Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

Aug 24, 2020

Maria Ivogün (Soprano) (Budapest, Hungary 18 November 1891 – Beatenberg, Switzerland 3 October 1987)


Her real name Maria Kempner was shortened to "Ivogün" after the maiden name of her mother, the operetta singer I (da) vo (n) Gün (ther); her father, Pál Kempner, was an Austro-Hungarian officer; she was not related to the soprano Mizzi Günther, who created Lehár's "Lustige Witwe". She was trained by Irene Schlemmer-Ambros in Vienna. Bruno Walter recognized her outstanding talent and engaged her for his new workplace at the Court Opera in Munich. She gave her debut in Munich in the role of Mimi in Puccini's "La bohème". From 1913 to 1925 she worked as a highly valued prima donna at the Court Opera in Munich; Here she sang the part of Ighino in the world premiere of Hans Pfitzner's "Palestrina" on June 12th, 1917, and in 1918 the title role in "Das Christelflein" by the same composer in a new version of the opera. In Munich she continued to work in the world premieres of the operas "Der Ring des Polykrates" by Korngold (March 28, 1916) and "Die Vögel" (December 4, 1920) by Walter Braunfels. In 1916 and 1919 she made guest appearances at the Berlin Court Opera and the Berlin State Opera, in 1917 at the Dresden Court Opera, in the 1916-1919 at the City Theater of Zurich, in 1919 and 1932 at the City Theater of Basel. From 1921 to 1932 she was married to the tenor Karl Erb (1877-1958), and from 1933 to the pianist and song accompanist Michael Raucheisen (1889-1984). Since 1925 she has belonged to the ensemble of the Berliner Städtische Oper. She made guest appearances at the Covent Garden Opera in London (1924 as Zerbinetta in "Ariadne auf Naxos", one of her great creations, and as Gilda in "Rigoletto", in 1927 as Konstanze in "Entführung aus dem Serail") at La Scala in Milan, brilliant successes at the Vienna State Opera and at the Berlin State Opera. In 1922 she undertook a very successful concert tour through the USA, in 1923 she toured North America as a guest artist with the German Opera Company; she was heard in New York as Frau Fluth in Nicolai's "Lustige Weibern von Windsor". From 1922 to 1923 she sang at the Chicago Opera and made guest appearances with their ensemble in 1926 at the Metropolitan Opera in New York as Rosina in "Barbiere di Siviglia". (However, she did not become a member of this House). At the Salzburg Festival in 1925 and 1930 she was seen as Norina in "Don Pasquale" as well as at recitals and concerts. As a concert singer she also appeared in Budapest (1926, 1933), Paris (1931), Amsterdam (1932, 1933), Oslo (1922), Copenhagen (1932) and in Spain. She was famous as an operetta singer and as an interpreter of coloratura waltzes and canzons. When she made her debut, she had decided to sing for twenty years and not a day longer, which she then did. So she gave up her career in 1932, but sang Zerbinetta again in Berlin in 1934. In 1948 she received a professorship at the Vienna Music Academy, and in 1950 at the Berlin Music Academy. Her students included the famous sopranos Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Rita Streich, Renate Holm, Michi Tanaka and Alexandra Trianti. She spent her twilight years in Beatenberg, where she died very old.

Aug 18, 2020

Jul 29, 2020

Teresa Di Leva (Soprano)

I wish to thank Jerry Carbone for providing information

Francesco Garguilo

Born: Around 1858 (or thereabouts) in Sorrento, Napoli, Campania, Italy (father listed as Antonio, mother unknown) – he died in Sydney Australia in 1915 and at that time his death certificate states he was Caretaker at Her Majesty’s Theatre in Sydney.

Married: Anne Elizabeth ORPWOOD (she was English) in Vichy, Allier, Auvergne, France on 22 Nov 1882. She was described as an Actress (died in 1899 in Sydney Australia) on her death certificate.

The family story was that either or both of them were opera singers – possibly performed or lived in Scotland at some point.

Francesco and Ann and their first child - (Elanor Kate/Eleanor Kate) also known as Annie was born in Mile End, Middlesex, England in 1884/1885 – the three of them emigrated to Australia arriving in 1885.

Family story also states that he was related (a cousin of some kind) of Antonietta Meneghel (Toti Dal Monte). An Australian newspaper article notes that he sang at his daughter’s (Marie Carmella) wedding in 1915 – from what I can gather only a few days before his death. I cannot seem to find any other information as to whether he sang (either professionally or as an amateur).

I wish to thank Helene Murphy for providing me information

Eduard Habich (Baritone) (Kassel, Germany Sept. 3, 1880 - Berlin, Germany March 15, 1960)

He attended the Raff Conservatory in Frankfurt a.M., where he was a student of Max Fleisch. He began his stage career in the 1904-1905 season with an engagement by the City Theater in Koblenz. In the 1905-1906 season he appeared at the Theater von Posen (Poznan), from 1906 to 1907 he sang at the City Theater in Halle / Saale, in the 1907-1910 season he performed at the Opera House in Düsseldorf and from 1910 to 1930 he was engaged by the Hofoper (since 1918 State Opera) in Berlin. He was heard there, among others, in 1924 in the premiere of 'Die Zwingburg' by E. Kr venek, in 1928 in the premiere of the opera 'Der singende Teufel' by Franz Schreker. He gave numerous guest appearances, such as 1908 in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, in 1929 and 1942 at the Sopot Festival (as Alberich and Beckmesser), in 1930 and 1933 at the Grand Théâtre in Geneva (Alberich in ring performances), in 1933 at the Stadttheater in Basel, in 1934 at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels, in 1935 at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, also in 1935 at the Monte Carlo Opera (again as Alberich). His stage roles included Masetto in 'Don Giovanni', Figaro in 'Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Monterone in 'Rigoletto', Alfio in 'Cavalleria Rusticana', Colline in 'La Bohème', Escamillo in 'Carmen', the Laërte in 'Mignon' and the Harlequin in 'Ariadne auf Naxos' by R. Strauss. Alberich was considered to be his major role in the operas of the Ring Cycle, which he also sang at the Bayreuth Festival (1911, 1912, 1914 and 1924-31), where he also appeared as Klingsor in 'Parsifal' and in 1912 and 1924-1927 as Kurwenal in 'Tristan und Isolde'. He also sang the part of Klingsor in 1914 in the Berliner 'Parsifal' premiere. From 1924 to 1936 (and again 1938) he was a regular guest at the Covent Garden Opera in London. In 1928 he appeared in Amsterdam, in the 1930-1932 season sang at the Chicago Opera. In the 1935-1937 seasons he was a member of the Metropolitan Opera in New York, where he made his debut as father in 'Hansel and Gretel'. In 1939 he sang at the State Theater of Kassel in the premiere of the opera 'Elisabeth von England' by Paul von Klenau. In 1944 he was still a guest at the theater in his hometown Kassel as Bartolo in 'Il Barbiere di Siviglia'. After completing his long career, he taught singing in Berlin. Married to the singer Mathilde Schrecker, who was engaged in Koblenz, Krefeld and Düsseldorf.

Jul 1, 2020

Mary C. Carbone (aka Marie Montain) “She Lived for Her Music”

Mary C. Carbone (aka Marie Montain)
“She Lived for Her Music”

Short Bio

Mary C. Carbone was born in the Wyoming mining  coal-camp of Carneyville, Wyo. on 19 January 1914 to the parents, Rosa (Montegna) Carbone and Francisco Carbone.

Mary studied violin and chorus at Sheridan (Wyoming) High School, and in April 1930 won the state high school championship for violin. In 1932 she and her mother set sail for Naples, Italy, where she undertook study for three years at the Conservatorio di Musica San Pietro a Majella. She studied there under Signora Giuseppina de Rogatis, director of the Neapolitan Quartet and Trio;  Signora Rachele Maragalino Mori, director of the singing school at Consevatory in Naples; pianist, Benedetto Rizzo; and  Ottilia Haffeli, composer and music critic.

She concentrated on voice and after she returned to New York City in late 1935, she sang with the J.J. Schubert Operettas. Eventually during the war years, beginning in 1943, she went on tour with the Philadelphia Opera Company, whose primary mission was to bring opera to the mid- sized and smaller cities in the U.S. and Canada to be sung in English. 

She performed as Adele in Mozart’s “Die Fledermaus (English)”and Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia (English), as well as other roles, including, Violetta in La Traviata; Micaela in Carmen; Nedda in Pagliacci; Mimi and Musetta in La Boheme; Marguerite in Faust; Norina in Don Pasquale; Gretel (The Dew Fairy & Sandman arias); and Gilda in Rigoletto.

In the late 1940’s she moved to Santa Barbara, California, and continued singing radio concerts and likely did teaching.

By 1975 she retired to her hometown, Sheridan, Wyoming. She passed away on 31 May 2004.

I wish to thank Jerry Carbone for providing me information and photo

Jun 22, 2020

Sara Melita (Soprano)

She came from Trecastle (South Wales).  Her real name was Sara Davies   [ Davies is a very common family name in Wales. ]

From the BBC Archives:  She was the soprano at the Weds 25 Sep 1912 Queen's Hall   "Proms"
[ I've copied details of the programme below ]

From newspaper archives:

London Standard (Newspaper) – Weds July 8, 1914,

 Advert in “The  Stars and Stripes”,  France  Friday   July 5th, 1918
for the London Coliseum (described as "Europe's Principal Variety Theatre" )
"Present attractions include.. " (amongst others) ".. Sara Melita.. "

A review  dated  July 28th, 1923 relating to the "Welsh concert at Queen's Hall, London, on Wednesday evening" reports:
"Miss Sara Melita has clearly under-gone a long and careful training ; she showed an astonishing mastery of technique, especially in the difficult aria of Verdi's, " Ah ! Fors e lui,"  .
[Other artistes were Miss Elsie Owen (violin), Walter Glynne (tenor) ]

Kindest Regards  Trevor  (Davies.  Almost certainly no relation to Sara )
1912 Programme & Artistes
[ Conductor, Henry Wood; Robert Burnett, base-baritone; The New Queen’s Hall Orchestra]
Felix Mendelssohn:      Overture 'The Hebrides' ('Fingal's Cave')
Edward Elgar:           The Light of Life, Op 29
Giuseppe Verdi: La Traviata - 'È strano! è strano!'
Claude Debussy: Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker, Suite, Op 71a
Benjamin Dale:          Concertstück  (premiere)
Charles‐François Gounod:        Le Vallon (arr. Henry Wood)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart:        Symphony No 39 in E flat major, K543
Frederic Hymen Cowen:   4 English Dances in the Olden Style Set 1
Sir Henry Rowley Bishop:        The Comedy of Errors: "Lo! Here the Gentle Lark"
Sir Arthur Somervell:           Maud. No. 4 O let the solid ground   (Proms premiere)
                                Maud. No. 5 Birds in the high hall garden (Proms premiere)
Richard Wagner: Lohengrin. No. 17 Prelude Act 3

I wish to thank Trevor Davies for providing me information

Charles Moorhouse (Baritone)

He performed with the Moody Manners, Harrison Frewin and Carl Rosa opera companies between 1908 and at least 1917.

I wish to thank Richard V Jones for providing information and photo

Dan Beddoe (Dan Theophilus Beddoe) (Tenor) (Aberdare, Wales, UK March 16th 1863 - New York, USA December 1937)

He won a gold medal in a singing competition in Wales (1882). He emigrated to North America and studied singing first in Pittsburgh and Cleveland, then in New York. After an unsuccessful concert tour in England, he sang in New York churches. In 1903 he made his official debut as an oratorio singer. In 1904 Walter Damrosch selected him for a concert performance of ‘’Parsifal’’. In 1910 he was celebrated at the Cincinnati Festival, where he also achieved great success in 1914, 1920, 1925 and 1927. In 1925 he sang the tenor solo in Mendelssohn's ‘’Elias’’ with great success in New York. From 1925 to 1929 and still in 1934 (71 years old) he was admired in New York at performances of the Messiah by Handel. In 1911 he came to England and sang at the London Crystal Palace at the celebrations for the coronation of George V in Handel's ‘’Messiah’’ and Mendelssohn's ‘’Elias’’. He was considered one of the most important oratorio singers of his era. Enrico Caruso attended his concerts in New York because he admired his incomparable messa-di-voce technique. He didn't appear on stage.

May 28, 2020

Licinio Francardi (Tenor) (Pitigliano December 13, 1920 – Roma March 31, 1994)

He was the third of four children, who was born into a family of barber. In 1939 he began his education at the school of Manfredo Polverosi, an excellent tenor and, at the time, director of the Experimental School of Singing and Dance at the Teatro dell'Opera in Roma and later with Beniamino Gigli, who was an enthusiastic about his vocal qualities and became his protector and friend.  In 1948 he was presented by Gigli himself on the radio with this statement: "authentic golden voice, a voice where you hear not only a beautiful sound but, above all, a soul". In 1949 he took part in "Viotti" International Singing Competition and was the winner. On 11 August 1949 he made his debut as Elvino in "Sonnambula" by Vincenzo Bellini at the Teatro Lirico Sperimentale in Spoleto and on November 3 at the Teatro “Morlacchi” in Perugia as Nemorino in G. Donizetti’s "Elisir d'amore". In 1950 he won the International Singing Competition in Spoleto. Then he appeared in "Sonnambula" and "Puritani" at the major Roman theaters: Teatro dell’Opera, Teatro Argentina, Teatro Costanzi, sharing the scene with singers of the first orders such as the bass Boris Christoff and the soprano Margherita Carosio under the direction of Vincenzo Bellezza and Gianandrea Gavazzeni. He added to his repertoire also "Favorita", "Werther", "Manon Lescaut", "Boheme", "Tosca" and "Il Signor Bruschino" by G. Rossini. In 1953, still on the recommendation of Beniamino Gigli, he signed the contract with CETRA for the recording of operatic arias with the Lyric Orchestra conducted by Arturo Basile. In the 1950-1954 seasons he appeared at the Teatro dell'Opera in Roma, at the Teatro “Pergolesi” in Jesi and other minor performances as well as concerts for various institutions including National Academy of Santa Cecilia in Roma. At the same time and until 1957 he participated in the radio lyric seasons of RAI ("Monte Ivnor" by L. Rocca, "Morte dell'Aria" by Goffredo Petrassi, "Luisa" by Gustave Charpentier, "Antigone" by Lino Liviabella, " From the House of the Dead " by Leos Janacek). Starting in the 60s, he decided to devote himself almost entirely to teaching. From 1973 to 1982 he taught singing in Tampere (Finland). In 1975 he was invited again as vocal pedagogue at the Tokyo College of Music and at the Showa College of Music in Tokyo (Japan). In 1978, at the height of his artistic maturity, his last solo concert was held at Tokyo's Aoyama Tower Hall. On October 1, 1988 he received In Roma, along with other famous Italian opera singers, the award organized by the OIPEC (International Organization for Economic and Cultural Programming) - "Targa d'Oro - Tribute to Beniamino Gigli" at the Sala Borromini and on January 21, 1989 the "Tito Schipa" award (OIPEC) at the Sala della Protomoteca in Campidoglio. He died suddenly in Roma on March 31, 1994.

Ermanno Lorenzi (Tenor)

He made guest appearances at the Vienna State Opera, at the Teatro alla Scala and sang in many other major Italian opera houses and also at the Metropolitan in New York. Here he made hius debut as Cassio in ‘’Otello’’. He was famous as an interpreter of comprimario roles and appeared in parts such as Goro in ‘’Madama Butterfly’’, Pang in ‘’Turandot’’ and Beppe in ‘’Pagliacci’’.

Chronology of some appearances

1965-1966 Lisbon, Portugal (S. Carlos)
1965-1966 Venezia, Italy (La Fenici)     
1968 Genova, Italy (E. A. Comunale dell'Opera)            
1970 Genova, Italy (Comunale dell'Opera)       
1972 Genova, Italy (E .A. Comunale dell'Opera)            
1974 Genova, Italy (E. A. Comunale dell'Opera)            
1975 Genova, Italy (E. A. Comunale dell'Opera)            
1978 Genova, Italy (E. A. Comunale dell'Opera)

Miroslav Staryckyj (Tenor) (also known as Miroslav Grygorovich Skala-sStaryckyj; alias Miro Skala) (Skala-Podilska, now Borshchiv district of Ternopil region, Ukraine June 13, 1909 - Epine, Suburb of Paris, France February 17, 1969)

He studied in high schools in the cities of Stanislav (now Ivano-Frankivsk) and Lviv. Then he graduated from the Higher Music Institute. M. Lysenko (1939) and the Ukrainian State Conservatory (1941) in Lviv and the Vienna Music Academy (1942). He worked as a soloist at the Ukrainian National Theater named after Ivan Tobilevich, from 1939 to 1941 he was a soloist of the Lviv Radio. He performed his first roles at the Lviv Opera House. He appeared in the cities of Lviv (1941-1942), Kaiserslautern (1943-1944), Vienna (Folksoper, 1945-1947), Madrid (1948), Barcelona (Gran teatro del Liceo, 1948-1949), Paris (Opera Comique, 1949), Lille (1949), Bordeaux (1949, 1950), Zurich (1950), Brussels (Theater Royal de La Monnaie, 1953-1963), San Francisco (1959). From 1940 to 1960 he appeared in solo concerts in Berlin, Munich, Prague, Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Paris, New York, Detroit, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Chicago), Vancouver, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Edinburgh, Leicester, London, Manchester, Nottingham, Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. In 1963 he organized his own music and drama studio, where he taught singing to Ukrainians. He is active in the public-art life of Ukrainian emigration. Miroslav Staryckyj was married to soprano Eugene Lasovskaya.

May 16, 2020

Johanna Gadski (Soprano) (Anklam, Prussia 15 June 1872 – Berlin, Germany 22 February 1932)

Johanna Emilia Agnes Gadski. She was blessed with a secure, powerful, ringing voice, fine musicianship and an excellent technique. These attributes enabled her to enjoy a top-flight career in New York City and London, performing heavy dramatic roles in the German and Italian repertoires. She made her debut at the Kroll Opera in Berlin (1894), Covent Garden (1898), Metropolitan Opera (1900), Munich (1905), Salzburg (1917); became leader of Wagnerian touring company (1920s). Johanna Gadski was one of the first Victor Red Seal artists and made almost 100 recordings during her career. Singing in Germany between 1889 and 1895, she debuted at age 17 in Lortzing's Undine at the Kroll Opera in Berlin. When she joined New York's Metropolitan Opera in 1900, she became one of the company's leading Wagnerian sopranos although she performed Mozart and Mahler ably as well. Also a recitalist, Gadski was one of the few to include songs by American composers on her program. An extremely popular recitalist, Gadski was much loved by audiences but fared less well with critics who complained that her pitch varied, her interpretation was flawed, and that she had a limited emotional range. Numerous recordings, however, demonstrate that she had a large voice with a pure tone. Her recordings, in fact, are considered classics. Gadski was forced to discontinue her American career during World War I due to anti-German sentiment, but she returned as a popular performer after the Armistice. She formed her own Wagnerian touring company in the 1920s which performed in Europe and the United States. Johanna Gadski died in an auto accident on February 22, 1932. Records kept her voice alive, giving Gadski a much deserved reputation—far greater than the one she enjoyed in her lifetime.

Paolo Silveri (Baritone) (Ofena, 28 December 1913 – Rome, 3 July 2001)

He began his education with Perugini in Milan, then studied singing under Riccardo Stracciari at the Conservatorio Santa Cecilia. He made his debut in 1939 at the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma as Hans Schwarz in R. Wagner’s ‘’I Maestri cantori di Norimberga’’. His real debut was happened as baritone in 1944 at the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma as Germont in ‘’La Traviata’’.

Chronology of some appearances

1939 Roma Teatro dell'Opera I maestri cantori di Norimberga (Hans Schwarz)
1940 Roma Teatro dell'Opera Guglielmo Tell (Melchtal)
1940 Roma Teatro dell'Opera Conchita  (Tonio/Sereno)
1941 Roma Teatro dell'Opera Siberia (governatore)
1942 Roma Teatro dell'Opera Orsèolo (vecchio senatore/3°servo)
1943 Roma Teatro dell'Opera Khovanshcina (2°strelez/pastore)
1944 Roma Teatro dell'Opera La Traviata (Germont)
1945 Roma Teatro dell'Opera Falstaff (Ford)
1949 Milano La Scala Trovatore (count di Luna)
1949 Genova Teatro Carlo Felice Il candeliere (presidente)
1949 Milano La Scala Favorita (Alfonso)
1950 Milano La Scala I Puritani (Sir Riccardo-Richard Forth)
1953 Firenze Teatro Comunale Trovatore (conte di Luna)
1953 Roma Teatro dell'Opera Otello (Jago)
1955 Roma Teatro dell'Opera Il principe Igor (Igor)
1956 Parma Teatro Regio Otello (Jago)
1956 Roma Teatro dell'Opera La fiamma (Basilio)
1968 Budapest Hungarian State Opera House Rigoletto (Rigoletto)

Paul Cabanel (Baritone) (29 June 1891, Orán - 05 November 1958, Paris)

First he studied law in Toulouse, but in 1911 he began training his voice at the Conservatory there. He continued this training at the National Conservatory in Paris, but he was drafted as a soldier upon the outbreak of World War I and was wounded at Verdun. He wasn't able to resume his studies until 1919. He made his debut at the Cairo Opera in J. Massenet's ‘’Hérodiade’’, where he also sang in ‘’Manon’’ and ‘’Thaïs’’ as well as in C. Gounod's ‘’Faust’’. Until 1932 he appeared at the French provincial houses, in Belgium and in Switzerland; for seven years he sang every winter at the Bordeaux Opera and in summer at the Vichy Theatre. Finally in 1932 he was able to make his debut as Scarpia in ‘’Tosca’’ at the Opéra-Comique in Paris, and in the following year at the Grand Opéra in ‘’La damnation de Faust’’ by H. Berlioz. After that he had great success at the Grand Opéra as well as at the Opéra-Comique in Paris. His signature roles included Mephisto in ‘’La damnation de Faust’’, Leporello in ‘’Don Giovanni’’, the High Priest in ‘’Samson et Dalila’’ and Arkel in ‘’Pelléas et Mélisande’’. He is said to have sung the role of Mephistopheles in C. Gounod's ‘’Faust’’ more than a thousand times. Guest appearances led him to the Teatro Colón Buenos Aires (1939) and to the opera of Rio de Janeiro, to the Teatro Liceo Barcelona, to Amsterdam and above all at the Brussels Opera (Théâtre de la Monnaie). Here he sang Boris Godunov as late as 1954. In 1952 he took part in a concert performance of ‘’La damnation de Faust’’ at the Holland Festival. He also worked as an opera director. From 1942 to 1958 he held the rank of professor at the National Conservatory in Paris.

Baptist Hoffmann (Baritone) (Garitz 1864 - Garitz 1937)

He studied singing under Louise Weinlich-Tipka in Munich and with Julius Stockhausen inFrankfurt a. M.. He made his debut in 1888 at the Stadttheater in Graz as hunter in "Nachtlager von Granada" by C. Kreutzer. In the 1888-1894 seasons he sang at the Opernhaus in Cologne, then in the 1894-1897 seasons appeared at the Stadttheater in Hamburg. In 1897 he was engaged by the Hofoper  in Berlin and performed till 1919. Here he sang in the premiere of the operas ‘’Briseïs’’ of Emmanuel Chabrier (14. 1. 1899), ‘’Regina’’ of Albert Lortzing (21. 3. 1899), ‘’Cain’’ by E. d'Albert (17. 9. 1900), "Heilmar, der Narr" by W. Kienzl (28. 1. 1902), "Der Wald"  by Mrs Ethel Smyth (9. 4. 1902), "Der Roland von Berlin" by R. Leoncavallo (13. 12. 1904) and in E.Humperdinck’s  "Heirat wider Willen" by (14. 4. 1905). In 1906 he sang in the Berlin première of ‘’Salome’’ by R. Strauss. In 1911 he performed in the premiere of "Rosenkavalier". In 1907 sang the role of Sharpless in G. Puccini’s ‘’Madama Butterfly’’. He made guest appearances in Munich,Dresden, Hamburg, London and Brussels. His extensive repertoire included Nelusco in G. Meyerbeer’s ‘’Africaine’’, Lothario in ‘’Mignon’’ of A. Thomas, Papageno in "Zauberflöte", Wolfram in ‘’Tannhäuser’’, Telramund in ‘’Lohengrin’’, Pizarro in ‘’Fidelio’’. After end of his stage career he worked in Berlin as vocal pedagogue.

Harry Da Garmo (Baritone) (1887 - 1919)

He was the son of a Spaniard and an English woman. He came to Germany to study medicine, where his voice was discovered. He made his debut in 1910 at the Stadttheater (Opera House) in Hamburg, where he stayed until 1912. In the 1912-1914 seasons he sang at the City Theater in Lübeck and since then at the Court Theater in Wiesbaden. He made guest appearances at the major German opera houses, including the Berlin Court Opera in 1911 (as Wolfram in ‘’Tannhäuser’’), the opera houses in Frankfurt am Main and Cologne (1914). In 1914 he married the soprano Tilly de Garmo-Jonas. In the 1917-18 season he was committed to the Metropolitan Opera in New York, but the USA's entry into World War I prevented his appearance in New York. In 1919 he was engaged again by the Metropolitan Opera, but died a few days before the crossing.

Jan 20, 2020

Julius Pölzer (Tenor) (Admont, Austria 9. 4. 1901 - Wien, Austria 16. 2. 1972)

He first studied dentistry. After he became aware of his beautiful voice, however, he decided to pursue a career in singing and was trained by Theo Lierhammer in Vienna and Anna Bahr-Mildenburg in Munich. After his first success at the Breslau Opera House, he came to the Bavarian State Opera (1930). For more than twenty years he remained their celebrated first tenor for the heroic and especially for the Wagner operas. As early as 1930, he participated in the premiere of Julius Weismann's "Gespenstersonate". At the Vienna State Opera he was heard in his major roles in the 1933-1934 seasons. From 1937 to 1942 and again in the 1947-1948, 1951-1953 seasons he appeared also at the Vienna Volksoper. Since 1935 there has been a guest performance at the State Opera in Dresden. Guest performances have taken him to other theaters in Germany and abroad. In 1933 he made guest appearances at the Frankfurt am Main Opera House, in 1935 at the Grand Opéra in Paris (as Tristan), in 1936 at the Sopot Festival (as Parsifal), in 1942 at the Berlin State Opera (as Herod in "Salome" by R. Strauss). In 1936 he performed with the Ensemble of the Dresden Opera at the Covent Garden Opera in London as Tristan. In 1947 he was heard at the Grand Théâtre in Geneva; In 1949 he sang in R. Wagner’s "Rheingold" in a performance of the Ring Cycle in the Austrian radio. He also appeared as a concert singer. After completing his career, he worked again as a dentist.

Janko Blaho (Tenor) (Skalica, Slovakia September 15, 1901 - Bratislava, Slovakia April 24, 1981)

He began studying law at the University of Prague, which he graduated and received a Dr. jur. doctorate. He trained his voice by Ms. Ch. Morfová in Prague and later continued his education in Milan. In 1926 he made his debut at the Bratislava Opera House (Pressburg) as Alfredo in ‘’La Traviata’’ and then from 1927 to 1955 he was one of the leading members of this opera house, where he appeared on stage in more than a hundred roles. His guest appearances at the National Opera Bucharest, at the Volksoper Vienna and at the Prague National Opera, were very successful. In addition to his work on the opera stage, he developed a second career as a concert singer, whose repertoire included Beethoven's 9th symphony, ‘’La Damnation de Faust’’ by H. Berlioz, Stabat mater and the requiem by A. Dvorák. In 1957 he undertook a glamorous concert tour through China. From the 1950s until 1973 he worked as a teacher at the Music Academy in Bratislava. His operatic repertoire included Duke in ‘’Rigoletto’’, Riccardo in ‘’Ballo in maschera’’, Rodolfo in ‘’La Bohème’’, Cavaradossi in ‘’Tosca’’, Don Ottavio in ‘’Don Giovanni’’, Pinkerton in ‘’Madama Butterfly’’, Schuiski in ‘’Boris Godunov’’, Don Jose in ’’Carmen’’, Hans in B. Smetana's ‘’The Bartered Bride’’, Luke in ‘’Tajemstvì’’ and Podhajsky in ‘’Dve vdovy’’.

Carlo Franzini (Tenor) (Milan 21 April 1923 - Cinisello Balsamo 27 January 2003)

He was born in Milan on April 21, 1923, the eldest of three brothers of Giovanni Franzini and Teodolinda Mapelli. He studied painting with Aldo Carpi at the Accademia di Brera and in 1948 he moved to Paris where, he attend the old Matisse. In 1951 he returned to Italy to participate in an opera competition for new voices and won it. His official debut in the world of opera took place in 1951 at the Teatro Nuovo in Milan in Felice Lattuada’s opera "The precious ridiculous" by and continued his theatrical activities until 1974. He worked with the symphonic orchestras of Rai and the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, singing as a soloist under the direction of Mario Rossi, Vittorio Gui, Alfredo Simonetto, Lovro Von Matačić, Riccardo Chailly and others. In 1966 he recorded for the Decca the ballet "Pulcinella" by Igor Stravinsky, with the Orchester de la Suisse Romande conducted by Ernest Ansermet. In 1972 he underwent a criminal trial for slapping the concert master during the rehearsals of Strawinsky's opera "Mavra" at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples. He also was a well known painter, who used the pseudonym Saturnino. Struck by a heart attack he died on January 27, 2003 at the Bassini hospital in Cinisello Balsamo.

Štefan Hoza (Tenor) (Smižany, Slovakia October 20, 1906 - Czechoslovakia April 6, 1982)

He studied singing in Prague (1932), Milan (1933) and Vienna (1936). Since 1932 he was soloist of the Slovak National Theater in Bratislava. Here he sang the whole repertoire of heroic tenor over the course of a decade-long career. In Bratislava he participated in several world premieres of the operas by Eugen Suchon and Ján Cikker, including ‘’Krútňava’’ by E. Suchon (1949), "Juro Jánošík" (1954) and "Beg Bajazid" (1957) by Cikker. He became very popular for his appearance in classical operettas, especially in the role of Prince Sou Chong in Lehár's "Land des Lächelns". He also worked as a dramaturge and librettist and wrote a very readable, two-volume "History of Slovak Opera". Also his work as an opera director and as a teacher in the Slovakian capital Bratislava should not be forgotten.

Antonio Vargas (Baritone)

He was one of the first Mexican opera singers, who made records in USA. In the 1890’s he appeared in Italy, Australia and USA. In 1898 he became a member of the Car Rosa Opera Company, with whom he toured in Australia. The same year he immigrated to USA. Here he performed as Count di Luna in ‘’Trovatore’’ (Los Angeles Theater, 1898). In 1899 he sang at the Hopkins Art Institute and at the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles. The next year he appeared with Lombardi Opera Company. At the Fischer’s Concert House, opposite Thomas Shepard, he participated in concert (1900). He made records for Zonophone, Victor and Edison. In 1902, for a short time, he changed to tenor and made opera arias and songs for Edison, but the next year returned to his standard baritone repertoire.