Monthly Archives: June 2017

PAUL CABANEL, Bass-baritone * 29 June 1891, Orán + 05 November 1958, Paris;

Paul Cabanel was born in Oran. After studies of law he trained as a singer at the local conservatory and at the Conservatoire National de Paris. During military service he was severely wounded at the Verdun battle in 1916 and was not able to continue his studies until 1919. He made his debut as Hérode in Massenet’s Hérodiade at Kairo where he also appeared in Manon, Faust and Thaïs. Until 1932 he sang at various provincial opera houses also making some guest appearances in Belgium and Switzerland. He was engaged at the opera of Bordeaux during seven seasons as well as at the opera of Vichy. It was not until 1932 (!) that he made his debut at the Opéra-Comique as Scarpia where his singing was immediately warmly received. The following year he succeeded at the Grand Opéra as Méphistophélès in Berlioz’ La Damnation de Faust which became his most famous role. Cabanel became an admired member at both opera houses. His further repertory included Leporello, the High Priest in Samson et Dalila, Escamillo, Tonio, Figaro, Nikalantha, Basile, Colline, the four villains in Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Papageno, Frère Laurent and Arkel in Pelléas et Mélisande including a number of Wagnerian roles. He appeared as Mephistophélès in Gounod’s Faust more than 1000 times! The artist was engaged at the operas of Rio de Janeiro, the Teatro Colón, the Teatro Liceo Barcelona and at Amsterdam. He was particularly admired at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels where he sang Boris at the end of his career in 1954. From 1942 to 1958 he was a sought-after singing coach at the Conservatoire National de Paris.

Charles Cambon, Paul Cabanel and Hélène Bouvier, rehearsing “Samson et Dalila”

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Posted by on June 30, 2017 in Bass-Baritones


TINO PATTIERA, Tenor * 27 June 1890, Cavtat, Croatia + 24 April 1966, Cavtat, Croatia;

Tino Pattiera - Tino Pattiera.jpg

Tino Pattiera (27 June 1890 – 24 April 1966) was a Croatian-Dalmatian Italian tenor, born in Cavtat, near Dubrovnik.

Prior to taking up the repertory for which he became famous, he was notable in operetta.

Pattiera was a handsome man with an exceptional, dark heroic tenor voice, that was, some say, perfectly suited for roles such as Manrico in Il trovatore. It was in this role that he made his stage debut at the Dresden Opera in 1914 and it was in the Italian repertoire that he specialized. Among his closest friends and colleagues during the early days at Dresden were Richard Tauber and Elisabeth Rethberg.

Pattiera was the most popular tenor in Dresden in the 1920s. It was during that time he partnered with the soprano Meta Seinemeyer and was responsible for a resurgence of interest in Giuseppe Verdi’s operas in Germany. Singing with Seinemeyer under Fritz Busch, they gave performances of La forza del destino and Don Carlos in notable productions.

In addition to his work in Dresden in the Italian repertoire, Pattiera sang Tannhäuser and the role of Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos, was a guest artist in several European cities, and joined the Chicago Opera Company for the 1920/21 season.

On 31 January 1925, the Dresden premiere of Umberto Giordano’s Andrea Chénier was given with Seinemeyer as Maddalena. It won praise from the composer himself, who was in the audience. Tino Pattiera, who became her most famous stage and recording partner, sang the title role.

On occasion compared with Caruso during his partnership with Seinemeyer, Steane notes “that Dresdeners are said to have compared their performances together to the Melba-Caruso evenings at Covent Garden.[2]

Pattiera gave his last performance in 1953 in Dresden and then retired, after which he taught in Vienna. He died in 1966 and is buried in his hometown of Cavtat.

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Posted by on June 27, 2017 in Tenors


MICHEL DENS, * Baritone * 22 June 1911 in Roubaix + 19 December 2000 in Paris;

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Michel Dens (22 June 1911 in Roubaix – 19 December 2000 in Paris) was a French baritone, particularly associated with the French repertory, both opera and operetta.

Born Maurice Marcel, the son of a journalist, he studied at the Academy of Music in Roubaix. He made his debut at the Opéra de Lille, as Wagner in Gounod’s Faust, in 1934, and remained there as a member until 1936. Thereafter he sang at the Opera Houses of Bordeaux, Grenoble, Toulouse and Marseille. In 1943, he was heard at the Monte Carlo Opera as Escamillo, Valentin, and the Count in Le nozze di Figaro.

After the Second World War, he began a very successful career at the Opéra-Comique and the Palais Garnier in Paris. His roles at the Opéra-Comique included; Figaro, Lescaut, Zurga, Frédéric, Ourrias, Dapertutto, Alfio, Marcello, Scarpia, et al., he took part there in the creation of Emmanuel Bondeville’s Madame Bovary, on 1 June 1951.

His debut role at the Opéra in 1947 was in the title role of Rigoletto, he also sang there as Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor, Hérode in Hérodiade, Athanaël in Thais, et al. He appeared with success at the Aix-en-Provence Festival and at most of the great Opera Houses of France.

He also appeared in Belgium, Switzerland, Canada, and North Africa.

He enjoyed a remarkably long and successful career, singing in opera as late as 1979, and also attaining magnificent success in French and Viennese operettas, notably in Lehár’s The Land of Smiles and The Merry Widow. He also sang in works by Louis Varney, Robert Planquette, Charles Lecocq, André Messager, and others. As late as 1992, he gave concerts in Paris and Marseille. He was made a Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur.

Dens sang an estimated 10,000 performances during his long career.

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Posted by on June 23, 2017 in Baritones


PETER PEARS, Tenor * 22 June 1910, Farnham, United Kingdom + 3 April 1986, Aldeburgh, United Kingdom;

Image result for Peter Pears GREAT SINGERS OF THE PAST

Sir Peter Pears, in full Sir Peter Neville Luard Pears (born June 22, 1910, Farnham, Surrey, England—died April 3, 1986, Aldeburgh, Suffolk), British tenor, a singer of outstanding skill and subtlety who was closely associated with the works of Sir Benjamin Britten. He received a knighthood in 1977.

Pears studied at the University of Oxford, at the Royal College of Music, and then with Elena Gerhardt and Dawson Freer. In 1936 he met Britten, and in 1938 he gave the first of many song recitals with Britten as accompanist. The two men became lifelong companions. In 1942 Pears made his opera debut in London in Jacques Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffmann. He then joined the Sadler’s Wells Opera, where he created the title role in Britten’s Peter Grimes (1945). In 1946 Pears helped Britten found the English Opera Group, and in 1947 they were instrumental in founding the Aldeburgh Festival.

Pears sang in the first performances of all of Britten’s operas, including Albert Herring, Billy Budd, Owen Wingrave, and Death in Venice. He also performed notably in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Bedřich Smetana’s The Bartered Bride, and much of the Italian operatic repertory as well as in the song cycles of Robert Schumann and Franz Schubert and the Passions of J.S. Bach.

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Peter Pears and Benjamin Britten in 1954, at Crag House, Aldeburgh.

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Image result for Peter Pears GREAT SINGERS OF THE PAST

Britten and Pears preparing the BBC film of Peter Grimes

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Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears


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Posted by on June 23, 2017 in Tenors


ERNESTINE SCHUMANN-HEINK, Contralto * 15 June 1861, Libeň, Prague, Czech Republic + 17 November 1936, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, United States;

Ernestine Schumann-Heink in 1918.jpg

Ernestine Schumann-Heink (15 June 1861 – 17 November 1936) was a German Bohemian, later American, operatic contralto. She was noted for the size, beauty, tonal richness, flexibility and wide range of her voice.


Ernestine Schumann-Heink (1916)

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Posted by on June 15, 2017 in Contraltos


JOHANNA GADSKI, Soprano * 15 June 1872, Anklam, Germany + 22 February 1932, Berlin, Germany;

Johanna Gadski.jpg

Johanna Gadski (15 June 1872 – 22 February 1932) was a German soprano. She was blessed with a secure, powerful, ringing voice, fine musicianship and an excellent technique. These attributes enabled her to enjoy a top-flight career in New York City and London, performing heavy dramatic roles in the German and Italian repertoires.

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Johanna Gadski in 1915

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Posted by on June 15, 2017 in Uncategorized


AASE NORDMO LØVBERG, Soprano * 10 June 1923 Målselv, Troms, Norway + 25 January 2013 Lillehammer, Oppland, Norway;


Aase Nordmo Løvberg (10 June 1923 – 25 January 2013) was a Norwegian opera soprano. She was one of the 20th century’s foremost Nordic singers.[citation needed] For many years she sang with Jussi Björling at the Royal Opera in Stockholm, and she also sang under renowned conductors such as Herbert von Karajan and Georg Solti.

Løvberg was born in Målselv, Troms, and made her professional début in Oslo in 1948. In the period 1952 to 1970 she lived in Stockholm, interrupted by a stay at the Vienna State Opera and the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.

Løvberg was a professor at the Norwegian Academy of Music and head of the Norwegian Opera. She was a Commander of the Order of St. Olav, and won a Gammleng prize in the veteran class in 2000. She was married to Børt-Erik Thoresen.

Løvberg lived her last years in Lillehammer, Oppland, where she died aged 89.

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Posted by on June 11, 2017 in Sopranos

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