EWA BANDROWSKA-TURSKA, Soprano * 20 May 1894, Kraków, Poland (some sources say 1897) + 25 June 1979, Warsaw;

Ewa Bandrowska-Turska

Ewa Bandrowska-Turska (1894–1979) was a Polish coloratura soprano and music educator. Her repertoire ranged from early music to early 20th-century classical music. She toured both throughout Europe and the United States and she was awarded multiple cultural prizes including the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Rebirth of Poland and the Polish National Prize, First Class.

Ewa Helena Bandrowska-Turska was born on 20 May 1894 in Kraków, Poland. From 1911 to 1913, she studied music in Kraków with her uncle, Aleksander Bandrowski (de), who was an operatic tenor, and then studied with the Polish soprano Helena Zboińska (pl) in Vienna. She debuted in Vienna in 1916 and that same year performed a concert with songs by Schubert and Schumann in Kraków. Her stage debut was as “Marguerite” in Charles Gounod’s opera Faust in 1917 at the Great Theater of Warsaw.

From 1917 to 1922 she was engaged at the Lviv Theatre of Opera and Ballet, but was forced by a pulmonary infection to cease performing and seek treatment in Zakopane. After a brief stay, she was able to return to the Warsaw Opera House in 1923, where she performed through 1924. Simultaneously, between 1923 and 1925 she was engaged for performances in Poznań at the Grand Theatre. Between 1926 and 1930, she performed as a soloist in Katowice, Lviv, Poznań and Warsaw. Bandrowska-Turska made a successful tour in Paris in 1930 which began several years of touring abroad, appearing for the first time in the Soviet Union in 1934 and debuting in the United States at Carnegie Hall in 1935. She performed extensively including venues in Bratislava, Brussels, Chicago, Cleveland, Copenhagen, Hamburg, Leningrad, Moscow, New York, Nice, Odessa, Ostend, Paris, Sofia, and Stockholm.

In 1938, she appeared in a film, based on Stanisław Moniuszko’s opera Halka, performing the title role. The film opened in New York in January 1938 and was still being shown in tours in the United States in 1944 and 1945. In 1939, a special trans-Atlantic broadcast was set up from the Royal Castle in Cracow to the United States. Bandrowska-Turska performed four songs by Karol Szymanowski for U.S. audiences. From 1945 to 1949 Bandrowska-Turska served as a music professor at the State Academy of Music in Kraków and then from 1949 to 1951, she taught at the College of Opera in Poznań.

Her repertoire was diverse and included both early music and contemporary classical music. Bandrowska-Turska premiered many works by Szymanowski, including his Fairy-tale Princess for voice and orchestra, Op. 31. Tadeusz Kassern wrote a concerto for voice and orchestra, Op. 8, for her. She also performed Reinhold Glière’s concerto for coloratura soprano and orchestra in F minor, Op. 82, and Alexander Arutiunian’s concerto for coloratura soprano. She sang works in six languages, including French, German, Polish and Russian. Lyric operas were her specialty, and she performed in Puccini’s La bohème, Verdi’s La traviata, and both Manon and Werther by Jules Massenet. Some of her best-known roles were Constanza in Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Marguerite de Valois in Meyerbeer’s Les Huguenots, Leila in Bizet’s Les pêcheurs de perles, the title role in Moniuszko’s The Countess, and Leonora in Verdi’s Il Trovatore. Her final performance was as Moniuszko’s Countess in September 1961 at the Grand Theatre of Warsaw.

Bandrowska-Turska was awarded the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Rebirth of Poland in 1937. In 1949, she received the Order of the Banner of Work, First Class from president Bolesław Bierut and in 1952 she was awarded the Polish National Prize First Class. Bandrowska-Turska died in Warsaw on 25 June 1979.

Ewa Bandrowska-Turska

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Posted by on May 20, 2018 in Sopranos


RICHARD LEWIS, Tenor * 10 May 1914, Manchester, United Kingdom + 13 November 1990, Eastbourne, United Kingdom;


Richard Lewis (10 May 1914, Manchester, England – 13 November 1990, Eastbourne, England) was an English tenor

Born in Manchester, he first studied with TW Evans at the Royal Conservatory of Manchester, and then with Norman Allin at the Royal Academy of Music in London. He made his debut in 1939 with the Carl Rosa Opera Company as Rossini’s Count Almaviva. Like so many, his career was interrupted by WWII. It was not until 1945 that he was able to continue his career by undertaking a concert tour of Belgium (still as a soldier), performing the solos in Bach’s “Magnificat” and Händel’s “Messiah” in Brussels, as well as concerts in Antwerp and Liège. The Male Chorus in “The Rape of Lucretia ” at Glyndebourne, and Peter Grimes at Covent Garden in 1947. Several world premieres, Gwen in Arwell Hughe’s “Menna” in 1953, Troillus in Walton’s “Troillus and Cressida” in 1954 , Mark in “The Midsummer Marriage “in 1955 and Achilles in his “King Priam” in 1962. His roles included Monteverdi’s Nero, Tamino, Don Ottavio, Idomeneo, Admète in “Alceste” Jason in Cherubini’s “Medea”, Florestan, Massenet’s Des Grieux, Don Jose, Hoffmann, Pinkerton, Bacchus, Herod, Jenik, Grigory, Tom Rakewell, Schoenberg’s Aron and Captain Vere. A leading exponent of oratorios, most particularly Gerontius. A most elegant singer.

Biography by Charles Rhodes

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Posted by on May 19, 2018 in Tenors


KARL MANTZIUS, Baritone * 20 February 1860, Copenhagen, Denmark + 17 May 1921, Frederiksberg, Denmark;


Karl Mantzius (20 February 1860 – 17 May 1921) was a Danish actor, stage and film director, theatre scholar, and operatic baritone.

Life and career:
Mantzius was born in Copenhagen, the son of the actor Kristian Mantzius. At first he played small roles in amateur comedy plays at the Court Theatre in Copenhagen, including ‘Vielgeschrey’ in Den Stundesløse by Ludvig Holberg, which brought him so much success that the theatre manager Edvard Fallesen advised him to become an actor.

He made his debut at the Royal Danish Theatre on 1 September 1883 as Jerome in Erasmus Montanus and became a regular presence at the theatre as both an actor and director. His later roles included Dr. Stern in En mand gik ned fra Jerusalem, Lieutenant von Buddinge in Jens Christian Hostrup’s Gjenboerne and Falstaff in Henry IV. Although primarily a stage actor, he also appeared in two operas at the Royal Danish Theatre—as Beckmesser in Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and as Jeronimus in the 1906 world premiere of Carl Nielsen’s Maskarade. His last performance at the Royal Theatre was as Uncle Peter in Det gamle Hjem on 28 April 1921, less than a month before his death in Frederiksberg at the age of 61.[ Like his father, he was buried at the Frederiksberg Ældre Kirkegård.





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Posted by on May 16, 2018 in Baritones


RICHARD TORIGI, Baritone * 30 October 1917, Brooklyn, New York + 06 April 2010, Sebastopol, California.


Richard Torigi (October 30, 1917 – April 6, 2010) was an American baritone and voice teacher. He had an active singing career in operas, concerts, and musicals from the 1940s through the 1980s. While still performing, he embarked on a second successful career as a voice teacher which led to teaching positions at a variety of institutions, including the Juilliard School, the Eastman School of Music, and the Academy of Vocal Arts.

Life and career:
Born with the name Santo Tortorigi in Brooklyn, Torigi was the son of Italian immigrants to the United States. He studied singing in New York with Eleanor McClellan who was also the teacher of Eileen Farrell. In 1942 he made his Broadway debut as a member of the ensemble in the revival of The Merry Widow, and was heard later that year in the revival of The New Moon. In 1947 he made his professional opera debut with the Rochester Opera as Escamillo in Georges Bizet’s Carmen. He then toured the United States with the San Carlo Opera Company in the late 1940s and in 1950 singing the role of Marcello in Giacomo Puccini’s La bohème. In the Spring of 1951 he performed the role of Figaro in The Barber of Seville in Los Angeles and with both the Cincinnati Zoo Opera and the St. Louis Municipal Opera.

In 1951 Torigi made his debut with the New York City Opera (NYCO) as Silvio in Pagliacci. He performed regularly at the NYCO for the next 18 years; notably singing in the company premieres of Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Consul (1952, John Sorel) and Gaetano Donizetti’s Don Pasquale (1955, Malatesta). Other roles Torigi sang at the NYCO included Marcello, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, and Germont in La traviata among others. His final performance with the company was as Silvio de Narni in Alberto Ginastera’s Bomarzo in October 1969 (which had been recorded in 1967). He had previously created that role in the world premiere of Bomarzo at the Washington National Opera in 1967.

Torigi was also active on Broadway and with several other American opera companies during the 1950s and 1960s. In 1955 he made his debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Schaunard in La bohème. In 1956 he was an alternate for Robert Weede as Tony in the original Broadway production of Frank Loesser’s The Most Happy Fella. He later portrayed the role of Tony in the show’s first National Tour.

After retiring from performance, Torigi worked as a vocal coach and voice teacher. He held teaching posts at a variety of institutions, including Juilliard, Eastman, and the AVA. One of his students was musician and voice actor Barry Carl. He retired from teaching in 2003. He died in Sebastopol, California in 2010 at the age of 92.


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Posted by on May 16, 2018 in Baritones


POL TREMPONT, Tenor * 9 June 1923, Belgium + 3 April 2007, Belgium;


Pol Trempont (9 June 1923, Belgium + 3 April 2007, Belgium) was a Belgian tenor.

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Posted by on May 16, 2018 in Tenors


MARGARET HARSHAW, Soprano/Mezzo-Soprano * 12 May 1909, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States + 07 November 1997, Libertyville, Illinois, United States;


Born in Phildelphia, she began singing with the Mendelssohn Club in 1928, which led to her enrolling at the Julliard School where she encountered Anna-Schoen Rene in 1936. In 1942 she won the Metropolitan Opera Auditions of the Air and made her debut there singing the Second Norn. During her early years as a mezzo soprano she sang Amneris, Azucena, Ulrica (in San Francisco) and Mistress Quickly. In 1950 she began singing the heroic Wagner soprano repertoire, Senta, Kundry, Isolde and Brunnhilde. She sang 379 performances of 39 roles at the Met, ending in 1964. She joined the faculty at Indiana University in 1962 and became the most legendary voice teacher of the 20th century. Among her many students, (and some professionals she aided) were Nancy Adams, Laura Aiken, Norman Andersson, David Arnold, Sharon Beckendorf,Richard Best, Daniel Brewer, William Burden, Elizabeth Byrne, Elizabeth Cannis, Katherine Ciesinski, Shirley Close, Alexandra Coku, Vinson Cole, Jeffrey Dowd, Brent Ellis, Julia Faulkner, Constance Fee, Joseph Frank, Alberto Garcia, Franz Grundheber, Kevin Langan, Evelyn Lear, Shirley Love, Mark Lundberg, Nancy Maultsby, Emily Magee, Mark McCrory, Robert McFarland, Elias Mokole, Stephen Morsheck, Harry Musselwhite, Ronald Naldi,Gayletha Nichols, Jan Opalach, Paula Page, Ron Peo, Walter Plant, Matthew Polenzani,Ashley Putnam, John Reardon, Randall Reid-Smith, Christopher Schauldenbrand, Scharmal Schrock, Bill Schumann, Nadine Secunde, Martha Sheil,Glenn Siebert, Alma Jean Smith, James A. Smith, Jr., Gregory Stapp, Theresa Stratas,Sharon Sweet, Michael Sylvester, Rebecca Turner, Benita Valente,Carol Vaness, Anastasios Vrenios, Christine Weidinger, Gary E. Burgess, Jane Shaulis, Kathryn Bouleyn Day, Felicia Weathers, Laura Brooks Rice and Sally Wolf. Thanks to Kevin Langan for his assistance in this short biography .

Biography by Charles Rhodes


Photo credit: Voice Talk

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Posted by on May 12, 2018 in Sopranos


GÖTA VIKTORIA LINDBERG (ALLARD), Mezzo-Soprano * 12 May 1903, Örnsköldsvik, Sweden + 05 March 1980, St Matteus Församling, Stockholm, Stockholm County, Sweden;


Göta Viktoria Lindberg (Allard) (12 May 1903, Örnsköldsvik, Sweden + 05 March 1980, St Matteus Församling, Stockholm, Stockholm County, Sweden) was a Swedish mezzo-soprano.

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Posted by on May 12, 2018 in Mezzo-Sopranos

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