Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

May 8, 2016

Henri Dons (Baritone) (Ghent, Belgium 1864 - Brussels, Belgium 1936)

He received his education at the Conservatory of Ghent. From 1896 to 1906 he joined to the Ghent Opera. As a guest he appeared at this opera house also in the 1899/1900, 1904/05 and 1905/06 seasons. An important part of his career took place in Netherlands, where for several years he performed at the  Hollandsch Opera-Gezelschap created by  Johannes de Groot. On September 25, 1889, he made his debut in G. Verdi's ‘’La Traviata’’ as doctor Grenvil at the Parkschouwburg in Amsterdam. In that same season he sang the roles of Count Oberthal (‘’Le Prophet’’), Sulpice (‘’La figlia del reggimento’’), Monterone (‘’Rigoletto’’) and Gessler (‘’William Tell’’). In 1890, he sang at the Nederlandsche Opera also the parts of Nilakantha (‘’Lakmé’’) and Lothario (‘’Mignon’’). On september 8, 1894, he sang at the Nederlandsche Opera-Vereeniging the role of Mephistofele in ‘’Faust’’ by C. Gounod. At  the Theatre Royal de la Haye he appeared again as Mephistofele in ‘’Faust’’ (30 September, 1899). His last performance was in Netherlands on 6 December 1916 at the Nederlandsch Opera  as Escamillo in ‘’Carmen’’ by G. Bizet.  His repertoire included King/Il re (‘’Aida’’), Roger (‘’Jerusalem’’ by G.b Verdi), Garrido Tonio (‘’Pagliacci’’), Casper (‘’Der Freischütz’’), Des Grieux (‘’Manon’’), Le grand inquisitor (‘’L'Africaine’’), Sparafucile (‘’Rigoletto’’), Dr. Falke (‘’Die Fledermaus’’), Le commandeur (‘’Don Giovanni’’) and Alfio in ‘’Cavalleria Rusticana’’.

Chronology of some appearances

1889 Amsterdam Parkschouwburg
1899 Theatre Royal de la Haye
1890 Amsterdam Nederlandsche Opera
1896-1906 Ghent Opera
1899-1900 Ghent Opera
1904-1905 Ghent Opera
1905-1906 Ghent Opera


Berliner, Amsterdam 1901-09-10
Les rameaux (Faure) 32973 859B

G&T, Paris 1902
Chalet (Adam): Vallons de l'Helvétie 2-32507 780F

Pathé cylinders & discs, Bruxelles 1905?
Het dierbaar ouderhuis (van Herzeele) 9433
Het lied van den smid (Wijbo) 9434

Odeon, Berlin? 1906-12?
Hamlet (Thomas)  Chanson Bachique A33008 FO 106

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