Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

Dec 16, 2018

Giuseppina Arnaldi (Soprano)

She began her career in 1945 at the Municipal Theater of Lecce, where she made her debut as Gilda in ‘’Rigoletto’’. In 1948 she won the first prize in a singing competition of the RAI. In the 1949-1956 seasons she was often heard at the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma. In 1955 she appeared at the Teatro alla Scala in the premiere of the opera ‘’Il Giuduzio Universale’’ by V. Tosatti. She also gave guest performances in Spain, West Germany, France and Switzerland. In the post-war years she sang as a guest, on stages of Italy, Austria and Greece. Her best performances on stage included Elvira in ‘’I Puritani’’, Gilda in ‘’Rigoletto’’, Rosina in ‘’Barbiere di Siviglia’’ and Musetta in ‘’La Bohème’’.

Robert Burg (Baritone) (Prague, Czech Republic 29 March 1890 – Radebeul, Germany 9 February 1946)

His real name was Robert Bartl. After initial studies in mathematics, he was trained by Hans Pokorny in Prague. He made his debut in 1914 at the Theater of Aussig as Valentin in ‘’Faust’’ by C. Gounod. In the 1915-1916 season he sang at the Deutschen Theater in Prague and made guest appearance at the Stadttheater in Augsburg. Since 1916 he was a member of the Hofoper (since 1918 Staatsoper) in Dresden. Here he appeared until 1944. Together with artists such as Tino Pattiera and Meta Seinemeyer he was significantly involved in the Verdi Renaissance of the 1920’s in Germany. On 14. 1. 1918 he performed in Dresden in the world premiere of the opera ‘’Der Eroberer’’ by Jan Brandts-Buys, on 9. 9. 1926 in Hindemith's' ‘’Cardillac’’, on 21. 5. 1925 the title role in the world premiere of Ferruccio Busoni’s' ‘’Doktor Faust’’, in 1930 in the world premiere of Mark Lothar's opera ‘’Lord Spleen’’. From 1933 to 1942 he sang at the Bayreuth Festival. In 1935 he appeared at the Festival of Sopot as Hans Sachs in ‘’Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg’’ and as Colonna in ‘’Rienzi’’, in 1924 and 1928 he sang at the Vienna State Opera, in 1924 and 1931 at the Städtische Oper in Berlin. He also performed in Zurich, Munich, Amsterdam and Budapest. Robert Burg suffered a heartbeat during a concert in Dresden.

Dec 15, 2018

André Baugé (Baritone) (Toulouse 4 January 1893 - Clichy-La-Garenne 25 May 1966)

He was the son of an operetta singer Anna Tariol-Baugé (1872-1949) and a singing teacher. Originally he wanted to become a painter, studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and exhibited a portrait in the Parisian ‘’Salon’’. He received his education under his parents. In 1912 he made his debut in Grenoble under the name André Grillaud. In 1914 he became a soldier in the French army, in the war he was twice wounded and appointed Knight of the Legion of Honor. In 1917 he joined to the Opéra-Comique of Paris (debut: Frédéric in ‘’Lakmé’’). Until 1925 he was a member of the Opéra-Comique, where in 1923 he appeared in the world premiere of ‘’La brebis égarée’’ by Darius Milhaud. In 1924 he sang at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo the  role of Escamillo in ‘’Carmen’’, in 1925 at the Théâtre Marigny in Paris in ‘’Monsieur Beaucaire’’ of  Messager and then appeared mostly in operettas. In 1929 he became a director of the Théâtre Trianon-Lyrique in Paris, in the 1936-1937 season sang at the Opéra de Marseille, in 1938 at the Théâtre Châtelet, in 1940 at the Théâtre Mogador in Paris. In 1934 he performed at the Théâtre Lyrique de la Porte Saint-Martin in Paris in the premiere of the opera ‘’Fragonard’’ by Gabriel Pierné. He also participated in several French films. Since 1946 he became a professor of the École normale de Musique in Paris. Married the soprano Suzanne Laydeker.

Dec 11, 2018

Marie Goetze (Contralto) (Berlin, Germany November 2, 1865 - Berlin, Germany February 18, 1922)

She received her education at the Sternska Conservatory. She studied singing also under Désirée Artôt. She made her debut at the Berlin Kroll Opera as  Azucena in ‘’Trovatore’’ and sang here in the 1884-1887 seasons, in Hamburg she appeared from 1887 to 1890. In the 1890-1891 season she appeared at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.In 1892 she became the first contralto at the Berlin Opera House. In 1907 she performed in Stockholm at a concert. 

Dec 9, 2018

Germaine (Léontine Angélique) Lubin (Soprano) (Paris, France 1 February 1890 – Paris, France 27 October 1979)

She attended the Collège Sévigné in Paris and originally wanted to study medicine. Then she trained under Isnardon and Martini at the Conservatoire National in Paris. She was also taught by the famous Felia Litvinne. In 1912 she made her debut at the Opéra-Comique in Paris as Antonia in "Les contes d'Hoffmann". In 1913 she appeared in the premiere of the opera "Le Pays" by Guy Ropartz. In 1914 she was engaged by the Grand Opéra in Paris and remained for thirty years. In 1927 she had a special success there as Octavian in the premiere of the R. Strauss’s "Rosenkavalier". She appeared at the Grand Opéra in the world premieres of the operas "La Légende de St. Christophe" by Vincent d'Indy (6. 6. 1920), "Maximilien" by Darius Milhaud (5. 1. 1932) and "La Chartreuse de Parme" by Henri Sauguet (16. 3. 1939). In 1930, her Leonore was admired at the Grand Opéra in "Fidelio" under Bruno Walter, in 1928 her Cassandre in "Les Troyens" by H. Berlioz. In 1930 she sang in Amsterdam the title role in Gluck's "Iphigénie en Tauride". Guest performances have brought her great international success. So she sang in 1931 at the Salzburg Festival  the part of Donna Anna in "Don Giovanni", at the Covent Garden Opera in London in 1937 as Alceste by Gluck and the Ariane in "Ariane et Barbe-bleue" of Dukas, in 1938 the role of Kundry in "Parsifal". At the Bayreuth Festival she appeared in 1938 as Kundry, in 1939 as Isolde in "Tristan und Isolde". In 1933 she sang at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo the role of Octavian in "Rosenkavalier", at the Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in "Castor et Pollux" by Rameau (1935). In 1942 she sang the role of Charlotte in ‘’Werther’’ at the centenary for Jules Massenet in Paris. In 1944 she was arrested on suspicion of collaboration with the German occupying forces, but the subsequent process completely rehabilitated. In 1950 she gave a final concert at the Paris Salle Gaveau. Later she taught singing in Paris and among her pupils were Régine Crespin, Udo Reinemann, Nadine Denize, Émile Belcourt, Pierre Fleta and Rachel Yakar.

Robert Jysor (Baritone) (Neuilly Saint Front (Aisne) le 23/05/1893 - Les Mureaux le 05/11/1982)

His real name was Robert Bidaut. His father was a doctor, who died during the World War I. He received his first vocal lessons from his mother, who was a singer. Then he appeared in Montmartre cabarets and noticed by the director of Gaîté-Lyrique who helped him to join the troupe alongside with Louise Dhamarys, Georges Foix and Leon Ponzio. He sang the repertoire of baritone (Rip, Les Saltinbanques, Le Grand Mongol, 1922). He appeared in the premieres of ‘’Amour de Princesse’’ by Louis Urgel (October 1923) and ‘’La Hussarde’’ by Félix Fourdrain (February 1925). On October 9, 1926 he made his debut at the Opéra-Comique in ‘’Manon’’. He appeared in  ‘’Les contes d'Hoffmann’’, ‘’La Traviata’’, ‘’Paillasse’’, ‘’Lakmé’’, ‘’Herodiade’’. He appeardd in the premieres of ‘’Le Poirier de Misère’’ by Marcel Delannoy (1927) and ‘’Resurection’’ of Franco Alfano (1927). Between 1928 and 1930 he also shared the room of Ba-Ta-Clan directed by Jean Casanova at 50 boulevard Voltaire; he joins the Rozani, Henri Monval, Régianne, Clairefeuille and Jane Morlet to interpret his favorite roles De Montlandry of the Little Duke, Jean Robichon of the Cockade of Mimi Pinson, Brissac of the Musketeers at the Convent, Pippo of the Mascotte, Surcouf de Surcouf, Rodolphe of the Little Bride, and Didier de la Teresina. In 1931, after a change of direction and a series of disagreements with the Opéra-Comique, he left his theatre. He joins André Randall, Xavier Lemercier, R. Vincent, J. Brochard, F. Saala, R. Carlez, V. Troïzka and E. Carise on the stage of the Folies-Bergères. In 1932 he appeared in a series of short films made for Paramount with Champini and Tramel directed by Karkoff. Then continued his career at the music halls, performing in Bobino (1934) with Marainne Oswald and Mireille. At the Théâtre de Belleville (1935) with La Houppa. In 1938 with Georgette Plana, Pierre Clarel and Antonin Berval at the Alambra (1938). In 1938 he perfomed on the Radio des Mélodies by Marcel Vidal-Saint-André. After the Second World War his career seems to fall asleep little by little. In 1951 he made one of his last appearances at the Théâtre du Châtelet opposite Luis Mariano and Janes Rhodes.

Dec 8, 2018

Fanny Heldy (Soprano) (Ath, Hainaut, Belgium 29 February 1888 - Neuilly-Sur-Seine, France 13 December 1973)

Her real name was Marguerite-Virginie Emma Clementine Deceuninck. Her father was Belgian, her mother was English. She received her education at the Conservatory of Liège and made her debut  in 1910 at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels as Elena in ‘’Ivan le Terrible’’ of Gunsbourg. She stayed there for two seasons, then sang in Vichy and Aix-les-Bains and was engaged in 1917 by the Opéra-Comique in Paris. Here she made her debut as Violetta in ‘’Traviata’’. For more than twenty years she was a soloist of this opera house and since 1920 (debut as Juliette in ‘’Roméo et Juliette’’ by C. Gounod) also became a member of the Paris Grand Opéra. Here she sang in several world premieres: on March 14, 1921 in ‘’Antar’’ by Gabriel Dupont, on October 23, 1924 in ‘’Nerto’’ by Charles-Marie Widor, on January 12, 1928 in ‘’La Tour de Feu’’ by Sylvio Lazzari, on 15th May 1929 in ‘’Persée et Andromède’’ by J. Ibert, on 21. 3. 1935 in ‘’Le Marchand de Venise’’ by Reynaldo Hahn. At the Opéra de Monte-Carlo she appeared on 11. 3. 1937 in the premiere of the opera ‘’L'Aiglon’’ by Honegger and Ibert, whose title role was composed for her. In 1923 she was celebrated at the La Scala in Milan as Louise in G. Charpentier’s opera ‘’Louise’’ under A. Toscanini. In 1925 and 1928 she sang with similar success the part of Mélisande in ‘’Pelléas et Mélisande’’. In 1926 and 1928 she made guest appearances at the Covent Garden Opera in London as Manon of J. Masssenet, Concepcion in M. Ravel's ‘’L'Heure espagnole’’. In 1927 she was a guest at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires. In 1939 she retired from the stage and then lived with her husband Marcel Boussac at a castle in the Loire Valley.

Yvonne Brothier (Soprano) (Saint-Julien-l'Ars, Vienne 6 June 1889 - Paris, France 22 January 1967 )

Since 1910 she studied singing at the Conservatoire de Paris under Paul Vidal, Albert Wolff and Marguerite Long. She also received her education at the Paris Sorbonne and at the École du Louvre. After her appearances in Brussels (1914), she began her real stage career in 1916 at the Opéra-Comique in Paris. Here she made her debut as Lakmé. For almost twenty years she was one of the most prominent artists of this house. On 8. 4. 1920 she sang there in the premiere of the opera ‘’Le Sauteriot’’ by Sylvio Lazzari and on 9. 3. 1923 in the world premiere of Samuel-Rousseau's opera ’’La Hulla’’. In 1923 she sang at the Opéra-Comique in a gala performance of ‘’Le roi d'Ys’’ by Lalo on the composer's 100th birthday. Since 1931 she was also heard at the Grand Opéra in Paris and performed there in 1931 in the premiere of the opera ‘’Virginie’’ by A. Bruneau. In 1927 she guested in Amsterdam as Mélisande in the Dutch premiere of this opera ‘’Pelléas et Mélisande’’ by Debussy and in 1928 as Micaela in ‘’Carmen’’. In 1929 she was heard at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo as Sophie in ‘’Werther’’ and as Suzanne in ‘’La Croisade des Dames’’. From 1934 to 1939 she participated in the annual seasons lyric organized by Maurice Lehmann at the Théâtre Porte-Saint-Martin. In 1939 she retired from the stage, since then she taught singing in Paris.

Dec 4, 2018

Maurice Dubin (Tenor) (1885-1950)

Maurice’s career spanned more than 50 years in Europe and the United States and without exception was referred to as “The Great Russian Tenor”.
Maurice began his career under the tutelage of Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky when he was just 7 years old. In later years in England, he was coached by Hugo Heinz and represented by H. Bernhardt. His appearances included among others, the Royal Albert Hall and a command performance before King George V of England, as solo artist with a 125-piece symphony orchestra, conducted by Thomas Beecham. One of his favourite operatic roles of all time was in “Cavalleria Rusticana”. Maurice was in popular demand all over the United Kingdom where he was likened to the late Caruso. It was said he was one of the world’s greatest voice technicians and had a brilliant range from a low F to an F above high C.
Maurice and his partner Rosie Dubin (Mezzo Soprano) emigrated to America in 1922 after World War 1. In 1925 Maurice produced his own opera in Chicago. Whilst continuing his opera and concert work in the Northwest of America, he sang for President Roosevelt. In the 1930’s he was originator and director of the Northwest Civic Opera company of Seattle. In addition, Maurice together with Ivan Novikoff opened up the Russian School of Ballet and Opera.
In 1937 Maurice took the Grand National Opera Company on tour of the West Coast of America, producing a number of popular operas and some lesser known works such as the Chocolate Soldier and Billy Forget Me Not.
Maurice’s last big work was a concert presented during the opening ceremonies of the First Narrows Bridge (Galloping Gertie) in 1940.
Maurice and Rosie toured all over America but made Gig Harbour their permanent home. After the Second World War, Maurice continued to teach Voice coaching and technique until illness forced him into retirement.
Maurice died in June 1950.

I wish to thank Katherine Gorman for providing information and photo

Dec 3, 2018

Dmitri Tarkhov (Tenor) (Penza, Russia March 30, 1890 – Moscow, Russia October 5, 1966)

He was born in the family of a railway engineer. In 1908, after graduating from high school, he entered the law faculty of Moscow University. From 1915 to 1918 he studied at the Moscow Conservatory with V.M. Zarudnaya. In addition he perfected his vocal under N. P. Davydova. These classes lasted only three months, but they gave a lot to the young singer. He made his debut in Saratov (1918). In the 1920s-1930s he performed on the operatic stages of Sverdlovsk, Perm, Saratov, Astrakhan, Tsaritsyn (now Volgograd), Baku and other cities, performing the leading tenor parts (Lensky, Berendey, Prince, Synodal, Igorevich, Faust, Herman, Golitsyn, Canio, Radames, Jose, Alfred, Duke). He also sang in the theaters of Moscow (“People’s House”, “Free Opera”, the musical theater named after Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko). From 1936 to 1958 he worked at the All-Union Radio. He was one of the main singers of the opera group formed on the radio. This period includes a number of the best performing achievements of the singer. He sang the parts of Don Juan (“The Stone Guest” by A. S. Dargomyzhsky), Des Grieux and Cavaradossi (“Manon Lescaut” and “Tosca” by G. Puccini), Riccardo (“Ballo in maschera” by G. Verdi), Kiribeyevich (“The merchant Kalashnikov ”by A. G. Rubinshtein) etc. From 1948 to 1966 he taught in the class of singing at the Gnessin State Musical College. When he was a student at the Moscow Conservatory, he worked with M. M. Ippolitov-Ivanov in composition. He wrote a series of romances (not published). A lot of energy was spent by him in the sphere of literary activity, working as translator. On the radio, using his literary texts, the operas Fra-Diavolo by Aubert and Gioconda by A. Ponchielli were produced and recorded. He translated in Russian songs of Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn and others.

Dec 1, 2018

Hermine Bosetti (Soprano) (28 September 1875, Vienna - 1 May 1936, Hohenrain or Munich)

Her real name was Hermine von Flick. She studied singing under Ms. Aurelie Jäger-Wilczek in Vienna and made her debut in 1898 at the Hoftheater in Wiesbaden as Ännchen in ‘’Freischütz’’. She remained there until 1900 and in the 1900-1901 season sang at the Vienna Court Opera. Since 1901 until her retirement (1926) she was a member of the Munich Court Opera. In 1903 she appeared in the Munich premiere of the opera ‘’Le Donne curiose’’  by Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari (in the Residenztheater) as Colombine, in 1906 she sang here (again at the Residenztheater) in the premiere of the opera ‘’I Quattro Rusteghi’’ by E. Wolf-Ferrari, in 1912 at the Court Opera in the world premiere of the opera ‘’Franfreluche’’ by Wilhelm Mauke. In 1910 she created G. Puccini's Butterfly for Munich, in 1911 the Octavian in R. Strauss’s ‘’Rosenkavalier’’ and J. Massenet's Manon, in 1913 the Zerbinetta in ‘’Ariadne auf Naxos’’ by R. Strauss. She appeared as a guest in 1905 and 1914 at the Berlin Court Opera, in 1910 at the Court Opera in Dresden, in the 1908-1911 seasons several times at the Vienna Court Opera,  in the 1905-1915 seasons at the Court Theater of Stuttgart, in 1907 at the Deutsches Theater in Prague, in 1908 at the Vienna Volksoper, from 1906 to 1915 at the Frankfurt a.M. Opera House, also at the opera houses of Cologne and Leipzig, at the Stadttheater in Bremen, in 1906 and 1907 at the Riga Opera House, in 1912 at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels and in 1921 at the Stadttheater in Basel. Guest performances also brought her great successes in Russia; she sang in St. Petersburg among others as a partner of Mattia Battistini. In 1912 she made guest appearances at the Municipal Theater of Zurich as Susanna in ‘’Figaros Hochzeit’’, Violetta in  ‘’Traviata’’ and as Frau Fluth in ‘’Lustigen Weibern von Windsor’’. At the Covent Garden Opera (1907) she appeared in ‘’Bartered bride’’ by B. Smetana's and ‘’Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg’’ of R. Wagner. In 1913 she was heard at His Majesty's Theater of London in the English premiere of the Richard Strauss’s opera ‘’Ariadne auf Naxos’’. The same season, again at the Covent Garden Opera she sang the role of Octavian in R. Strauss’s ‘’Rosenkavalier’’. She remained active until 1926 at the Munich Opera (1924-1926 as a guest). From 1924 to 1930 she was a teacher at the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt a.M., then in Munich. Her daughter Elly Bosetti appeared in the 1930’s as soprano (debut in 1935 at the Municipal Theater of Bamberg as Lola in ‘’Cavalleria Rusticana’’).