 35067 230BV I
Turandot (Puccini) Non piangere Liù 35067 1033bm

Decca, London 1931-01-19 (1932?)
At dawning (Cadman) M419 3836-2DJ

Decca, London 1932-05-18/19
Haunting perfume (Tucker) M424 4288-3DJ
Homing (del Riego) M427 4286-2DJ
I hear you calling me (Marshall) M427 4294-1DJ
The minstrel (Easthope) M435 4304-1DJ
Until (Sanderson) M426 4292-3DJ
Zinetta (Geehl) M431 4306-1DJ

Decca, Londeon 1933-05-18/19
Beauty's eyes (Tosti-Weatherley) M454 5888-1D
Dreams (Gideon-Eyton) Decca 5893-1D
Love sends a little gift of roses (Openshaw) M454 5886-11D
Your eyes have told me so (Blaufuss-Kahn) M445 5889-1D

Brunswick, London 1939-03-08
I'm in love with Vienna (Strauss-Hammerstein) 02750 DR3477
Magyar Melody (Posford-Maschwitz) Mine alone 02742 DR3365-1
Penny Serenade (Wersmer-Halifax) 02724 DR3363-1

Brunswick, London 1939-10-27
God send you back to me (Adams) 02869 DR3978-1
There'll always be an England (Parker-Charles) DR3977-1 02869
Yours for a song (Rose-Suesse-Fetter) 02878 DR3976-1

Decca, London 1940-05-10
A kiss in the dark (Herbert-de Sylva) F7544 DR4655
Thanks for your love (Chappelle-North) F7492 DR4653
Tristesse (Chopin-Miller) F7492 DR4652

Decca, London 1941-06-10
A little love, a little kiss (Silesu) F7973 DR5855
Liebestraum (Lipton-Liszt-Schipa) F8153 DR5856
Somewhere a voice is calling (Tate) F7973 DR5854-1

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