Greatest Opera Singers

Greatest Opera Singers

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Enrica Alberti (Soprano ) (Pavia, Italia 1899 - ?)

She studied singing in Genova under the pedagogue Devoti and made her debut in 1923 at the Teatro Guidi in Pavia in ''Don Pasquale''.

Chronology of some appearance

1919  Cream  Teatro Sociale  Carmen (Micaela)
1924 Genova  Teatro Carlo Felice  GIulietta e Romeo di R. Zandonai (Isabella)
1925 Varese Teatro Sociale Loreley (Walter)
1926 Torino  Teatro Vittorio Emanuele  Pagliacci (Nedda)
1927 Genova  Politeama Genovese  Boheme (Musetta)
1928  Cairo  Teatro Khediviale La Rondine (Lisette)
1929 Cosenza  Teatro Rendano  Boheme (Mimì)
1930  Amsterdam  Teatro Carrè  Pagliacci (Nedda)
1931 Palermo Politeama Garibaldi  Otello (Desdemona)
1933  Amsterdam  Staddscouwburg  Carmen (Micaela)
1935  Como  Teatro Sociale  Turandot (Liù)
1937  Milano  Teatro La Scala  Andrea Chenier (Bersi)
1947 Genova  Teatro Grattacielo Boheme (Mimì)


Gramophone, Milano 1929-11-27
Ave Maria (Bach-Gounod) S10159 (102-640)  

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Tina Paggi (Soprano) (Terni, Italia 1895 - ?)

During the 1920’s she appeared at different Italian opera theaters. In 1928 and 1934 she took part in the Germany tours of the Max Sauter’s opera society. In 1931 she sang with the same ensemble in Austria. The same year she made guest appearances at festival of Salzburg and sang the parts of Norina in ‘’Don Pasquale’’ and Rosina in ‘’Barbiere di Siviglia’’. Her repertoire included Gilda in ‘’Rigoletto’’, Musetta in ‘’La Bohème’’ and Adina in ‘’Elisir d'amore’’.

Chronology of some appearances

1931 Salzburg Festival Don Pasquale (Norina)
1931 Salzburg Festival Barbiere di Siviglia (Rosina)


Fonotipia, Milano 1930-10-16
Barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini) Dunque io son with Nazzareno Bertinelli 172188 xxPh 6622

Tullio Quercia (Baritone) (Buenos Ayres, Argentina 1878 - ? 1950)

He made his debut in 1901 at the Teatro San Carlo in Napoli in ‘’Carmen’’. He retired from the stage in 1913 and returned to Buenos Ayres, where he devoted himself to teaching and among his pupils was the tenor Pedro Mirassou. He made only 6 recordings for Gramophone.

Chronology of some appearances

 1901 Napoli Teatro San Carlo  Boheme (Marcello)
 1902 Torino Teatro Vittorio Emanuele Faust (Valentino)
 1903 Salsomaggiore  Teatro Ferrario  Don Pasquale (Malatesta)
 1905 Como Teatro Sociale  Iris (Kyoto)
 1907 Ferrara Teatro Comunale Faust (Valentino)
 1909 Livorno Teatro Goldoni Pescatori di Perle (Nourrabad)
 1911 Brescia Teatro Grande Lohengrin (Tetralmondo)
 1912 Lisbona Teatro San Carlos Ugonotti (Nevers)


Gramophone, Milano 1902-11
Aida (Verdi): Quest'assisa 52389 2803b

Gramophone, Milano 1903-10?
Bohème (Puccini): Ah Mimì tu più non torni with Elvino Ventura 54043  Con131
Faust (Gounod): Che fate qui Signor (Trio del duello) with Elvino Ventura & Giuseppe Sorgi 054009 Con501R
Carmen (Bizet): Cuetto Don José-Escamillo, act 2 with Elvino Ventura 054002 Con515
Gioconda (Ponchielli): Enzo Grimaldo with Elvino Ventura 054004 Con526R

Pietro Lo Giudice (Bass) (Catania, Italia 1884 - ? 1929)

Probably he mde his debut in 1905 at the Teatro Garibaldi in Marsala as Alvise in ‘’Gioconda’’.  In the 1912-1913 season he made successful guest appearances in Amsterdam, performing at the  Paleis Voor Volksvlijt. He spent last years of his career at different opera houses of Catania. He retired from the stage in 1928. 

Chronology of some appearances

1905 Marsala   Teatro Garibaldi  Gioconda (Alvise)
1910 Parma Politeama Reinach  Fedora (Boroff/Lorek)
1912 Amsterdam  Paleis Voor Volksvlijt Carmen (Dancairo)
1914 Pistoia  Teatro Manzoni  Isabeau (Faidit)
1919 Catania  Arena Italia  Barbiere di Siviglia (Don Bartolo)
1921 Catania  Teatro Bellini  Sansone e Dalida (Abimelecco)
1924 Catania  Teatro Bellini  Boheme (Benoit/Alcindoro)
1926 Catania  Teatro Bellini Tosca (Sagrestano)
1928 Catania  Arena Italia Boheme (Benoit /Alcindoro)


Odeon Fonotipia
La Forza del destino (Verdi): Del mondo i disinganni 82596
Conte di Lussembuego (Lehar): Terzetto with Pilade de Paoli and Gina Tandi 82598

Giuseppina Piccoletti (Soprano) (Milano 1876 - ? 1952)

She studied singing with Melchiorre Vidal and made her debut in 1893 at the Teatro Dal Verme of Milan in ‘’Promessi Sposi’’ of A. Ponchielli. Already in 1900 she appeared at the Teatro Municipal in Santiago de Chile as Gilda in ‘’Rigoletto’’, Lucia in ‘’Lucia di Lammermoor’’ of G. Donizetti, Oscar in ‘’Ballo in maschera’’ and Ines in ‘’L'Africaine’’ by G. Meyerbeer. Later she opened in Milan vocal studio. Among her pupils were the Soprano Antonietta Pastori.

Chronology of some appearances

1893 Milano  Teatro Dal Verme I Promessi Sposi di A. Ponchielli (Lucia)
1896 Odessa Teatro Municipale Ballo in Maschera (Oscar)
1898 Caltagirone  Teatro Garibaldi  Rigoletto (Gilda)
1900 La Spezia Politeama Duca di Genova  Traviata (Violetta)
1903 Tunisi Politeama Rossini Boheme (Musetta)
1905 Genova Politeama Genovese Tosca (Tosca)
1907 Lisbona  Teatro San Carlos Mefistofele (Margherita/Elena)
1909 Venezia Teatro La Fenice  Madama Butterfly (Cio-Cio-San)
1912 Modena  Teatro Municipale  Fanciulla del West (Minnie)
1914 Trapani  Teatro Garibaldi  Fanciulla del West (Minnie)
1915 Messina  Teatro Mastroieni   Ernani (Elvira)
1917 Vicenza  Teatro Eretenio  Fedora (Fedora) 


G&T, Milano 1905
Traviata (Verdi): Addio del passato 53428 7613½b

Gramophone, Milano 1908
Traviata (Verdi): Non sapete with della Torre 054219 1573c

Odeon, Milano 1910?
Bohème (Puccini): Addio dolce svegliare with Attilio Salvaneschi, Riccardo Tegani & Maria Vaccari 37893 Xm1327 
Bohème (Puccini): Che facevi, che dicevi with Attilio Salvaneschi, Riccardo Tegani & Maria Vaccari 37894 Xm1336 
Bohème (Puccini): O soave fanciulla with Attilio Salvaneschi 37895 Xm1339 

Arturo Rizzo (Bass)

He studied singing at the Conservatory of Neaples and made his debut in 1903 at the Teatro Verdi of Brindisi in ''Rigoletto''.

Chronology of some appearances

1903 Brindisi  Teatro Verdi  Rigoletto (Sparafucile)
1905 Catanzaro  Teatro Comunale  Boheme (Colline)
1907 Moghileff  Teatro Nazionale  Trovatore (Ferrando)
1909 Livorno  Politeama  Boheme (Colline)
1911 Catanzaro  Teatro Comunale  Faust (Mefistofele)
1913 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Coliseo  Barbiere di Siviglia (Don Basilio)
1914 Roma  Teatro Costanzi  Ballo in Maschera (Tom)


Phonodisc, Milano 1908/1909
Puritani (Bellini): Suoni la tromba with Ernesto Caronna 206


Norman Allin (Bass) (19 November 1884, Ashton-under-Lyne - 27 October 1973, Pontrilas)

He studied at the Royal Manchester College of Music under John Acton (singing) and Walter Carroll (theory). He wed the singer Edith Clegg in 1912 and went to London, where the conductor Henry J. Wood heard him and planned to involve him in the 1914 Norwich Festival. Unfortunately, the festival was interrupted by the outbreak of World War One. However, Allin did sing the Handel aria "O ruddier than the cherry", from Acis and Galatea, at a Promenade Concert for Henry Wood during the war. (He was not called up for military service owing to the fact he was classified in a low medical grade.) Sir Thomas Beecham auditioned him and at once offered him the title role in Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov, but Allin felt a less challenging debut was needed. So, his first appearance for Beecham was as the Old Hebrew in Samson et Dalila on 15 October 1916. With the Beecham Opera Company he appeared, too, in Verdi's Aida. He first sang at a Royal Philharmonic concert, again under Beecham's baton, in 1918. He later appeared as Boris, as Gurnemanz in Wagner's Parsifal, Hagen in Wagner's Götterdämmerung and Baron Ochs in Richard Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. In 1921, he became founder-member of the British National Opera Company. Allin created the role of Sir John Falstaff in Holst's 1925 opera At the Boar's Head. In 1934, he appeared in the initial Glyndebourne Festival production under Fritz Busch and Carl Ebert of Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro. Henry Wood later wrote (in 1938) that had Allin not possessed such a retiring disposition, he might have become one of the world's most celebrated operatic basses, and that even so, his stage roles numbered almost 50. During the Second World War (1939-1945), he was a member of the Carl Rosa Opera Company. This company gave London seasons, during which Allin appeared alongside fellow singers Joan Hammond, Gwen Catley, Heddle Nash, Dennis Noble, Parry Jones and Tudor Davies. Allin's career was not restricted to opera, however, and he was perhaps best known to contemporary music-goers as a concert recitalist and an oratorio singer. He appeared before the Royal Philharmonic Society in a Royal Choral Society Beethoven Missa Solemnis in 1927 under Sir Hugh Allen. In 1932, after giving his 270th performance of Handel's Messiah, at a Halle concert, he decided not to sing the part again. He always gave the greatest satisfaction when he sang in music festivals, and Wood felt that he could trust him with anything. He was one of the soloists in the original line-up for Vaughan Williams's Serenade to Music on 5 October 1938. Allin's line goes down to low D; the words set for his solo are 'The motions of his spirit are dull as night, And his affections dark as Erebus.' He was also in the performance of it for the Royal Philharmonic Society, on behalf of the Musicians' Benevolent Fund, in February 1940. In 1934 he took part in a seven-month operatic tour in Australia, appearing mainly in Melbourne and Sydney. On his return he was offered a professorship of singing at the Royal Academy of Music, and took it up in autumn 1935. Later he also accepted a similar appointment at the Royal Manchester College, which he held jointly with the other, only resigning the Manchester post in 1942 owing to pressure of work in London. Among Allin's pupils were Jean Allister, Pamela Bowden, Richard Lewis, Norman Lumsden and Ian Wallace (who followed his teacher into the role of Bartolo at Glyndebourne). Allin's voice possessed a depth, authority and resonance rare in modern-day British basses, the preferred style of voice now being lighter and less magisterial. His singing technique was exemplary and his vocal production was smooth and extremely attractive in tone, as his recordings verify.

Chronology of some appearances

1916 Beecham Opera Company
1922-1929 British National Opera Company
1939-1945 Carl Rosa Opera Company


Columbia, London 1917?
Philémon et Baucis (Gounod): Vulcan's song 713 76069

Columbia, London 1919?
Faust (Gounod): Serenade 747 76444

Columbia, London 1924?
Vêpres Siciliennes (Verdi): O fair Palermo L1553 AX279
Siimone Boccanegra (Verdi): The broken spirit L1553 AX280

Columbia, London 1926-01?
Zauberflöte (Mozart): Within this hallowed dwelling 9802 WAX1266

Columbia, London 1927?
Fidelio (Beethoven): Life is nothing without money  D1592 WA5621

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Violet Essex (Soprano) ( England Oct. 19, 1893 - Los Angeles County California, USA Jan. 31, 1941)

During The Great war, everyone needed lighter music, especially lively ditties from popular musicals. The talented English soprano Violet Essex, known as "Vera Desmond", recorded mostly lighter music. Under her own name Violet recorded Arditi's "Il bacio" and Musetta's Waltz from La Boheme and dazzled in Gilbert and Sullivan operas that HMV would begin to record late in the war. As “Vera” she recorded current tunes such as Dorothy Forster's "Take me to flowerland with you" as well as English songs of the ages "Where the bee sucks" by Arne and "Orpheus with his lute" by Sullivan. 



Columbia, London 1912? 
Il bacio (Arditi) 28197

HMV, London 1915-02-26
Bohème (Puccini): Musetta's waltz song 2-3075 Ho1214b  

Eric Marshall (Baritone) (March 1891, Kensington, London, England - July 8, 1961, Westminster, London, England, UK)

His real name was Eric David Marks. He was a nephew of the known French conductor and operatic composer André Messager (1853-1929). He was active in the 19th county of London regiment as an officer. Then he trained his voice under Jean de Reszke in Paris. In 1921 he undertook an England tour together with the famous prima donna Luisa Tetrazzini. As an opera singer he appeared during several seasons at the Covent Garden in London under sir Thomas Beecham. It is possible that he appeared at Italian opera theaters under the artistic name Silvio Sideli. Beside his activity on the stage he had a significant career at the concert hall. He made made guest appearances in England, Paris and Berlin. At London he was also to be heard in musical Comedies, among other things in 1926 in ‘’The Cat and the Fiddle’’. He recorded some early acoustic recordings for Vocalion, mostly songs, but also opera arias in Italian and French. On Vocalion he sang several songs written by Guy d'Hardelot. A baritone Silvio Sideli also recorded, the same sangs of Guy d'Hardelot in Italy for the Vocalion. On the other hand, in 1921, a baritone called Silvio Sideli made records for Columbia in Italy.

Chronology of some appearances

1920's England, Paris and Berlin


Vocalion, London 1922-11?
Nozze di Figaro (Mozart): Non più andrai C-01085 02994

HMV, London 1925-02-26 (ac)
Du bist wie eine Blume (Schumann) E380 (7-42091)
Die Lotosblume (Schumann) E380 (7-42090) 

HMV, London 1926-12-30
The heart's secret (Rachmaninov) E455 (6-2746)
In the silent night (Rachmaninov) E455 (6-2747)