Greatest Opera Singers

Greatest Opera Singers

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Karl Norbert (Bass) (Prague, Czech Republic 3/10, 1893 – Vienna, Austria 6/8, 1936)

He was born Karel Novotny. He was trained by Konrad Wallerstein in Prague and made his debut in 1914 at the German Theater in Prague. He belonged to the ensemble of this opera house till 1920. Then up to his death he was a highly respected member of the Vienna State Opera. He achieved a huge success particularly as an interpreter of parts in Mozart's operas. Since 1922 he sangat the Salzburg festival, where he almost appeared as yearly till 1935. Here his repertoire included Bartolo in  "Figaros Hochzeit" (1922, 1931-35),  Osmin in "Entführung aus dem Serail" (1926 and 1932), Leporello in "Don Giovanni" (1922) and Don Alfonso in ‘’Così fan tutte’’ (1922 and 1935). Two other star roles of the artist were the Sarastro in "Zauberflöte" and the Kezal in "Verkauften Braut" by Smetana. In 1935 he appeared at the Vienna State Opera in the premiere of the opera "Die Dame im Traum" by Franz Salmhofer. He made successful guest appearances at the Court Opera of Dresden (1917), also in Paris, Prague, Berlin and Munich.

Chronology of some appearances

1914-1920 Prague  German Theater
1921-1936 Vienna State Opera


Vox, Berlin 1922-08?
Zauberflöte (Mozart): O Isis uns Osiris 3167 768B
Zauberflöte (Mozart): In diesen heil'gen Hallen 3167 769B

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Sunday, August 21, 2016

Carmen Bonaplata-Bau (Soprano) (Barcelona, Spain 1871 - Barcelona, Spain 11/2 1911)

She was the daughter of the Spanish author Teodoro Bonaplata. In 1886 she made her debut at the Teatro Dal Verme in Milano in G. Verdi’s ‘’Aida’’. During her career this part remained her special star role . In 1891 she appeared at the Teatro Argentina in Roma again as Aida. In 1890 she married the conductor Lorenzo Bau. In the 1892-1893 season she sang at the Teatro alla Scala in Milano. Here she made her debut as Isabella in ‘’Cristoforo Colombo’’ and participated also in performances of R. Wagner’s ‘’Fliegenden Holländer’’ and in ‘’Il figliuol prodigo’’ by A. Ponchielli. In 1894 at the same opera house she sang the part of Sieglinde in R. Wagner’s ‘’Walküre’’ and in the title role in A. Catalani’s ‘’Loreley’’, in 1897 as Elisabetta in ’’Don Carlo’’. In 1894 she was active at the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genova, in 1896 in Buenos Aires. In the 1896-97 season she was to be heard at the Teatro San Carlo in Napoli. She undertook a tour through the USA and appeared as a guest at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo (1901) and at the Court Operas of St. Petersburg and Moscow (1897). In 1900 she was active at the Teatro Regio in Parma, where she sang the part of Aida opposite the Spanish tenor Carlo Barrera. As Gioconda she appeared with great success at the Teatro Regio in Torino (1892) and at the Teatro Politeama in Palermo (1893). She retired from the stage in 1904. Her daughter Carmen (Carmelita) Bau de Bonaplata, like her mother, became a respected soprano and appeared with success at italian and Spanish operatic stages. 

Chronology of some appearances

1886 Milano Teatro Dal Verme Aida (Aida)
1890 Verona Ristori Aida (Aida)
1891 Roma Teatro Argentina Aida (Aida)
1891 Bergamo Riccardi Aida (Aida)
1891 Bergamo Riccardi Cavalleria Rusticana (Santuzza)
1891 Bari Piccinni Cavalleria Rusticana (Santuzza)
1891 Barcellona Liceo Aida (Aida)
1891 Barcellona  Liceo Lohengrin (Elsa)
1892 Santander Principal Africana (Selika)
1892 Siviglia San Ferdinando Aida (Aida)
1892 Bilbao  Arriaga Aida (Aida)
1892 Torino Teatro Regio Gioconda (Gioconda)
1892 Milano Teatro alla Scala Cristoforo Colombo (Isabella)
1893 Palermo Politeama Gioconda (Gioconda)
1893 Madrid  Reale Lohengrin (Elsa)
1893 Madrid Reale Gioconda (Gioconda)
1894 Cadice Principal Africana (Selika)
1894 Cadice Principal Aida (Aida)
1894 Cadice Principal Norma (Norma)
1894 Varsavia Imperiale Aida (Aida)
1894 Milano Teatro alla Scala Walküre (Sieglinde)
1894 Milano Teatro alla Scala Loreley (Loreley)
1895 Montevideo Solis Aida (Aida)
1895 Varsavia Imperiale Otello (Desdemona)
1896 Lisbona San Carlos Africana (Selika)
1896 Lisbona  San Carlos Lohengrin (Elsa)
1896 Buenos Ayres Opera Africana (Selika)
1896 Buenos Ayres Opera Aida (Aida)
1896 Brooklyn  Academy of Music Andrea Chenier (Maddalena)
1896 Philadelphia Academy of Music Andrea Chenier (Maddalena)
1897 Buenos Ayres Opera Andrea Chenier (Maddalena)
1897 Montevideo Solis Andrea Chenier (Maddalena)
1897 Montevideo Solis Africana (Selika)
1897 Milano Teatro alla Scala Don Carlo (Elisabetta) 
1899 Valencia  Principal Africana (Selika)
1899 Lisbona San Carlos Mefistofele (Margherita)
1900 Parma Teatro Regio Aida (Aida)   
1901 Parma Teatro Regio Tosca (Tosca)
1901 Siviglia San Ferdinando Africana (Selika)
1901 Siviglia  San Ferdinando Lohengrin (Elsa)
1902 Valencia Principal Tosca (Tosca)
1902 Barcellona  Liceo Tosca (Tosca)
1902 Vera Cruz  Dehesa  Traviata (Violetta)

Carmen Bonaplata-Bau never made recordings

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Merle Alcock (Contralto) (Andover, Missouri 1890 - Phoenix, Arizona 1/3, 1975)

She was born Merle Tillotson. She studied singing at the Drake Conservatory in Des Moines and later with William Wade Hinshaw, Paul Savage and Herbert Witherspoon. Under her real name she made her debut in 1914 in a concert in London. In 1914 she married the tenor Bechtel Alcock and since then sang under this name. In 1915 she appeared in New York as a soloist with New York Symphony Orchestra and now became a known oratorio contralto. In 1915 she appeared at the festival in Worcester, in 1918 she had a triumphant success in a concert with the New Yorker Philharmoniker. She counted as an excellent interpreter of the works of J. S. Bach and G. Fr. Händel. Only in 1923 she made her debut at the operatic stage. In 1923 she appeared at the Metropolitan Opera in New York as Beppe in ‘’Amico Fritz’’ by P. Mascagni. Till 1929 she had at the Metropolitan Opera a huge success and among other things her repertoire included Maddalena in ‘’Rigoletto’’, Cieca in ‘’La Gioconda’’ by A. Ponchielli, Lola in ‘’Cavalleria Rusticana’’, she sang also in ‘’Le Roi de Lahore’’ of J. Massenet, ‘’Le Coq of d'or’’ by N. Rimsky-Korsakov, in U. Giordano’s ‘’La cena delle beffe’’ and in ‘’La Vida breve’’ by M. de Falla. In 1929 she appeared in the première of the opera ‘’Fra Gherardo’’ by I. Pizzetti. In 1924 she sang at the festival of Ravinia the part of Ortrud in ‘’Lohengrin’’. In 1930 she undertook an America tour with the San Carlo Opera Company as Carmen. After her retirement she taught  singing in New York. The soprano Eileen Farrell and the tenor George Maran belonged to her pupils.

Chronology of some appearances

1923-1929 New York Metropolitan Opera


Edison 4-min cylinders, USA 1914-07 
Let me dream again (Sullivan) (as Merle Tillotson) BA 2273

Edison, New York 1916-01
Songs we used to sing in Dixieland (Roma) (w. chorus) 80297 4407-A

Edison, New York 1916-05-05/11
His lullaby (Jacobs Bond) 80325 4718-A 

Edison, New York 1917-06-18
Rigoletto (Verdi): Quartet with Verlet, Ciccolini & Middleton 84001 5629-A 

Edison, New York 1917-09-14
Lucia di Lammermoor (Donizetti): Sextet with Verlet, Ciccolini, Scott, Middleton & Baroni 82266 5787-A

Edison, New York 1918-11-12/27
Gioconda (Ponchielli): Voce di donna  80783 6466-A 

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Vida Ferluga (Mezzo-Soprano) (Opčine, Slovenia 17 March 1895 - Milano, Italia ? 1924)


She was of Slovenian descent. She was born into a family of a teacher, singer and composer Štefan Ferluga. First she received her musical education by her father, then studied singing at the Conservatory of Pesaro. She had a successful career, but unfortunately died of typhus quite young.

Chronology of appearances

1916 Bergamo Teatro Donizetti Mefistofele (Marta/Pantalis) with Beniamino Gigli (Faust),  Carmelita Bau de Bonaplata (Margherita),  Ines Vannini (Elena), Giuseppe Nessi (Wagner/Nereo) and Angelo Masini Pieralli (Mefistofele)

1916 Genova Teatro Carlo Felice Goffredo Mamelli (Cristina Trivulzio) with Carmelo Alabiso (Goffredo Mameli), Eugenia Burzio (Delia Terzaghi) and Emilio Bione (Carlo Terzaghi)

1916 Prato Politeama Ermete Novelli Goffredo Mamelli (Cristina Trivulzio) with Carmelo Alabiso (Goffredo Mameli), Francesca Solari (Delia) and Emilio Bione (Carlo Terzaghi)

1917 Roma Teatro Costanzi Gioconda (Laura/shared with Matilde Blanco-Sadún) with Sara Cesar (Gioconda),  Beniamino Gigli (Enzo) and Arturo Romboli/Giuseppe Danise (Barnaba)

1918 Roma Teatro Costanzi Adriana Lecouvreur (principessa Bouillon) with Carmen Toschi (Adriana Lecouvreur),  Beniamino Gigli (Maurizio) and Giuseppe Danise (Michonnet)

1918  Roma Teatro Costanzi Favorita (Leonora) with Dino Borgioli (Fernando), Giuseppe Danise (Alfonso XI) and Giulio Cirino (Baldassarre)

1918 Bologna Teatro Comunale Aida (Amneris/shared with  Giuseppina Bertazzoli Gibellini/Maria Pedrazzi) with Ester Mazzoleni/Mercedes Aicardi (Aida), Alessandro Dolci/Pietro Zeni (Radamès) and Giuseppe Bellantoni (Amonasro)

1920 Venezia  Teatro alla Fenice La walkiria  (Fricka/Schwertleite) with Cesira Ferrani, (Helmwige)Icilio Calleja (Sigmondo),  Angelo Masini-Pieralli (Wotan), Tagida Tavares (Siglinda), Berta Zulian Venturini (Brunilde)

1922 Napoli Teatro San Carlo Sigfrido (Erda) with Icilio Calleja (Sigfrido), Nicola Rakowsky (Alberico),  Elena Rakowska-Serafin (Brunilde), Luciano Donaggio (viandante/Wotan) and Franco Zaccarini (Fafner)

1924 Napoli Teatro San Carlo Fedra (Etra) with Mafalda De Voltri (schiava Ipponoe), Ettore Parmeggiani (Ippolito),  Giulia Tess (Fedra) and Leone Paci (pirata fenicio)


Phonotype, Napoli 
Rigoletto (Verdi): with Angela De Angelis, Fernando De Lucia and Antonio Armentano Anticorona

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Peter Lordmann (Bass/Baritone) (Köln, Germany Mar. 22, 1874 - Regensburg, Germany Jan. 27, 1955)


He began his career in 1897 as a concert singer with appearances in Düsseldorf and Köln. In 1897 he made his debut at the Hoftheater in Kassel. In the 1898-1902 seasons he was engaged by the Theater of Graz. From 1902 to 1904 he appeared at the Hoftheater in Karlsruhe. In the 1904-1905 season he sang at the Opernhaus in Köln and in the 1905-1909 seasons at the Volkskoper in Wien. Here he sang among other things in the Viennese première of G. Puccini’s ‘’Tosca’’. Here his repertoire included Figaro in "Figaros Hochzeit", Sarastro in ‘’Zauberflöte’’, Leporello in ‘’Don Giovanni’’, Daland in "Fliegenden Holländer", king Heinrich in ‘’Lohengrin’’, Stadinger in "Waffenschmied" by Lortzing and Saint Bris in ‘’Huguenots’’. In the 1909-1912 seasons he belonged to the ensemble of the Dresden Hofoper, in the 1912-1916 seasons to the Deutschen Opernhaus in Berlin. After a short participation as a soldier in the First World War he continued his career and from 1917 to 1919 he was a soloist of the Stadttheater in Bremen, from 1919 to 1921 he was a member of the Staatstheater in Wiesbaden, then in the 1923-1924 season he was active as singer and director at the Stadttheater in Hagen (Westfalen). In 1903 he guested at the Hofoper in Wien, in 1911 at the Opernhaus in Leipzig. At the Deutschen Opernhaus in Berlin he sang in 1914 in the premiere of E. Humperdinck’s "Die Marketenderin". His stage repertoire also included Osmin in "Entführung aus dem Serail", Falstaff in "Lustigen Weibern von Windsor", Baculus in ‘’Wildschütz’’, Bombardon in "Goldenen Kreuz" by I. Brüll,, Beckmesser in "Meistersimngern", Rocco in ‘’Fidelio’’, Giacomo in ‘’Fra Diavolo’’ and Eremit in "Freischütz".

Chronology of some appearances

1897 Kassel Hoftheater
1898-1902 Graz Theater
1902-1904 Karlsruhe Hoftheater
1903 Wien Hofoper
1904-1905 Köln Opernhaus
1905-1909 Wien Volkskoper
1909-1912 Dresden Hofoper
1911 Leipzig Opernhaus
1912-1916 Berlin Deutschen Opernhaus
1917-1919 Bremen Stadttheater
1919-1921 Wiesbaden Staatstheater
1923-1924 Hagen Stadttheater


Pathé, Berlin 1909?
Zauberflöte (Mozart): Das klinget so herrlich with Kaschowska 14551
Zauberflöte (Mozart): Bei Männern with Kaschowska 14553

Pathé, Berlin 1910?
Bohème (Puccini): Mantellied 15832
Don Giovanni (Mozart): Register-Arie, pt 1 15822

Pathé, Wien 1911?
Faust (Gounod): Serenade 51156
Juive (Halévy): Fluch-Arie 51155
Carmen (Bizet): Auf in der Kampf 51172
Tannhäuser (Wagner): Ansprache des Landgrafen 51149

Pathé, Berlin 1911/1912
Faust (Gounod): Duell-Terzett with Plaschke and Soot 55646

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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Desider Zádor (Baritone) (Horna Krupa, Hungary 8/3 1873 – Berlin, Germany 24/4 1931)

First he became a teacher. He studied singing under Adele Passy-Cornet in Budapest, then went for the further studies to Vienna. He made his debut in 1898 at the Stadttheater of Czernowitz (Tschernowzy) as Count in "Figaros Hochzeit". In the 1898-1901 seasons he sang at the Stadttheater in Elberfeld, from 1901 to 1906 at the Deutschen in Prague (among other things in 1903 in the premiere of Cesare Rossi’s opera "Nadeya"). Then he made guest appearances at the Hofoper in Dresden and Munich. In the 1906-1908 seasons and in 1910 he had a huge success at the Covent Garden in London,  in 1906 and 1909 at the Stadttheater of Zurich. Famous he became notable by his magnificent interpretation of the Alberich in R. Wagner’s ‘’Ring-Zyklus’’. In the 1906-1911 seasons he had a successful career at the Berlin Komischen Oper; here on 21. 2. 1907 he sang the part of the black violinist in the premiere of the opera "Romeo und Julia auf dem Dorfe" by F. Delius. He appeared there also in the Berlin première of R. Leoncavallo’s ‘’Zazà’’ (1908) and had a special success as father in ‘’Louise’’ of G. Charpentier. In 1910 he appeared during the Beethoven Fest in the Hague as Pizarro in ‘’Fidelio’’. In the 1911-1916 seasons he sang at the Hofoper in Dresden (among other things in 1913 in the premiere of "Coeur As" by E. Künneke), in the 1916-1919 seasons he was active as singer and conductor at the National Opera in Budapest. In the 1920-1924 seasons he was engaged by the Staatsoper in Berlin and also guested again at the London Covent Garden. In the 1922-1924 seasons he made guest appearances in North America with the German Opera Company. In 1923 at the Great Northern Theatre in Chicago he participated in the American première of the opera "Der Evangelimann" of W. Kienzl, which was repeated in 1924 in New York. Since 1924 up to his death he was a member of the Städtischen Oper in Berlin, where he appeared mostly as comprimario and sang also the parts of bass. Married the contralto Emma Zador-Basst . 

Chronology of some appearances

1898 Czernowitz Stadttheater
1898-1901 Elberfeld Stadttheater
1901-1906 Prague  Deutschen
1906 Zurich Stadttheater
1906 Berlin Komischen Oper
1906-1908 London Covent Garden
1909 Zurich Stadttheater
1910 London Covent Garden
1910 The Hague Opera
1911-1916 Dresden  Hofoper  
1916-1919 Budapest National Opera
1920-1924 Berlin Staatsoper 
1922-1924 North America Tour
1923 Chicago Great Northern Theatre
1924-1931 Berlin  Städtischen Oper


G&T, Praha 1903? (late)
Rheingold (Wagner): Fluch 2-42823 1920x

Gramophone, Berlin 1908
Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Wagner): Den Tag seh' ich erscheinen 4-42120 6841L
Tannhäuser (Wagner): O Himmel, lass' dich jetzt erflehen 4-42121 6842L
Faust (Gounod): 8) Da ich n un verlassen soll (Valentins Gebet) 4-42077 12274u
Faust (Gounod): 28) Valentins Tod, pt 2 042164 0782v

Gramophone, Berlin 1909-03-29
Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Wagner): Jerum, jerum (Schusterlied) 4-42212 844ab
Rheingold (Wagner): Bin ich nun frei (Alberichs Fluch) 4-42213 845ab

Gramophone, Berlin 1909-05-12
Der Kuss (Beethoven) 4-42238 1027ab
Margreth am Tore (Jensen) 4-42239 1029ab

Gramophone, Berlin 1911-06-13
Huguenots (Meyerbeer): Arie des St Bris (w. Ensemble) 042299 2232c
Africaine (Meyerbeer): Wie hat mein Herz geschlagen 042300 2233c

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Cyrena van Gordon (Contralto) (Camden, Ohio September 4, 1893 ? - New York City April 4, 1964)

She was born Cyrena Pocock. She studied singing at the Cincinnati conservatoire under the pedagogue Louise Dotti. In 1913 she was engaged by the conductor Cleofonte Campanini for the Chicago Opera, where she made her debut in 1913 as Amneris in ‘’Aida’’. On 26. 12. 1917 she appeared there in the premiere of the opera ‘’Azora’’ by Henry Hadley. In 1921 she sang at the same opera house the part of Brünnhilde in ‘’Walküre’’, however, this remained the only soprano part of the singer. On 4. 11. 1929 she appeared in the opening performance of the new opera house Chicago Opera in a gala performance of G. Verdi’s ‘’Aida’’ (as Amneris). At the Chicago Opera her repertoire included Ortrud in ‘’Lohengrin’’, Fricka, Erda, Marina in ‘’Boris Godunov’’ (1920, with Fedor Schaljapin), Dalila in ‘’Samson et Dalila’’, Ulrica in ’’Ballo in maschera’’, Azucena in ‘’Trovatore’’ and Principessa in ‘’Suor Angelica’’. In 1933 she joined for a season to the Metropolitan Opera in New York, where she performed as Amneris in ‘’Aida’’ as the only role. At the Philadelphia Opera she sang among other things in 1935 in the American première of the opera ‘’Iphigénie en Aulide’’ by Gluck. Later she had her residence in New York, where she still been active as pedagogue. 

Chronology of some appearances

1913-1920's Chicago Opera
1933 Metropolitan Opera New York


Edison, New York 1919-08-05/07 
Favorita (Donizetti): O mio Fernando 82180 6901-C 

Edison, New York 1919-10
Trovatore (Verdi): Stride la vampa 82180 6959-C

Columbia, New York 1921-03-01
Rock of Ages (Hastings) A3398 79743
Shall we gather at the river (Lowry) A3398 79744

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Mary von Ernst (Soprano) (25. Januar 1888 Saarburg, † 7. August 1949 Herrenalb-Gaistal)

She was born Mary Rudy. Under her real name she made her debut in 1906 at the Court Theater of Coburg, after she had been in Paris a pupil of the famous pedagogue Mathilde Marchesi de Castrone. In the 1907-1909 seasons she belonged to the ensemble of the Municipal Theater of Plauen, then sang during a season at the Municipal Theater in Bremen and in the 1910-1913 seasons she appeared at the Municipal Theater of Basel. In 1913 she was engaged by the Court Theater in Karlsruhe, where she performed with great success till 1932. She sang there among other things in the premiere of the opera ‘’Die Rauhensteiner Hochzeit’’ of Hermann von Waltershausen (1919). Her repertoire included the Queen of the night in ‘’Zauberflöte’’, Donna Anna in ‘’Don Giovanni’’, Susanna in ‘’Figaros Hochzei’’t, Constance in ‘’Entführung aus dem Serail’’, Martha, Leonore in ‘’Alessandro Stradella’’, Mrs. Fluth in ‘’Lustigen Weibern von Windsor’’, Zerbinetta in ‘’Ariadne auf Naxos’’, Gilda in ‘’Rigoletto’’, Violetta in ‘’La Traviata’’, Alice in ‘’Falstaff’’, Musetta and Mimi in ‘’La Bohème’’, Anna in ‘’La Dame blanche’’, Rosina in ‘’Barbiere di Siviglia’’, Olympia in ‘’Les contes d'Hoffmann’’ and Philine in ‘’Mignon’’. She made successful guest appearances at the State Operas of Berlin, Munich, Dresden and Stuttgart, also at the Opera Houses of Zurich (1917) and Cologne and at the Municipal Theater of Bremen. Later she taught singing in Karlsruhe. Soprano Elisabeth Friedrich belonged to her pupils. 

Chronology of some appearances

1906 Coburg Court Theater 
1907-1909 Plauen Municipal Theater 
1910-1913 Basel Municipal Theater
1913-1932 Karlsruhe Court Theater


Vox, Berlin 1922-12?
Lucia di Lammermoor (Donizetti): Schwör als Gattin mir ewige Treue 02103 856A   
Contes d'Hoffmann (Offenbach): Sie entfloh, die Taube so minnig 02103 857A 

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Leonilda Paini (Gabbi) (Parma, Italia 1863 - Parma, Italia 1919)

First she studied singing at the Regal School of Music in Parma, then perfected her vocal technique under the vocal pedagogue Pio Ferrari. In 1882 she made her debut at the Teatro Magnani of Borgo San Donnino as mezzosoprano. Probably she made her second debut in 1890 at the Teatro Regio in Parma as Aida in G. Verdi’s ‘’Aida’’. Her sister was the famous soprano Adalgisa Gabbi.

Chronology of some appearances

1887 Borgo San Donnino Teatro Magnani Ruy Blas (Maria)
1889 Parma Teatro Regio Don Carlo (Elisabetta)
1891 Ravenna Teatro Alighieri Aida (Aida)
1895 Ferrara Teatro Comunale Falstaff (Alice)
1897 Marsiglia Teatro Alhambra Ballo in Maschera (Amelia)
1901 Fiume Teatro Comunale Aida (Aida)
1902 Lisbona Coliseo Recrejos Aida (Aida)


Columbia, Milano 1903?
Norma (Bellini): Casta diva 10125

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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Heddle Nash (Tenor) (born June 14, 1894 London, England; died August 14, 1961 London, England)

His voice was discovered by the famous soprano Marie Brema. Nevertheless, his debut was prevented by the outbreak of the First World War. He took part as a soldier in the fights in France, Salonika, Egypt and Palestine. Then he completed his study with Giuseppe Borgatti in Milan. In 1924 he made his stage debut at the Teatro Carcano in Milan as Almaviva in ‘’Barbiere di Siviglia’’ of G. Rossini. Then he sang in Turin, Genoa and Bologna and came back in 1925 to England. First he worked at the Old Vic Theatre in London (debut: Duke in ‘’Rigoletto’’), then with the British National Opera Company, where he made his debut as Roméo in ‘’Roméo et Juliette’’ by C. Gounod. In 1929 he made his debut at the Covent Garden in London as Don Ottavio in ‘’Don Giovanni’’. Since that time he had at this opera house long and successful career and appeared here until 1947. In 1932 he appeared at the His Majesty's Theatre in London in the operetta "Die Dubarry" by Millöcker-Mackeben. In the 1934-1938 seasons he had a huge success at the Glyndebourne festival as Ferrando in ‘’Così fan tutte’’, Pedrillo in "Entführung aus dem Serail" and as Basilio in "Figaros Hochzeit". During the years of the Second World War he sang with Carl Rosa Opera Company and gave a concerts before English soldier. In the 1957-1958 season he appeared again with the ensemble of the New Opera Company. His son, John Heddle Nash, (1928-94), had a significant career as a baritone.

 Chronology of some appearances

1924 Milano Teatro Carcano Barbiere di Siviglia (Almavia)
1925 London Old Vic Theatre Rigoletto (Duca)
1929 London Covent Garden Don Giovanni (Don Ottavio)


British National Opera - 1927 - Aylmer Buesst (c) - in English
Complete Cavalleria Rusticana (Mascagni): with  May Blyth, Harold Williams  and Marjorie Parry

Roger Yacazzi (Tenor)

He made his debut at the Grand Opéra in 1946 as Duke in ''Rigoletto''. In 1949 he made his debut at the Théâtre National de l'Opéra Comique as Cavaradossi in ''Tosca''. The same year, opposite Jeanne Rinella (Santuzza), Jean Vieuille (Alfio) and Jeanne Matio (Lola), he appeared as Turiddu in ''Cavalleria Rusticana''. Probably he had a short career.

Chronology of some appearances

1946 Paris Grand Opéra Rigoletto (Duke)
1949 Paris Opéra Comique Tosca (Cavaradossi)
1949 Paris Opéra ComiqueCavalleria Rusticana (Turiddu)


Private recordings
Aida (Verdi): Celeste Aida
Pagliacci (Leoncavallo): Vesti la giubba

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Maria Benedetti (Mezzo-Soprano) (Baden bei Wien, Austria 28 Oct 1909 - ?)

She was the daughter of Italian parents. First she studied under Frida Wadnai in Budapest, then with Giannina Russ in Milan and, at the end, under Teofilo de Angelis in Rome. In 1934 she made her debut at the Teatro Regio in Parma; then she had in Rome as Etra in ‘’Fedra’’ of I. Pizzetti a sensational success, so that she sang the same part in 1939 also at La Scala in Milan. Then she developed a significant career at the leading Italian opera theaters, above all at La Scala, where she appeard as Ortrud in ‘’Lohengrin’’, Ulrica in ‘’Ballo in maschera’’ and in 1948 as Herodias in ‘’Salome’’ of R. Strauss. She had a huge success also at the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, where she was highly acclaimed by the audience. In 1939 she sang there among other things in the premiere of the opera ‘’Monte Ivnor’’ by Lodovico Rocca, in 1953 she participated there in the premiere of the opera ‘’Medea’’ of Pietro Canonica. She gave guest performances in Barcelona, Rio de Janeiro (1940), Buenos Aires (Teatro Colón), Vienna and in Paris. She also guested regularly at the famous Italian theaters, thus already in 1938 at the Teatro Comunale in Florence as Ulrica and as Margherita in ‘’Guglielmo Ratcliff’’ by P. Mascagni, in 1951 again as Ulrica, in 1950 atthe Teatro Comunale in Bologna she appeared as Herodias. In  the 1949-1957 seasons she performed over and over again at the festival of the Terme di Caracalla  in Roma. Her stage repertoire included also Azucena in ‘’Trovatore’’, Eboli in ‘’Don Carlo’’ and Principessa in ’’Adriana Lecouvreur’’. She was also known as an interpreter of parts in contemporary operas of Zandonai, Pizzetti and Respighi.

Chronology of some appearances

1934 Venezia Teatro alla Fenice Il finto Arlecchino (Violante)
1935 Roma  Teatro Reale dell'Opera Fedra (Etra)
1938 Roma  Teatro Reale dell'Opera L'oro del Reno (Fricka)
1944 Roma  Teatro Reale dell'Opera Adriana Lecouvreur (Principessa)
1945 Roma  Teatro Reale dell'Opera Trovatore (Azucena)
1952 Roma  Teatro Reale dell'Opera Aida (Amneris)
1954 Roma  Teatro Reale dell'Opera Romulus (Tarpeja)


RAI Turín, 4 October 1952
Salome (Strauss): Wo ist Salome? with Lily Djanel and Fiorenzo Tass

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Monday, August 15, 2016

Ida Salden (Soprano) (Hamburg, Germany 1878 - Hamburg, Germany between 1920 and 1929)


She studied singing at the Berlin conservatoire and later under the famous pedagogue Selma Nicklass-Kempner. In 1900 she made her debut at the  Stadttheater of Hamburg and remained active member of this opera house in the 1901-06 seasons. From 1906 to 1909 she sang at the Stadttheater in Darmstadt, in the 1909-1911 seasons at the Opernhaus of Düsseldorf and from 1911 to 1913 at the Kurfürstenoper in Berlin. Since then she lived in Hamburg and made guest appearances. At the Bayreuth festival she worked in 1906 and in the 1908-1909 seasons as Ortlinde in "Walküre", Soloblume in ‘’Parsifal’’, in 1906 also as 2. Knappe in ‘’Parsifal’’. In 1906 and 1907 she guested at the Hoftheater of Mannheim, in 1908 at Hoftheater in Karlsruhe, in 1909 she sang at the Oper of Frankfurt a. M., in 1910 in Amsterdam, in 1911 in Hannover. Shewas involved in several premieres of contemporary operas: In 1904 she sang in Hamburg the title role in Siegfried Wagner’s "Der Kobold", in 1910 in Dusseldorf she appeared as Marga in "Stella maris" by A. Kaiser and on 23. 12. 1911 at the Berlin Kurfürstenoper she performed in ‘’I Gioielli della Madonna’’ of Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari (as Maliella). Her repertoire included Pamina in "Zauberflöte", Elisabeth in ‘’Tannhäuser’’, Elsa in ‘’Lohengrin’’, Sieglinde in "Walküre", Gutrune in "Götterdämmerung", Cio-Cio-San in ‘’Madama Butterfly’’, Marguerite in ‘’Faust’’, Martha in "Tiefland" of E.  d'Albert and Blanchefleur in "Der Kuhreigen" of Wilhelm Kienzl. Probably she passed away during the 1920’s in Hamburg.

Chronology of some appearances

1900-1906 Hamburg Stadttheater 
1906-1909 Darmstadt Stadttheater
1906 Bayreuth festival
1906-1907 Mannheim Hoftheater
1908 Karlsruhe Hoftheater
1908-1909 Bayreuth festival   
1909 Frankfurt a. M. Oper
1909-1911 Düsseldorf  Opernhaus
1911-1913 Berlin Kurfürstenoper


Parlophon, Berlin 1913
Kuhreigen (Kienzl): Ein Tanz war mein Leben (Menuett) P1352

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Filippo De Grandi (Tenor)

A dramatic tenor, who made his debut around 1890. He had long and successful career, which lasted until 1920's. He never made records.

Chronology of some appearances

1894 Trani Comunale Carmen (Don Jose)
1895 Trani Comunale Cavalleria Rusticana (Turiddu)
1896 Napoli San Carlo  Favorita (Fernando)
1899 Samarcanda  Nazionale Norma (Pollione)
1899 Saratoff Nazionale Aida (Radames)
1899 Kiev Solodownikoff Aida (Radames)
1899 Kiev Municipale Carmen (Don Jose)
1899 Kiev  Municipale Gioconda (Enzo)
1899 Kiev  Grand Gioconda (Enzo)
1899 Ekaterinoslav Municipale Aida (Radames)
1899 Ekaterinoslav Municipale Ballo in maschera (Riccardo)
1899 Kursk Nazionale Ballo in maschera (Riccardo)
1899 Orel Municipale Ballo in maschera (Riccardo)
1899 Orel Municipale Otello (Otello)
1899 Smolensk Nazionale Ballo in maschera (Riccardo)
1899 Smolensk Nazionale Ernani (Ernani)
1899 Smolensk Nazionale Otello (Otello)  
1899 Wladikawkas Nazionale  Carmen (Don Jose)
1899 Wladikawkas Nazionale  Norma (Pollione)
1899 Witebsk Nazionale Ernani (Ernani)
1899 Witebsk Nazionale  Otello (Otello)  
1899 Kursk  Nazionale  Fra Diavolo (Fra Diavolo)
1900 Minsk Nazionale Aida (Radames)
1900 Minsk Nazionale  Carmen (Don Jose)
1900 Minsk Nazionale Otello (Otello)  
1900 Minsk Nazionale Ernani (Ernani)
1900 Minsk Nazionale  Ballo in maschera (Riccardo)
1900 Vilna Grand Aida (Radames)
1900 Vilna Grand  Ballo in maschera (Riccardo)
1900 Vilna Grand Carmen (Don Jose)
1900 Vilna Grand Ernani (Ernani)
1900 Vilna Grand  Otello (Otello)  
1900 Monza Sociale Aida (Radames)
1900 Paburgki  Nazionale Otello (Otello)  
1901 Kementz  Municipale  Aida (Radames)
1901 Lublino Nazionale Aida (Radames)
1901 Lublino Nazionale Ballo in maschera (Riccardo)
1901 Gitomir Nazionale Aida (Radames)
1901 Lodz Nazionale Aida (Radames)
1901 Lodz Apollo Gioconda (Enzo)
1901 Kiev Solodownikoff  Aida (Radames)
1901 Kiev Solodownikoff  Cavalleria Rusticana (Turiddu)
1901 Odessa Municipale Aida (Radames)
1901 Odessa  Municipale Carmen (Don Jose)
1901 Poltava D'Inverno Aida (Radames)
1901 Poltava Municipale Carmen (Don Jose)
1901 Kischineff Nazionale Ballo in maschera (Riccardo)
1901 Siena  Dei Rinnovati Ernani (Ernani)
1902 Vilna Grand Norma (Pollione)
1902 Sinferopoli Nazionale Aida (Radames)
1902 Sinferopoli  Nazionale Carmen (Don Jose)
1902 Teodossia  Nazionale Aida (Radames)
1902 Sebastopoli Nazionale  Aida (Radames)
1902 Kharkov Dukova Aida (Radames)
1902 Kharkov Dukova Ernani (Ernani)
1902 Kharkov Dukova  Gioconda (Enzo)
1902 Ekaterinoslav  Nazionale Ernani (Ernani)
1902 Ekaterinoslav  Municipale Norma (Pollione)
1902 Rostov  Nazionale Ernani (Ernani)
1902 San Pietroburgo Aquarium Aida (Radames)
1902 San Pietroburgo  Aquarium Ballo in maschera (Riccardo)
1902 San Pietroburgo  Aquarium  Carmen (Don Jose)
1902 San Pietroburgo Aquarium Ernani (Ernani)
1902 San Pietroburgo Aquarium Gioconda (Enzo)
1903 Kharkov Dukova Cavalleria Rusticana (Turiddu)
1903 Costantinopoli Concordia Aida (Radames)
1903 Elisabetgrad  Nazionale Carmen (Don Jose)
1903 Teodossia Nazionale Cavalleria Rusticana (Turiddu)
1904 Civitavecchia  Traiano Ballo in maschera (Riccardo)
1904 Civitavecchia  Traiano Ernani (Ernani)
1905 Roma Quirino Ballo in maschera (Riccardo)
1906 Il Cairo Abbas Aida (Radames)
1906 Il Cairo Abbas Norma (Pollione)
1906 Terni  Politeama Ternano Forza del Destino (Don Alvaro)
1920 Roma Teatro Morgana Trovatore (Manrico)
1921 Roma Teatro Morgana Ernani (Ernani)

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Arturo Pessina (Baritone)

He was a pupil of Ferretti in Genova. In 1881 he made his debut at the Teatro Andrea Doria in Genova to as Enrico in G. Donizetti’s ‘’Lucia di Lammermoor’’. After perfecting his vocal technique under M. Gazzaniga, he sang in 1883 at the Teatro Dal Verme in Milan in ‘’I Promessi sposi’’ of Errico Petrella. In 1884 he appeared there among other things in ‘’La Cruz’’ of G. Sansone and in G. Verdi’s ‘’Ballo in maschera’’. In 1886 he was to be heard at the Teatro Argentina in Roma, in 1889 again at the Teatro Dal Verme in Milano as a Rigoletto. In 1890 he appeared at the Teatro Regio Torino among other things as Rigoletto and as Alfio in ‘’Cavalleria Rusticana’’. In the 1891-1892 season he was engaged by the Teatro Alla Scala in Milano; here he sang on 20. 1. 1892 in the premiere of the opera ‘’La Wally’’ by A. Catalani as Gellner. In the next 1892-1893 season he performed at La Scala as Rigoletto and as Enrico in ‘’Lucia di Lammermoor’’. In 1893 he appeared wiyh great success at the Teatro Grande in Brescia in the title part in  G. Verdi’s ‘’Falstaff’’. In 1894 and 1897 he was staying at the Teatro San Carlo in Napoli, in 1897 at the Teatro Massimo in Palermo. During the 1894- 1895 season he made guest appearances at the Covent Garden in London, among other things in the title role in the English première of G. Verdi’s ‘’Falstaff’’. By the end of his career he became a respectable Wagner interpreter. In 1899 he sang the part of Wotan in ‘’Walkiria’’ at the Teatro La Fenice in Venezia. In 1901 at the Teatro Sociale in Treviso he again appeared as Wotan in ‘’Walkiria’’. The same part he repeated also at the Teatro Regio in Parma (1906). In 1901 he sang at the Teatro Costanzi in one of six concurrent premieres of P. Mascagnis ‘’Le Maschere’’ (17. 1. 1901). In 1910 he retired from the stage. Later he taught singing in Turin and one of his pupils was well known bass Tancredi Pasero.

Chronology of some appearances

1881 Genova  Teatro Andrea Doria Lucia di Lammermoor (Enrico)
1883 Milano Dal Verme I Promessi sposi (Don Rodrigo)
1884 Milano Dal Verme Ballo in maschera (Renato)
1889 Milano Dal Verme Rigoletto (Rigoletto)
1890 Torino Teatro Regio Cavalleria Rusticana (Alfio)
1892 Milano La Scala La Wally (Gellner)
1893 Brescia Teatro Grande Falstaff (Falstaff)
1899 Venezia Teatro La Fenice Walkiria (Wotan)
1901 Treviso Teatro Sociale Walkiria (Wotan)
1906 Parma Teatro Regio Walkiria (Wotan)

Arturo Pessina never made records