Greatest Opera Singers

Greatest Opera Singers

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Willis James Flanagan (Tenor) (Holyoke, Massachusetts 1882 - ?)






He began as a baritone studying with Murrie 1920's in Italy, France and Germany, making extensive tours singing.  He then studied in London to become a tenor finishing his studies with Mr Addison Price the composer and vocal teacher.  He has sung in London Palladium, Queens Theater and many other concerts hall in England with the best of the stars, one of them being Nordica. In Italy he appeared as Paul Castello.

I wish to thank his grandchild Michelle Dennis for providing me information and photos

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Laczó István (Tenor) (September 16, 1904, Szombathely, Hungary - September 27, 1965 Budapest, Hungary)




He initially studied architecture and then trained as singer mostly in Italy. In 1935 he made his debut at the National Opera in Budapest and remained a member of this opera house until the end of his career. Before the World War II, he guested at the Grand Opéra in Paris, also in Turin and Rio de Janeiro. His repertoire included Otello, the Manrico in ‘’Trovatore’’, Radames in ‘’Aida’’, Kalaf in ‘’Turandot’’, Arnoldo in ‘’Guglielmo Tell’’, Turiddu in "Cavalleria Rusticana’’ and Canio in "Pagliacci". In 1963 he was appointed Honored Artist of the Hungarian People's Republic.

Chronology of some appearances

1935-1950’s Budapest National Opera

Lajos Laurisin (Tenor) (March 26, 1897, Kalocsa, Hungary - January 10, 1977, New York City, New York, United States)




He received his education in Budapest under Szidi Rákosi and Béla Szabados. From 1926 to 1944 he was a member of the Budapest National Opera. At this opera house he sang a varied repertoire and his roles included Duke in "Rigoletto", Canio in "Pagliacci", Cavaradossi in "Tosca", Kalaf in "Turandot" and Rodolfo in "La Bohème". In addition, he was a famous operetta singer. His brother was the composer Miklós Laurinsin (1893-1949).


Chronology of some appearances

1926-1944 Budapest National Opera

Endre Rösler (Tenor) (November 27, 1904, Budapest, Hungary - December 13, 1963, Budapest, Hungary)


                                                                            Almaviva


First he studied with Géza Laszló in Budapest, then under Giuseppe de Luca in Milan and Edoardo Garbin in Brescia. In 1927 he made his debut at the National Opera in Budapest as Alfredo in "La Traviata". On 24. 4. 1932 he sang at the Budapest Opera in the world premiere of Zoltán Kodály's "Die Spinnstube". He made successful guest appearances in Vienna, Milano, Florence, Leipzig and Munich. At the Budapest Opera his repertoire included the title part in Händel’s "Xerxes", Count Almaviva in ‘’Barbiere di Siviglia’’, Belmonte in "Entführung aus dem Serail", Don Ottavio in "Don Giovanni", Ferrando in "Così fan tutte", Lenski in "Eugene Onegin", Florestan in "Fidelio", Max in "Freischütz", Erik in "Fliegenden Holländer", Loge in "Rheingold" and Schuiskij in "Boris Godunov". Since 1953 he taught singing at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music Budapest; one of his students was Eva Marton.

 Chronology of some appearances

1927 Budapest National Opera Traviata (Alfredo)
1932 Budapest National Opera Die Spinnstube (-)

Gabor Carelli (Tenor) (Budapest, Hungary 1915 – New York 22 January 1999)




He studied law and singing at the Franz Liszt Conservatory in Budapest. After two years of further education in Italy (also under Beniamino Gigli), he made his debut in Florence and then sang at the Italian opera houses. Then he went to North America, where from 1951 to 1974 he was a member  of  the Metropolitan Opera in New York (almost 26 years) and sang mainly as tenor buffo. Here he made his debut as Don Curzio in ‘’Nozze di Figaro'’ (which he sang there 111 times) and was heard in 56 roles and in over a thousand performances there. His repertoire included  Arturo in ‘’Lucia di Lammermoor’’,  Abbé in ‘’Adriana Lecouivreur’’, Borsa in ‘’Rigoletto’’ (which he sang 118 times), Gaston in ‘’La Traviata’’, Trin in ‘’La Fanciulla del West’’, Elemer in ‘’Arabella’ by R. Strauss, Count Almaviva in ‘’Il Barbiere di Siviglia’’, Ernesto in ‘’Don Pasquale’’, Rodolfo in ‘’La Bohème’’, Pinkerton in ‘’Madama Butterfly’’, Duka in ‘’Rigoletto’’, Cavaradossi in ‘’Tosca’’,  Alfredo  in ‘’La Trvaiata’’, Captain in ‘’Wozzeck’’and as  Tonio  in ‘’La Fille du régiment’’. During two seasons he also worked in Israel. Since 1964 he taught singing at the Manhattan School of Music New York.

Chronology of appearances

1951-1974 New York Metropolitan Opera


Maria Russo (Mezzo-Soprano)




She was to young to sing in Guy Golterman’s grand operas  At MUNY  and Kiel, but St Louis Mezzo-Soprano Maria’Russo’s career was ‘moved along’ by the impressario. Golterman arranged auditions with the Met’s Fausto Cleve. He also contacted Fortuno Gallo on her behalf. Maria persisted in New York. She found her role ‘Carmen’: First with the Charles Wagner Opera Company 1952 tour. This was followed by a 10-weeks tour of South America with the South  America Opera Company.others in the company were Jan Pierce, Robert Weede and Herbs Nelli.  Her concert debut was with the St Louis Symphony Orchestra in 1949. In New York she was coached by several of the Met’s conductors including Caesar Sodero. Dramatic lessons by the Met’s Desire Defrere. The girl from the St Louis ‘Hill’ neighborhood did well. She never forgot Guy Golterman. Maria Russo never came back to St Louis. I believe she stayed in New York.


By Ed Golterman

Thursday, August 16, 2018

John Gläser (Tenor) (Berlin 12. June 1888 – Frankfurt am Main 27. May 1968)



He studied singing in Berlin, where he was already soloist of the court and cathedral choir. From 1909 to 1910 he was a member of the choir at the Berlin Komische Oper. As soloist he made his debut in 1911 at the Stadttheater of Ulm and then sang at the Court Theater of Altenburg (Thuringia). In 1912 he joined to the Opera House of Wroclaw, here he appeared five years. In 1917 he was engaged by to Opera of Frankfurt a.M., where he remained until the end of his career. Here, on 21.1.1920, he sang the role of Elis in the premiere of the opera ‘’Der Schatzgräber’’ by Schreker. He participated in the German premieres of the Mussorgsky’s operas ‘’Boris Godunov’’ (1913, in Wroclaw/as Dimitri) and ‘’Khovantchina’’ (1924, Frankfurt aM/as Galitzyn). On 10. 3. 1917 he sang at the Opera House of Wroclaw in the world premiere of the opera ‘’Eros and Psyche’’ by Lubomir Rózycki. He made guest appearances in Berlin, Munich, Hamburg and Vienna. At the Salzburg Festival (1926) he appeared as Bacchus in ‘’Ariadne auf Naxos’’ by R. Strauss. In 1942, at the Frankfurt Opera, on the occasion of his 25th anniversary he gave his farewell performance as Canio in ‘’Pagliacci’’. Since then he lived in Frankfurt and taught singing. Married the soprano Agnes Werninghaus.

Chronology of some appearances

1909-1910 Berlin Komische Oper
1911 Ulm Stadttheater
1911 Altenburg Court Theater
1912-1917 Wroclaw Opera House
1917-1942 Frankfurt a.M. Opera
1926 Salzburg Festival

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Arne Ohlson (Tenor) (Uddevalla, Sweden 2. 01. 1911 – Märsta, Sweden 1. 05. 2000)




He initially studied violin and music theory in Uppsala and Stockholm, but then trained by John Forsell, Joseph Hislop and Augustin Kock at the Stockholm Academy of Music. In 1941 he made his stage debut at the Royal Opera in Stockholm as Don Ottavio in "Don Giovanni". Until 1966 he was the first lyrical tenor of this opera house. In 1957 he appeared in the Swedish premiere of A. Berg's "Wozzeck". From 1948 to 1968 he was one of those singers, who made the Drottningholm Festival a first-class musical event. From 1966 to 1974 he worked at the Academy of Music in Aalborg. Since 1974 he taught singing in Stockholm and Uppsala.


Chronology of some appearances

1941-1966 Stockholm Royal Opera

Carlo Galeffi (Baritone) (Malamocco 4 June 1884 – Roma 22 September 1961)




Galeffi studied singing under the pedagogues Di Como, Sbriscia and later with Antonio Cotogni. He made his debut  1903 at the Teatro Quirino in Roma as Enrico in ‘’Lucia di Lammermoor’’. In her book Una Voce nel Mondo, Toti Dal Monte wrote, that Galeffi is the best baritone of her time.



Chronology of some appearances



1907 Roma  Teatro Quirino Pagliacci (Tonio)
1908 Roma  Teatro Adriano Amica (Rinaldo)
1908 Palermo Teatro Massimo Ballo in maschera (Renato)
1908 Messina Teatro Vittorio Emanuele Pagliacci (Tonio)
1908 Roma Teatro Adriano Carmen (Escamillo)
1910 Lisbona Teatro San Carlos Carmen (Escamillo)
1910  Buenos Ayres  Teatro Coliseo Pagliacci (Tonio)
1910 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Coliseo Rigoletto (Rigoletto)
1910 Rosario di Santa Fè  Teatro Colon Pagliacci (Tonio)
1910 Boston  Opera House Pagliacci (Tonio)
1911 Philadelphia  Teatro Metropolitan Pagliacci (Tonio)
1911 Rio de Janeiro  Teatro Municipal Amica (Rinaldo)
1912 Milano Teatro alla Scala Lohengrin (Tetralmondo)
1913 Firenze Politeama Fiorentino Ballo in maschera (Renato)
1914 San Pietroburgo  Teatro Petit Pagliacci (Tonio)
1915 Montevideo  Teatro Solis Carmen (Escamillo)
1916 Pesaro Salone Pedrotti Barbiere di Siviglia (Figaro)
1917 Genova Politeama Genovese Barbiere di Siviglia (Figaro)
1918 Roma Teatro Costanzi Ballo in maschera (Renato)
1919 Firenze  Teatro Della Pergola Barbiere di Siviglia (Figaro)
1919 Chicago Civic Opera House Barbiere di Siviglia (Figaro)
1920 New York Lexington Theater Barbiere di Siviglia (Figaro)
1920 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Colon Lohengrin (Tetralmondo)
1921 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Colon Barbiere di Siviglia (Figaro)
1921 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Colon Ballo in maschera (Renato)
1922 Milano  Teatro La Scala Lohengrin (Tetralmondo)
1924 Milano  Teatro La Scala Lohengrin (Tetralmondo)
1925 Milano  Teatro La Scala Ballo in maschera (Renato)
1925 Lisbona Coliseo Recrejos Pagliacci (Tonio)
1927 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Colon Lohengrin (Tetralmondo)
1929 Milano  Teatro La Scala Ballo in maschera (Renato)
1929 Milano  Teatro La Scala Lohengrin (Tetralmondo)
1930 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Colon Boheme (Marcello)
1930 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Colon Cavalleria Rusticana (Alfio)
1935 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Colon Ballo in maschera (Renato)
1936 Trieste Teatro Verdi Ballo in maschera (Renato)
1938 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Colon Carmen (Escamillo)

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Hermann Schramm (Tenor) (Berlin, Germany 7. 02. 1871 - Frankfurt am Main, Germany 11. 12. 1951)




Like his father, first he became a merchant, but then studied singing and made his debut in 1895 at the Wroclaw Opera House as Gomez in "Nachtlager in Granada" by C. Kreutzer. In the 1896-1900 seasons he worked as a lyric tenor at the Cologne Opera House, then started to appear only in buffo roles. He was a highly respected member of the Frankfurt am Main Opera House (1900-1933). On the German stage he was unequaled Mime in the Ring cycle and David in "Meistersingern". In 1899 he also sang the part of David at the Bayreuth Festival. Already in 1899 he guested at the London Covent Garden Opera. He also had a significant career in Brussels,Paris and Holland. In 1912 he appeared in Amsterdam in the Dutch premiere of opera "Königskinder" by Humperdinck. Other guest appearances took him to the Court Operas of Berlin (1897), Dresden (1898-99) and Munich (1898), to the Court Theater of Hanover (1899), Wiesbaden (since 1900), Karlsruhe (since 1906) and Mannheim (1900), since 1900 also to the City Theater of Zurich. In the 1923-1924 season he took part in the North American tour of German Opera. As a Jew, he retired from the stage in Frankfurt in 1934, but survived during the Nazi era in Frankfurt. His son, Friedrich Schramm (1900-1981), for a long time was director of the Stadttheater of Basel, then director of the Staatstheater in Wiesbaden.

Chronology of some appearances

1895 Wroclaw Opera House
1896-1900 Cologne Opera House
1900-1933 Frankfurt am Main Opera House

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Margaret Burke Sheridan (Castlebar, Republic of Ireland 15. 10. 1889 – Dublin, Republic of Ireland 16. 04. 1958)




First she was trained in Dublin, then at the Royal Academy of Music in London under William Shakespear and completed her education  in Milan with soprano Tina Sconamiglio. In 1911, under the name Margaret Burke-Sheridan, she sang at Dublin in Handel's ‘’Messiah’’. She made her debut in 1918 at the Teatro Costanzi in Roma as Mimi in "La Bohème". She had a great success especially at the Teatro San Carlo in Napoli. In 1921 she sang for the first time at La Scala in Milano, where she became very popular in the following years and appeared here until 1924. In 1923 she sang the part of Olimpia in the premiere of Respighi's "Belfagor". She was highly acclaimed by Giacomo Puccini. Her roles at La Scala included also Wally in the same opera by Catalani and Maddalena in Giordano’s "Andrea Chénier". In 1924, for political reasons, she left the theatre with A. Toscanini, who previously promoted her career. She was also successful at the Arena di Verona and in several guest appearances at the Covent Garden Opera (since 1919). Here she appeared in the first performance of Mascagni's "Iris" (1919). In the 1925-1930 seasons she sang constantly at the Covent Garden Opera. After leaving the stage she returned to her Irish home and worked as vocal pedagogue in Dublin.

Chronology of some appearances

1918 Roma Teatro Costanzi
1919 London Covent Garden
1921-1924 Milano La Scala

Max Rohr (Tenor) (? 1875 – München 1917)




His stage debut took place in 1901 at the Court Theater in Detmold. In 1902 he continued his education and in the 1903-04 season he was engaged by the Municipal Theater of Landshut (Bavaria), from 1904 to 1905 he appeared at the Municipal Theater in Regensburg. In 1905 he became a member of the Carl Theater in Wien, whose member he remained until 1910. Here he sang in numerous operettas and and also participated in the world premieres of "Die Schützenliesel" by Edmund Eysler (1905) and "Zigeunerliebe" of F. Lehár (1910). In the 1910-1913 seasons he sang at the Raimund Theater in Wien, then a season at the local Johann Strauss Theater. From 1915 until his early death, he worked at the Münchner Theater am Gärtnerplatz. He was very successful in operettas of Franz Lehar, Leo Fall, Oscar Straus, E. Kalman and E. Eysler. He retired from the stage in 1917.   

Chronology of appearances

1901 Detmold Court Theater
1903-1904 Landshut Municipal Theater
1904-1905 Regensburg Municipal Theater
1905-1910 Wien Carl Theater
1910-1913 Wien Raimund Theater
1914 Wien Johann Strauss Theater
1915-1917 Münchner Theater am Gärtnerplatz

Friday, June 15, 2018

Libero De Luca (Tenor) (Kreuzlingen, Switzerland 1913 - Horn, Switzerland 1998)





After studying architecture, he was trained by Max Kraus in Munich as baritone (1932-1934), but then retrained as tenor in Zurich by Alfredo Cairati. After winning a first prize at an international voice competition in Geneva, in 1941, he made his professional debut the following year at the Solothurn Municipal Theatre. After one season at the Bern Municipal Theatre, he joined to the Zurich Opera (1943-1949). There he sang in the premieres of the operas ‘’Der unsterbliche Kranke’’ by Hans Haug (1947) and ‘’Die schwarze Spinne’’ of W. Burkhard (1949). In 1948 he performed at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires and at the Teatro San Carlo in Napoli, in 1949 at the Covent Garden Opera in London; He was also a guest at the opera houses of Brussels, Munich and Vienna. In 1949 he became the first tenor of the Opéra-Comique in Paris, where he appeared in numerous operas of French repertoire. He also sang at the Paris Grand Opéra, thus  in 1948 as Edgardo in ‘’Lucia di Lammermoor’’ opposite Lily Pons. Until 1960 he was a soloist of two major Parisian opera houses. Also at the concert area he had a successful career with appearances in Zurich, Basel and Bern, in Bordeaux, Strasbourg and Paris. In 1961 he retired from the stage. Later he became a full-time voice teacher in Horn, Switzerland, near Lake Constance.

Chronology of some appearances

1941 Solothurn Municipal Theatre
1942 Bern Municipal Theatre
1943 -1949 Zurich Opera
1948 Buenos Aires Teatro Colon
1949 London Covent Garden
1949 Paris Opéra-Comique

Sunday, 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

Saturday, 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. 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

Thursday, May 10, 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". His wife was the famous soprano Paula Trauttner (Ruma, Croatia 1888 – Zagreb  1976).

Chronology of some appearances

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

Wednesday, 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)

Monday, May 7, 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.

Saturday, May 5, 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

Wednesday, 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)