ANNI ANDRASSY, Alto, * 27 October 1898 Ludwigsschwaige, † 1959 London;

She made frequent appearances at the Bayreuth Wagner Festivals in such roles as one of the the Rhine maidens and the Valkyries.

Anni Andrassy Berlin Opera Singer Photo Autograph 1925



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Posted by on August 26, 2016 in Alto


ANDRÉ ALLARD, Baritone, * 10 March 1874, Paris, France, some sources say 1875 + 1938, Paris;

He studied singing at the Conservatoire de Paris and made his debut in 1897 at the Opéra National de Bordeaux

Chronology of some appearances

1900 London Covent Garden Carmen (Escamillo)

1900 London Covent Garden Faust (Valentin)

1902 London Covent Garden Manon (Lescaut)

1902 Paris Opera-Comique La Carmélite (Reynaldo Hahn) (Premiere)

1903 Paris Opera-Comique La Reine Fiammette (Xavier Leroux) (Premiere)

1904 Paris Opera-Comique La fille de Roland (H. Rabaud) (Premiere)

1906 Paris Opera-Comique Madama Butterfly (Sharpless) (Premiere)

1906 Paris Opera-Comique Aphrodite Camille Erlanger (Premiere)

1910 Paris Opera-Comique Léone (Samuel-Rousseau) (Premiere)

1911 Paris Théâtre Apollo Madame Favart

1911 Opéra de Monte-Carlo Don Quichotte (Sancho Panza)

1912 Opéra de Monte-Carlo La Damnation de Faust (Mephisto)

1912 Opéra de Monte-Carlo La Fanciulla del West (Sonora) (Premiere)

1913 Opéra de Monte-Carlo Traviata (Germont)

1913 Opéra de Monte-Carlo Pénélope (Gabriel Fauré) (Premiere)

1916 Paris Opera-Comique Les quatre journées A. Bruneau (Premiere)

1922 Paris Opera-Comique Les Noces Corinthiennes Henri Busser (Premiere)




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Posted by on August 26, 2016 in Uncategorized


ROSETTE ANDAY, Mezzo-soprano, * 12 December 1903, Budapest, Hungary + 22 December 1977, some sources say 18 September, Pressbaum oder Wien), Austria;

On 23 September, 1921 the Vienna State Opera scheduled a performance of Georges Bizet’s Carmen – and an 18-year-old, hitherto unknown, mezzo made her debut, singing one of the most demanding and yet fervently desired parts in all opera. The Director of the Vienna State Opera, Franz Schalk, had first heard the young singer in Budapest, where she studied at the local conservatoire and had taken violin lessons from the composer Jenő Hubay. Schalk engaged her immediately, without insisting on a guest appearance first and Rosette Anday thus took the plunge, in accordance with the motto: “Never ventured, never gained”. And gain she most certainly did. The reviews were favourable and within a short time she became on of the leading mezzos at the Vienna State Opera. The circumatances were auspicious, moreover, because there was a considerable dearth of talent in Vienna at the time in this particular vocal category. Apart from Franz Schalk, Richard Strauss was one of her mentors and – a great honour for such a young singer – he was her piano accompanist when she gave her first Lieder recital in the ‘Grosse Musikvereinssaal’ in Vienna that same season.

Rosette Anday’s voice was that genuine, opulent contralto which is as rare as it is precious. Nevertheless she possessed a resounding top range up to top “C”, an extension normally studiously avoided by contraltos.

After her debut she appeared initially in smaller roles such as Cherubino in Nozze de Figaro but soon graduated to Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte. As the voice became more voluminous, Rosette Anday was entrusted with the great roles in the Italian and French repertoire. Thus she soon sang her first Amneris in Aida, Azucena in Trovatore and, after she had been a member of the company for five years, the dream role of all mezzos, Dalila in Samson et Dalila.

Early in her career she was also asked to sing the big mezzo Wagner roles, viz: Fricka, Erda, Waltraute in Gotterdammerung and, above all, Brangane in Tristan und Isolde”. In Mascagni’s L’amico Fritz she herself played the long violin solo – to the complete satisfaction of the concert master of the Philharmonic Orchestra. She sang the big mezzo roles in many premieres, including Adriano in Rienzi, Preziosilla in Forza del Destino, the role of the ‘Botin’ in Korngold’s Das Wunder der Heliane and Laura in Gioconda. As partner of the most celebrated tenors in Vienna, as well as many famous guests, she managed to hold her own. Eventually, therefore, she was invited to tour North- and South America and subsequently appeared in Berlin, Paris, Italy and at the Salzburg Festival. Mention must also be made of her enormous success as Klytemnestra in Richard Strauss’ Elektra.

Rosette Anday was one of the youngest ‘Kammersängerin’ ever. She also received numerous awards from allover the world.

Banned from the stage during the National Socialist occupation of Austria, she was able to participate immediately after the war in rebuilding what is now regarded as an exemplary ensemble at the “Theater an der Wien”. On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of her debut in 1961, she was once more able to demonstrate the size and beauty of her voice as well as her considerable histrionic talent as Klytemnestra. She was also awarded the honourary membership of the Vienna State Opera. It was simultaneously the artistic apex of an exceptionally long career and a farewell.

Rosette Anday was, moreover, one of the most popular and most frequently engaged altos in the oratorio and Lieder sphere. Her dedication to the music of Gustav Mahler – at that time by no means fully accepted as a composer -is proved by her participations in Das Lied von der Erde, which she sang at a festival matinee at the Vienna State Opera in 1923 as well as in the first performance of the work in Paris (conductor: Oskar Fried) and in London (conductor: Bruno Walter).

Extremely popular in Viennese society, she lived in her beautiful villa in the “Rosette Anday Strasse” in Pressbaum but continued to pass on her rich store of knowledge to young, talented singers.

Courtesy of Bach Cantatas Website

as Brangäne Wien (by courtesy of Peter Giljum)

as Waltraute

as Waltraute Wien 1940

asWaltraute Wien (Collection G&K)

as Magdalene Theater an der Wien 1949 (by courtesy of Peter Giljum)

as Magdalene Theater an der Wien 1955 (by courtesy of Peter Giljum)

as Magdalene Theater an der Wien 1955 (by courtesy of Peter Giljum)

as Fricka Wien (by courtesy of Peter Giljum)

as Carmen

as Carmen Wien

as Carmen

as ? in “Jahrmarkt von Sorotschintzi”

as Niklaus “Tales of Hoffmann”

as Orlofsky Wien 1946

Falstaff Wien

with Team “Nozze” Paris 1949


Portrait (collection G&K)





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Posted by on August 25, 2016 in Mezzo-Sopranos


GEORG ANTHES, Tenor, * 12 March 1863 Bad Homburg, Germania + 23 February 1922, Budapest;

German tenor (1863-1923). Anthes was the leading heroic tenor at the Dresden Opera and successor to Heinrich Gudehus. He made his debut in Freiburg as Max in Der Freischütz. At the Metropolitan Opera (1902-03, 08-09) he performed his Lohengrin nine times (seen here).

This biographical information comes from

as Tristan MET

as Lohengrin

as Lohengrin

as Tannhäuser MET

as Siegfried

as Siegfried Dresden 1893

as Siegfried Dresden 1893

as Siegfried

as Siegmund MET

as Stolzing

as Wether

as Wether

Portrait (Collection G&K)


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Posted by on August 25, 2016 in Tenors


MARIA CALLAS, Soprano, * 03 December 1923, New York, New York + 16 September 1977, Paris, France;

Maria Callas. Reproduced by permission of the Corbis Corporation.

American opera singer

Maria Callas was one of the great coloratura sopranos (female vocalists who specialize in an elaborate form of opera singing) of the twentieth century. She revitalized opera and increased its appeal because of her dramatic skill.
Childhood in America:

By most accounts Maria Callas was born Maria Kalogeropoulos in New York City, New York, on December 3, 1923, just four months after her parents, George and Evangelia (Litza) Kalogeropoulos, arrived in New York harbor after moving from Greece. Callas was formally baptized Cecilia Sophia Anna Maria. It was around the time of her birth that her father shortened the family name to Callas. By the time she started school, Maria Kalogeropoulos was known as Maria Callas.

At age seven Callas began her musical studies by taking piano lessons. She loved opera music even as a youngster, and she had a beautiful voice. She especially loved to sing La Paloma. She took great comfort in listening to the many opera records in her family’s collection. Young Callas soon discovered that she had a natural talent and a flair for the dramatic. She won several amateur talent contests while she was in elementary school, and she was a popular performer on children’s radio shows.

When Callas graduated from the eighth grade in 1937, her mother decided to return to Greece in order for Callas to receive voice training in the classical tradition. She was a dedicated student, driven by a spirit of excellence. Callas’s teachers, and later her directors and producers, were continually amazed at her exceptional memory. She easily learned music and lyrics in a matter of days, where others would require weeks or months.

Finds success in Italy:

After World War II (1939–45; when Germany, Italy, and Japan clashed with European and American forces), her music coach, Elvira de Hidalgo, encouraged Callas to move to Italy to establish her career. Her Italian debut, held on August 3, 1947, was a performance of La Gioconda at the Verona Arena. She went on to perform Tristan and Isolde and Turandot in Venice, Italy, in 1948. She sang the title role in Bellini’s Norma, her most popular role, for the first time in Florence, Italy, in 1948. Critics took note, and her career began to soar.

Almost immediately upon her arrival in Verona, Italy, in 1947 she married Giovanni Battista Meneghini, a wealthy Veronian industrialist. Meneghini withdrew from his business interests to manage Callas’s promising career, and generally devoted his life to fulfilling her every need. During the late 1940s and 1950s Callas toured Argentina, Mexico, and Brazil. She worked with famed Maestro Tullio Serafin, as well as noted directors Franco Zeffirelli (1923–), Francesco Siciliani, and Luchino Visconti.
Finds fame in America:

Callas’s United States debut was at the Lyric Opera of Chicago (Illinois) in 1954. On October 19, 1956, she debuted at the New York Metropolitan Opera (the Met), where she performed in Norma. Coinciding with her Metropolitan Opera debut, Callas was featured on the October 27, 1956, cover of Time.

During the peak of Callas’s career she easily fit the stereotype (an oversimplified version) of a portly and highly emotional opera singer, but in 1952 she experienced a dramatic weight loss. By 1954 she was sixty-five pounds lighter. She continued to perform, and her career exploded into greatness. She added new operas, including Madame Butterfly, which she had previously avoided because she felt awkward and ungraceful.

The years of decline:

During the late 1950s the vocalist’s personal life began to deteriorate, and this tragically affected her career. She had an affair with powerful businessman Aristotle Onassis (c. 1900–1975), and she and her husband separated in 1959, divorcing finally in 1971. Onassis eventually divorced his wife, Tina, but married Jacqueline Kennedy (1929–1994), widow of the late president John F. Kennedy (1917–1963), though he also remained involved with Callas.

The intrigues of Callas’s personal life soon overshadowed her professional life. The stresses of jet-set living, as well as the strain she had put on her voice throughout her career, began to take their toll. A series of high-profile cancellations continued her downward spiral. Although she returned briefly to perform at the Met between 1964 and 1965, she never resurfaced as the great talent of her youth.

Callas died unexpectedly in Paris, France, on September 16, 1977, shortly before her fifty-fifth birthday. Just as no record exists of Callas’s birth, her death also remains shrouded in mystery, the cause of her death never fully explained.

Courtesy: Encyclopedia of World Biography


Maria Callas as Violetta in La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi, 1953

Maria Callas – Mexico City,Studio Semo,June 1952

Maria Callas before she became a fashion icon, 1952

Maria in June 1947 on the ship to Italy

Callas' mother, herself, her sister Jacky and her father 1924

Callas’ mother, herself, her sister Jacky and her father 1924

maria kallas parents

Maria Callas parents

Maria Callas with her parents

Maria Callas and her father in New York in 1945,  Epoca magazine,  January 13, 1957

A tender moment captured between Maria Callas and young fan


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Posted by on August 23, 2016 in Uncategorized


TITTA RUFFO, Baritone, * 09 June 1877, Pisa, Italy + 05 July 1953, Florence, Italy;

Titta Ruffo’s was one of the greatest voices the world has known. No baritone within memory boasted such brazenly sonorous and vibrant tone. A vocal phenomenon, Ruffo was described by Giuseppe de Luca, as ‘Not a voice, but a miracle!’
When Ruffo came to New York in 1920, after several seasons’ absence, the press labeled him ‘the nabob of all living baritones,’ and Richard Aldrich, describing his return in Ambroise Thomas’ HAMLET, wrote, ‘It is not often that an operatic baritone shares so beautifully in the popular acclamations usually reserved for tenors and florid sopranos. He was uproariously applauded after every solo…and after the drinking song..:he was recalled many times, and in response to loud calls of ‘bis’ the scene, was repeated. It was indeed in its way, a magnificent piece of singing.’
Indeed, Ruffo could never be listed as a ‘house’ baritone. He reigned as an international star for whom vehicles were provided, thus becoming the focal point of any operatic season in which he appeared. The immense power and sonority of this voice placed it apart as did the altogether sensational quality of its high notes. It proved as elemental as a storm and the effect, electrifying.
When he appeared at the Manhattan with Galli-Curci and Schipa in RIGOLETTO, traffic was disrupted and excitement knew no bounds. I recall that atfer the ‘Si, vendetta!’ that closes the third act, the curtain was raised twice on the scene which had to be twice repeated, the frenetic turmoil increasing with each repetition. Ruffo’s final A-flat was an indescribable sonic experience.
Titta Ruffo was born in the ancient Tuscan city of Pisa on June 9,1877, the son of an iron worker.His actual name was Ruffo Titta, which he reversed for stage usage.Though he worked with several teachers, among them the famous Persichini, he was largely self-taught. When he madehis debut as the Herald in LOHENGRIN in 1898, the performance starred the celebrated Spanish tenor, Francisco Vignas. But young Ruffo’s voice stunned his listeners; nothing like it had been heard.
Giacomo Lauri-Volpi, the famous tenor, commenting on this voice wrote, ‘the velvety singing of Battistini, De Luca and Stracciari, conducted with knowledge and filled with inner nuances, received a rude shock with the sonorous manifestation of a biting and audacious Tuscan voice, which sky-rocketed the price of baritones in the operatic stock-exchange. A leonine voice, sometimes roaring, sometimes languid and dragged out, did not resemble any other which preceded it because it featured cavernous nasal resonances, spectacular portamenti, and notes that were dark and percussive. This was the ‘historic’ voice among the tenors and Chaliapin among the bassos. “Ruffo’s voice was instantly recognizable: it had a completely distinctive sound.”
Ruffo’s North American debut at Philadelphia, on November 4, 1912 in RIGOLETTO, caused a sensation, giving rise to immediate comparisons with Caruso, not always to the advantage of the New York idol. It was claimed by some that Ruffo attained his stentorian effects with greater ease than the Neapolitan divo. At that time he was receiving $2,500 a performance and was known as “the most expensive baritone in the world.” He triumphed in Paris, throughout Italy, in Russia and South America, but he did not reach the Metropolitan until January 19,1922 in Rossini’s ILBARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA. It is significant that this was the first Metropolitan season without Caruso, who had died in Naples the previous summer. At the time, Ruffo was 45 and the unique voice had lost some of its ease and phenomenal resonance. Nevertheless, Henry T. Finck in the EVENING POST exclaimed. ‘Ruffo is the baritonal Tamagno.’
Ruffo remained at the Metropolitan until February 22, 1929. On that date he appeared as Amonasro in AIDA in a cast composed of Lauri-Volpi, Corona, Branzell and Ludikar under the baton of Tullio Serafin. During his Metropolitan years he appeared sporadically as a star performer, sometimes not more than three or four times a season. These appearances were regarded by his followers as events. He retired from opera in the mid ninteen-thirties and died in Florence of heart failure on July 5, 1953.


As Figaro in “Il Barbiere di Siviglia”


Gallo y Ruffo.
(Foto: V Barberá Masip)

Courtesy: Sandy’s Opera Gallery (Sandy Steiglitz)

Titta Ruffo & Enrico Caruso, 1914

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Posted by on August 21, 2016 in Baritones


RŮŽENA MATUROVÁ, Soprano, * 02 September 1869 Prague, Bohemia, Austria-Hungary + 25 February 1938 Prague, Czechoslovakia;

Růžena Maturová - civilní portrét

Růžena Maturová (1869-1938) was performing as opera soloist of the National Theatre in years 1893-1909. She was a great singer who could well identify with the ideas of Czech composers (Dvořák, Fibich, Ostrčil, Prokop etc.)


















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Posted by on August 21, 2016 in Sopranos

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