Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

May 13, 2018

Ettore Campana (Baritone) (Savignano sul Rubicone 1875 - Los Angeles 1941)

He studied singing at the Liceo Musicale in Pesaro and made his debut at the Teatro Comunale in Cesenatico as Marcello in ‘’Boheme’’ (1902). Around 1910 he went to USA and became a principal baritone of  Bevani  Opera Company. After his retirement, he taught singing in Los Angeles. His wife was the famous actress Esperanza Susanna.

Chronology of some appearances

1902 Cesenatico Teatro Comunale Boheme (Marcello)
1910 Oakland Idora Park Faust (Valentin)
1912 Mexico City Theatre Arbeu Aida (Amonasro)
1916 Pasadena Cauldron Club Concert
1917 Los Angeles Auditorium Concert

May 12, 2018

Eugène Graux (Tenor) (Hellemmes-Lille, France 27. 01. 1895 – Amiens, France 05 05. 1963)

Graux studied singing at the Conservatoire de Lille under Alphonse Capon (1913). After the war, where he was wounded, he was admitted to the Conservatoire de Paris (1920). Probably he made his debut at the Grand-Théâtre de Nancy, he was very successful. He made guest appearances at the Grand-Théâtre de Bordeaux, l'Opéra de Lyon, le Casino municipal de Cannes, l'Opéra de Monte-Carlo. In 1928 he made his debut at the Opéra-Comique in Paris as Gérald in ‘’Lakmé’’ (1928). In 1931 he was appointed professor of singing at the Conservatoire de Lille. He never made records.

Chronology of some appearances

1921? Grand-Théâtre de Nancy
1928 Paris Opéra-Comique

May 11, 2018

Josip Križaj (Bass) (Vevče, Ljubljana 5 March 1887 – Zagreb 30 July 1968)

He received his vocal training in Ljubljana and in Munich. In 1907 he made his debut at the Slovenian National Opera and Ballet Theatre. Here he appeared up to 1913. From 1913 to 1940 he became one of the most popular artists of Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb. He sang several roles here in first performances of operas for Yugoslavia: the title hero in Mussorgsky's "Boris Godunov" and Dosifey in his "Khovantchina" (1926), the Ochs in "Rosenkavalier", King Philip in Verdi's "Don Carlo", the King Mark in "Tristan und Isolde" and Wotan in "Rheingold". On 12. 11. 1935 he sang the role of Marko in Zagreb in the world premiere of the Croatian opera "Ero s onoga svijeta" by Jakov Gotovac. His repertoire included Rocco in "Fidelio", the Kezal in "Prodaná nevěsta ", Figaro in "Nozze di Figaro", Hans Sachs in "Meistersingern", the Wanderer in "Siegfried" and Gurnemanz in "Parsifal". Married the famous soprano Paula Trauttner (Ruma, Croatia 1888 – Zagreb, Croatia  1976).

Chronology of some appearances

1907-1913 Ljubljana Slovenian National Opera and Ballet Theatre
1913-1940 Zagreb Croatian National Theatre

May 9, 2018

Umberto Bagnoli (Tenor)

Bagnoli was a lyric tenor, who around 10 years appeared at the Italian provincial operatic houses. His repertoire included Almaviva in ‘’Barbiere di Siviglia’’, Duca in ‘’Rigoletto'', Elvino in ‘’Puritani’’, Turiddu in ‘’Cavalleria Rusticana’’. Later he became an operetta singer. Bagnoli never made records.

Chronology of some appearances

1904 Salò  Teatro Sociale Rigoletto (Duca)
1906 Napoli  Teatro Bellini Barbiere di Siviglia (Almaviva)
1906 Cava dei Tirreni  Teatro Comunale Barbiere di Siviglia (Almaviva)
1906 Cava dei Tirreni  Teatro Comunale Puritani (Elvino)
1906 Salerno  Politeama Barbiere di Siviglia (Almaviva)
1906 Salerno  Politeama Puritani (Elvino)
1906 Napoli  Teatro Bellini Traviata (Alfredo)
1906 Vallo Lucano  Teatro Comunale Barbiere di Siviglia (Almaviva)
1911 Lisbona  Coliseo Recrejos Cavalleria Rusticana (Turiddu)
1912 Lisbona Coliseo Recrejos Cavalleria Rusticana (Turiddu)
1915 Parma Reinach La figlia di madama Angot (Pitou)
1925 Parma Reinach Mazurka bleu (Klandage)

May 8, 2018

Astra Desmond (Contralto) (Torquay, England 10 April 1893 – Faversham, England 16 August 1973)

In 1919 she made her debut in a concert in London. In the following years she sang various opera roles at the Covent Garden Opera (including the Ortrud in ‘’Lohengrin’’ under Sir Henry Wood) and at the Sadler's Wells Opera in London. She sang a variety of solo roles in oratorios; her interpretation in Elgar's ‘’The Dream of Gerontius’’ was unparalleled. She performed songs in 12 different original languages. In 1937 she learned Norwegian to be able to recite the songs of Edvard Grieg in the original language. She sang these in a series of broadcasts of the BBC London and was awarded in 1943 by the Norwegian King Hakon VII with a medal. Great concert tours earned her success in Europe as well as in North America, in 1938 she undertook a major Scandinavian tour, in 1939 she traveled the Balkan countries, performing in Athens, Belgrade, Sofia and Budapest. In 1945 she received a teaching assignment at the Royal Academy of Music in London, which she held until 1967. She published very readable articles about interpretation of the songs of Dvořák, Sibelius and Grieg. She made records for Decca and HMV.

May 6, 2018

Hertha Stolzenberg (Cologne 13. 2. 1889 – Oberstdorf 18. 3. 1960)

After her education in Cologne and Berlin she made her debut in 1910 at the Komische Oper in Berlin. In the 1911-1912 season she sang at the Stadttheater of Kiel, from 1912 to 1924 at the German Opera House (Städtische Oper) in Berlin, where she had a huge success. Here she created in 1913 the part of Minnie in the premiere of G. Puccini's "La Fanciulla del West", in 1919 Fiora in the German premiere of I. Montemezzi's "Amore dei tre Re". In 1914 she appeared there in the world premiere of the opera "Mandragola" by Ignaz Waghalter. From 1924 to 1932 she worked at the Staatstheater of Hannover. Here she appeared in 1927 in the premiere of opera "Herrn Dürers Bild" by J. G. Mraczek. She made guest appearances at the major German opera stages and in Holland and was known for her concerts on German radio. In 1932 she gave up her stage career. She spent her old age in Oberstdorf, Allgäu.

Chronology of some appearances

1910 Berlin Komische Oper
1911-1912 Kiel Stadttheater
1912-1924 Berlin Städtische Oper
1924-1932 Hannover Staatstheater

May 2, 2018

Carrere (Tenor)

                                                                           Arnold (1921)

He made his debut at the Opéra Comique in Paris as Radames in G. Verdi’s ‘’Aida’’ (1918).

Chronology of some appearances

1918 Paris Opéra Comique Aida (Radames)
1919 Paris Opéra Comique Otello (Otello)
1919 Paris Opéra Comique  Samson et Dalila (Samson)
1921 Paris Opéra Comique  Guillaume Tell (Arnold)
1922 Paris Opéra Comique  Herodiade (Jean)
1923 Paris Opéra Comique  Trovatore (Manrico)

Abby Richardson (Mezzo-Soprano) (USA 1892 - ?)


As a child she came to France and became a pupil of Rose Caron in Paris. In 1910 she made her debut in Nantes, in 1911 she created the role of Rosalia in the French premiere of d'Albert's  "Tiefland" at the Nice Opera. She married the director of this opera house Pierre Chereau. For three seasons, the artist was engaged at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels. She often gave guest appearances at the Opéra-Comique in Paris, at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo, at the Teatro Liceo of Barcelona and at French Provincial theaters. In 1938 she sang the part of Geneviève in ‘’Pelléas et Mélisande’’ at Vichy Casino. Later she led an opera class at the Conservatoire Rachmaninoff in Paris. She made a few recordings for Columbia.

Chronology of some appearances

1910 Nantes Opera
1911 Nice Opera
1910’s Brussels Théâtre de la Monnaie
1910’s Paris Opéra-Comique

May 1, 2018

Antonio Amiel (Tenor)

I think Amiel appeared only in Spain and Argentina. He had a short career.

Chronology of some appearances

1910 Barcellona  Teatro Novedades Boheme (Rodolfo)
1911 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Coliseo Rigoletto (Duca)
1912 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Marconi Tosca (Cavaradossi)
1912 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Marconi Traviata (Alfredo)
1914 Valencia  Teatro Principal  Rigoletto (Duca)