Monthly Archives: July 2017

LUDWIG WEBER, Bass * 29 July 29 1899, Vienna, Austria + 09 December 1974, Vienna, Austria;

The Austrian bass, Ludwig Weber, initially planned to pursue a career as an elementary school teacher, but he also studied painting with Alfred Roller at the Wiener Kunstgewerbeschule. He discovered his vocal promise when he sang in the choir of the Wiener Oratorien-Vereinigung and decided to pursue an opera career. In 1919 he began studies in Vienna with Alfred Borrotau, a well respected teacher.

In 1920 Ludwig Weber made his professional debut as Fiorello in The Barber of Seville at the Vienna Volksoper, where he sang for a few years in smaller roles. Possessing one of the largest dark-and-cavernous-type bass voices of the 20th century, Weber was in equally high demand for villainous roles and noble characters. In the mid 1920’s was singing in mid size to leading roles with smaller companies throughout Germany. From 1925 to 1927 he was the first bass singer at the Stadttheater of Wuppertal; from 1927 to 1932 he was engaged at the opera house of Düsseldorf. In 1930, he appeared as a guest has performed at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris in Wagner’s operas conducted by Franz von Hoesslin as Hunding and Fafner as Der Ring des Nibelungen. In 1932-1933, he sang at the Opera House of Cologne. After a successful appearance at the Munich Wagner Festival of 1931 he became in 1933 a member of the Staatsoper of Munich, where he remained until 1945, where he participated, among other things, in 1934 in the premiere of the opera Lucedia by Vittorio Giannini and on July 14, 1938 in the premiere of opera ” Der Friedenstag by Richard Strauss.

During his period in Munich, Ludwig Weber began to receive invitations to sing abroad. In 1936 he joined the Royal Opera Covent Garden in London, where he sang numerous roles for several years (London (1936-1939, 1947 and 1950-1951, including roles as Boris Godunov, Pogner, Gurnemanz, Hunding, Hagen, Daland, King Mark, Osmin, Rocco, and Commendatore. He appeared as a guest at Milan’s La Scala (1938-1939, 1942, 1948, 1950), at the Grand Opéra Paris (1948-1950, 1953), at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires; he had great successes in Amsterdam and Brussels; and he also worked appeared at the Maggio Musicale in Florence.

In 1945 Ludwig Weber became a member of the Wiener Staatsoper, where he sang a wide repertoire for the next two decades. In the opening performance of the rebuilt Wiener Staatsoper, on May 11, 1955, he sang Rocco in Fidelio. Huge success he had at the Salzburg Festival. Here he sang in 1939 and 1946 the Commendatore in Don Giovanni, in 1941 Sarastro, in 1945 Osmin, in 1946-1947 Bartolo in The Marriage of Figaro, in addition to many concerts (Verdi’s Requiem in 1947) and in the premiere of Dantons Tod by G. von Einem on August 6, 1947. In the years 1951-1956, 1958 and 1960-1963 he was part of the Bayreuth Festival Ensemble, where he is remembered since as one of great Wagnerian bass singers. In Bayreuth, he sang e.g. Daland (1955-1956) in Fliegenden Holländer, Hagen (1951) and Fasolt (1951-1955, 1958) in Der Ring des Nibelungen, Gurnemanz (1951-1956, 1961) and Titurel (1961, 1963) in Parsifal, Pogner (1952-1953) and Kothner (1960-1961) in Meistersinger, König Heinrich in Lohengrin (1954), and in 1953-1954, the bass solo in the 9th Symphony by L.v. Beethoven.

Ludwig Weber had a powerful, yet musically well educated voice. As a bass singer he became particularly associated with the Wagner roles. In roles as Daland in Fliegenden Holländer, Hagen and Gurnemanz, but also as Rocco in Fidelio he was unmatched in his generation. The title role in Boris Godunov was one of his favourites, and excerpts (sung in German) survive from a performance broadcast on radio. He sang the role in multiple houses including Covent Garden in 1950. He was also famous as Ochs in Der Rosenkavalier, as Kezal in The Bartered Bride, as Kaspar in Freischütz, as Barak in Frau ohne Schatten and as Wozzeck. He was also a celebrated oratorios and Lieder singer.

Since 1961 Ludwig Weber was Professor at the Salzburg Mozarteum, and honorary member of the Wiener Staatsoper. Ludwig Weber retired from the stage in 1965.

Ludwig Weber participate in numerous recordings on labels as Pathé (1930), Philips, Columbia (Zauberflöte), Vox (Fliegender Holländer, Rosenkavalier), Acanta (Aida), und Decca (Rosenkavalier, Salome, Fliegender Holländer, Parsifal). Live recordings have been released on Discocorp Don Giovanni from 1955 and on the same label Daphne by R. Strauss (conducted by Erich Kleiber at the Teatro Colón Buenos Aires, 1948); on Murray Hill Fafner in Siegfried (Scala, Milan, 1950); on Cetra Opera Live Fliegender Holländer and Tristan (Bayreuth 1955 and 1952); on Melodram Fasolt in Rheingold (Bayreuth, 1952) and Fidelio (Vienna, 1955); on Foyer (Rheingold, Bayreuth, 1953) and on Fonit-Cetra (Walküre, Scala, 1950).

Leave a comment

Posted by on July 29, 2017 in Bassses


MAUREEN FORRESTER, Contralto * 25 July 1930, Montreal, Canada + 16 June 2010, Toronto, Canada;

The Canadian contralto, teacher and administrator, Maureen (Katherine Stewart) Forrester, is the youngest of a family of four children raised in Montreal. She she studied piano as a child. Encouraged by her mother she joined Montreal church choirs, where two organists, Warner Norman at St James United and Doris Killam at Stanley Presbyterian, provided a background in music theory and literature. After she left high school at 13 her studies were financed by her earnings as a secretary, supplemented by assistance from the Montreal Social Club. She sang as a soprano until she was 17. She had begun voice studies at 16 in Montreal with Sally Martin, who soon recognized the potential of her lower voice, and she continued at 19 with Frank Rowe, a retired English oratorio and opera tenor. Forrester’s studies with Bernard Diamant, whom she has acknowledged as her most important teacher, began formally in 1950 and later continued on a casual basis into the 1960s. She also studied with Michael Raucheisen in Berlin (1955). She was first runner-up in ‘Opportunity Knocks’ of spring 1951 and also competed in ‘Singing Stars of Tomorrow’ and ‘Nos Futures Étoiles.’

Maureen Forrester made her professional debut with the Montreal Elgar Choir in Edward Elgar’s The Music Makers on December 8, 1951 at the Salvation Army Citadel. With the Opera Guild of Montreal she was a sewing girl in Charpentier’s Louise on January 9-10, 1953 and the Innkeeper in Boris Godunov on January 8-9, 1954. Although she had sung as a church soloist and in contests, Forrester did not make her recital debut until 29 Mar 1953 at the Montreal YWCA accompanied by John Newmark. This collaboration became a long-standing one and included world tours. She was then engaged to give a recital for the Ladies’ Morning Musical Club, which subsequently awarded her a scholarship. The expenses of launching a career which many accurately predicted would be among the greatest in Canadian annals were assumed for more than a decade by then publisher of the Montreal Star, J.W. McConnell, who had been made aware of the young singer’s gifts by his music critic Eric McLean.

After Maureen Forrester’s MSO debut on December 8-9, 1953 in L.v. Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 under Otto Klemperer she appeared on CBC radio and TV, toured Quebec and Ontario 1953-1954 for the JMC (YMC), and made her Toronto Symphony Orchestra debut on December 29, 1954 in George Frideric Handel’s Messiah. Forrester made her European debut on February 14, 1955 in Paris at the Salle Gaveau with Newmark. The European tour which followed, planned by the JM of France to last two months, was so successful that they continued to perform in recital and oratorio, and on the BBC and the Westdeutscher Rundfunk until January 1956. A subsequent Canadian tour included the premiere on August 11, 1956 at the Stratford Festival, of Harry Somers’ Five Songs for Dark Voice, a work commissioned for her by the festival. Among other pianists with whom Forrester has collaborated in recital are Stuart Hamilton, Donald Nolan, John Arpin, Derek Bampton, and David Warrack.

Maureen Forrester made her New York debut on November 12, 1956 at Town Hall and shortly afterwards, at the request of Bruno Walter, she sang in Gustav Mahler’s Second Symphony (the ‘Resurrection’) in Bruno Walter’s farewell performances (February 17-19, 1957) with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. (She later sang the work at the orchestra’s 10,000th concert, a gala performance in March 1982). In addition to a demanding schedule of recitals, oratorio appearances, and broadcasts in Canada in 1957, she appeared with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London (under Thomas Beecham) and the Berliner Philharmoniker in its home city. Also in 1957 she married the violinist Eugene Kash (they separated in 1974). They have five children. At the 1958 Vancouver International Festival she sang Johannes Brahms’ Alto Rhapsody with the Vancouver Bach Choir under Bruno Walter (repeating it three days later in the presence of HRH Princess Margaret) and premiered Jean Coulthard’s Spring Rhapsody. She sang in 1960, 1961, and 1963 at the Casals Festival, and her 1960 performances there of the Alto Rhapsody and Alessandro Scarlatti’s recently rediscovered Salve regina were filmed by the NFB (Festival in Puerto Rico). In 1961 she gave the Canadian premiere (July 30) of the Salve regina at Stratford and the premiere (August 26) of Milhaud’s Bar Mitzvah Israel at the First Israel Music Festival in Jerusalem. In November she began an eight-concert tour of the USSR, and late in 1962 she toured Australia. She had lived for two years in Connecticut, and moved to Toronto in 1963. Her European and USA appearances continued. In 1963 she sang in the NBC TV production of J.S. Bach’s St Matthew Passion (BWV 244). In 1965 she and Lois Marshall joined the USA-based Bach Aria Group (founded in 1946 by William H. Scheide), bringing the number of Canadians in the group’s quartet of singers to three (with Norman Farrow, bass-baritone, an original member). Forrester sang with the group until 1974.

Although she had coached singers previously, Maureen Forrester gave her first master-classes in the summers of 1965 and 1966 at the RCMT. In 1966 she became chairman of the voice department at the Philadelphia Music Academy, beginning her second sojourn in the USA. She returned in 1971 to Toronto and taught in 1971-1972 part-time at the University of Toronto, where her pupils included Mary Lou Fallis. She has also given master-classes for the Department of Music of the University of Alberta (in 1985), and in many locations where she has performed.

Often described as one of the world’s leading contraltos, Maureen Forrester always remained loyal to her Canadian origins and to Canadian music. She premiered Gabriel Charpentier’s Trois Poèmes de St-Jean de la Croix (1955), Jean Papineau-Couture’s Mort (1956), Robert Fleming’s The Confession Stone (Stratford, July 16, 1967), Harry Freedman’s Poems of Young People, and Srul I. Glick’s … i never saw another butterfly… (Toronto, September 6, 1969), four of Keith Bissell’s Six Folk Songs of Eastern Canada (at a CBC Festival, July 12, 1971), Oskar Morawetz’ A Child’s Garden of Verses (under the title From the World of a Child, at a CBC Festival, February 10, 1973) and his Psalm 22: God Why Have You Forsaken Me? (January 4, 1984), R. Murray Schafer’s Adieu Robert Schumann (with the NACO, March 14, 1978), Beauty and the Beast (with the Orford String Quartet, April 1, 1981), and The Garden of the Heart (with the NACO, May 6, 981), Jean Coulthard’s Three Sonnets of Shakespeare (Vancouver, April 2, 1978), and Stephen Chatman’s You Are Happy (Vancouver, March 1989).

Maureen Forrester gave as many as 120 performances a year on five continents (at one time averaging above 30 each year in Canada alone) and performed with virtually every major orchestra and choir in the world under John Barbirolli, Thomas Beecham, Leonard Bernstein, Pablo Casals, Herbert von Karajan, Otto Klemperer, Krips, James Levine, Ernest MacMillan, Seiji Ozawa, Fritz Reiner, Malcolm Sargent, Leopold Stokowski, Szell, Bruno Walter, and many other conductors. She appeared frequently and toured as soloist with both the Montreal Symphony Orchestra (USA, 1981-1982 performing Berlioz’ Les Nuits d’Eté) and Toronto Symphony Orchestra (Japan and China, 1978). She returned to China in 1982 with Claude Corbeil and pianist Claude Savard.

Although she sang very little opera until the 1970’s, Maureen Forrester was Cornelia in a concert performance on November 18, 1958 of G.F. Handel’s Julius Caesar with the American Opera Society and made her Toronto stage debut on May 28, 1962 as Orpheus in Orpheus and Eurydice under Nicholas Goldschmidt at O’Keefe Centre. In June 1966 she sang the role of Orfeo in the first recording of the 1761 Vienna version of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, conducted by Charles Mackerras and published by Vanguard Bach Guild. Other assignments have included Brangäne in Tristan und Isolde in Buenos Aires (1963) for L’Opéra du Québec (1975) and for the Canadian Opera Company (1979); Cornelia in G.F. Handel’s Julius Caesar (Forrester’s USA stage debut on September 27, 1966, with the New York Opera); the Witch in Norman Campbell’s CBC TV production (1970) of Hansel and Gretel (a role she repeated at the 1979 Guelph Spring Festival, and at the San Diego Opera in 1984); Ulrica in The Masked Ball with the Edmonton Opera (1971); Fricka in the Canadian Opera Company’s Die Walküre (1971); Carmen in a concert performance (1972) with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra; Madame Flora in Menotti’s The Medium (1974 at the Stratford Festival and again in 1977 for the COMUS Music Theatre production in Toronto which also was telecast by CBC in November 1978); Mistress Ford in Falstaff for L’Opéra du Québec (1974); Erda in Das Rheingold for her Metropolitan Opera debut (February 10, 1975); the Countess in The Queen of Spades at Festival Canada (Festival Ottawa) in 1976, again in 1979, and in 1990 for her La Scala debut; Herodias in Salome with the Edmonton Opera in 1977 and the Canadian Opera Company in 1986; the Marquise in the Canadian Opera Company’s Daughter of the Regiment in 1977, Festival Ottawa’s in 1980, and her Opéra de Montréal debut in 1994; Klytemnestra in Elektra for the Canadian Opera Company (1983), Madame de la Haltière in Massenet’s Cendrillon for the San Franciso Opera (1982) and the New York City Opera (1983), the Old Prioress in Dialogues des Carmélites (COC, 1986), and Amente Nufe in the premiere of Schafer’s Ra in 1983.

Maureen Forrester also ventured into Gilbert & Sullivan repertoire, performing as Queen of the Fairies in Iolanthe (1984 at the Stratford Festival) and as Katisha in the Canadian Opera Company’s Mikado (1986). As part of Carnegie Hall’s centennial celebrations she was a soloist with the Minnesota Orchestra in Verdi’s Falstaff (November 15, 1990) and with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra under Raymond Leppard in the world premiere of an orchestral arrangement of Benjamin Britten’s A Charm of Lullabies (22 Jan 1991).

Maureen Forrester’s voice, originally a dark mezzo of trumpet clarity and power and at maturity a duskily sumptuous, extraordinarily responsive contralto at ease in the mezzo range, commanded virtually the entire repertoire within that range, although most effective, perhaps, in lieder, (especially J. Brahms, Robert Schumann, G. Mahler, and Strauss), in oratorio, and in orchestral works with voice such as G. Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde. From the outset of her career, Forrester’s singing was marked by a reliable and sophisticated musicianship of which impeccable pitch is only one facet. This quality, abetted by stamina and poise in the face of a hectic travel schedule and heavy advance bookings, has made her popular with conductors and managers at home and abroad. In the early years a few critics felt she used the same sound to meet the varied demands of song, resulting in overly placid interpretations. However, as her experience deepened and her vocal control became more refined, her communicative powers increased. In the Toronto Globe and Mail, May 5, 1977, John Kraglund wrote, ‘It seemed to me that a well-ordered musical world would require that all vocal artists – if they could not study with Miss Forrester the art of using the voice as an instrument to interpret meaning as well as notes – should attend as many as possible of her concert performances.’

In the late 1980’s Maureen Forrester’s voice took on a reedier quality, and she began to include less contemporary music in her repertoire. During the 1990s she cut down on travel and trimmed her schedule to approximately 50 to 60 engagements annually. She sang with the BC Boys Choir in a 1995 concert, and in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s tribute concert of G. Mahler’s Second Symphony in 1995, at which she was presented with the $125,000 Royal Bank Award. Further reducing her opera and classical recitals, by 1996 she had embarked, with composer-pianist David Warrack, on a national tour of their show Interpretations of a Life, featuring humourous tunes written for her by Warrack. By 2002 she performed only occasionally, and resided in a Toronto nursing home.

Maureen Forrester served a challenging term as chairwoman of the Canada Council (1983-8). Throughout the duration of this voluntary position she travelled extensively, continuing to promote Canadian music and actively communicating to various levels of government the need for greater support and increased funding for the arts on behalf of Canadian musicians, artists, and cultural organizations. She was also chancellor 1986-1990 of Wilfrid Laurier University. In 1986 she was named honorary president of the International Year of Canadian Music, and also had her memoirs, Out of Character, published. Until the late 1990s she remained active in aiding various charitable foundations, performing at benefit concerts; she also was appointed as a director of duMaurier Arts in 1993, and was honorary chair of the Toronto School of Music Canada.

Maureen Forrester was named a Companion of the Order of Canada (1967) and received the University of Alberta National Award in Music (1967), the Council’s Prize of the Harriet Cohen International Music Award (1968), and the Molson Prize (1971) awarded by the Canada Council for outstanding cultural achievement. In 1977 she was made an honorary member of the International Music Council. She was national president of the JMC 1972-5 and a member of the board of the NAC 1973-1979. She was a founding director of the COMUS Music Theatre Foundation in 1975, and received the CCA’s Diplôme d’honneur for outstanding service to the arts in Canada in 1980 and the Canada Music Day Award in 1981. She won a Canadian Music Council medal in 1983, was given a life membership from Canadian Actor’s Equity in 1986, and won the music award from the Toronto Arts Foundation in 1988. In 1990 she received the Order of Ontario, and was inducted into the Juno Hall of Fame (only classical performer besides Glenn Gould to have been so honoured). In 1994 Wilfrid Laurier University named its recital hall for her and established a music scholarship fund in her name. Forrester received the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award in 1995, a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame, and Opera Canada’s first ‘Ruby’ award in the creative artist category in 2000. Also in 2000, CBC Radio Two featured Forrester on In Performance, and CBC TV aired the television documentary Maureen Forrester: The Diva in Winter on its Life and Times series. The Stratford Festival administers a Maureen Forrester Award, and features promising Canadian musicians in its Maureen Forrester Young Artists series. The selection committee for the Royal Bank Award termed her ‘a remarkable Canadian who has enhanced Canada’s reputation around the world with her art, and provided leadership in artistic endeavour.’

Maureen Forrester was awarded nearly 30 honorary doctorates, among them: honorary LL D (Sir George Williams) 1967, honorary D LITT (York) 1972, honorary D LITT (St Mary’s) 1972, honorary D MUS (Western) 1974, honorary D MUS (Mt Allison) 1974, honorary LL D (Wilfrid Laurier) 1975, honorary D MUS (Toronto) 1977, honorary LL D (McMaster) 1978, honorary LL D (Victoria) 1978, honorary LL D (Carleton) 1979, honorary D MUS (McGill) 1982, honorary LL D (Trent) 1983, honorary LL D (Dalhousie) 1983, honorary DU (Ottawa) 1984, honorary DU (Sherbrooke) 1985, honorary D MUS (Laval) 1985, honorary LL D (PEI) 1986, honorary doctorate (Montreal) 1987, honorary D LITT (Lakehead) 1988, honorary LL D (Windsor) 1988, honorary LL D (Simon Fraser) 1989.

Maureen Forrester died in Toronto on June 16, 2010, at the age of 79, after suffering from Alzheimer’s complications.

Leave a comment

Posted by on July 26, 2017 in Contraltos


MIKHAIL ALEXANDROVICH, Tenor * 23 July 1914, Bērzpils, Vitebsk Governorate +3 July 2002, Munich;

Image result for Александрович, Михаил Давидович

Mikhail Davidovich Alexandrovich, a.k.a. Misha Alexandrovich (23 July 1914, Bērzpils, Vitebsk Governorate – 3 July 2002, Munich) was a Latvian Jewish tenor, and cantor, internationally acclaimed as a fine performer of classical and popular repertoire in several languages.

He performed for nearly 75 years, since his first concert as a 9-year old in Riga, until the last one, in Moscow, May 26, 1997.

Mikhail Alexandrovich was born on the 23 of July 1914,in the village of Bērzpils, Vitebsk Governorate (now part of Balvi Municipality, Latvia), in the family of Jewish peasants.

From 1920-1926, aged six to twelve, he gained popularity as a child prodigy. He studied at and graduated from the Riga Conservatory. In 1930s for a long time he was a hazzan (cantor) at synagogues in Riga, Manchester (1934-1937) and Kaunas (1937-1940).

Since the Soviet occupation of Latvia in 1940 onwards he was a concert and chamber music singer in the USSR. For his concert performances he was awarded the honorary title of Meritorious Artist of the RSFSR (1947) and the Stalin Prize (1948). However, since 1961 an official restriction was placed on his solo concerts.

He emigrated to live in Israel from 1971 to 1974, then to the United States from 1975 to 1990, and from 1990 until his death he lived in Germany.

* n the Soviet Union he recorded between 70 and 90 78 records and LPs with a total circulation of twenty two million copies.
* The Argentine composer Osvaldo Golijov wrote a version of “K’vakarat” (text from the prayer of Yom Kippur) for cantor Misha Alexandrovich and the Kronos Quartet.
* CD. The Art of Misha Alexandrovich. Cantorial recitatives, Hebrew and Yiddish songs, classical arias and art songs.

Image result for Александрович, Михаил Давидович

Young Mikhail Alexandrovich
House of the Blackheads, Riga December 27, 1923

Leave a comment

Posted by on July 25, 2017 in Tenors


KETTY LAPEYRETTE, Mezzo-soprano * 23 July 1884, Oloron-Sainte-Marie, France + 02 October 1960, Paris, France;

She studied at the Conservatoire National de Paris with Masson, Hettich and Bouvet. She made her debut 1908 at the Grand Opéra Paris as Dalila For thirty years she worked at the Paris Opéra, but rarely appeared outside of France. She participated in many premieres at the Grand Opéra . 1908 “Götterdämmerung”, 1909 “Rheingold”, 1914 “Parsifal” In 1927 she was the Annina in the French premiere of “Der Rosenkavalier”. In 1921, in the premiere of the opera “Antar” by Gabriel Dupont, 1923, Roussel’s “Padmâvati” by Albert Roussel, and Bruneau’s “Le Jardin de Paris”..1924 in “L’Arlequin” by Max d’Olonne, 1925 in “Brocéliande” by André Bloch, 1928 in “Sept Chansons” by Gian Francesco Malipiero (the second part of his “Orfeide”). 1931 in “Guercoeur” by Albéric Magnard and in 1933, “Vercingétorix” by J.Canteloube. At Covent Garden Opera, she was a nurse in Dukas’ “Ariane et Barbe-Bleue”.

as Flosshilde (close-up) Paris 1908

as Flosshilde with Gall and Laute-Brun Paris 1908

as Flosshilde with Gall and Campredon Paris 1911

as Fricka Paris 1911

as Keltis with Thill “Vercin- gétorix” Paris Jun. 1933

as Dalila

as Dalila

as Dalila Paris 1908

as Tzigrane “Le Cobzar” Paris 1912

as Tzigrane “Le Cobzar” Paris 1912



Leave a comment

Posted by on July 24, 2017 in Mezzo-Sopranos


ANNY FELBERMAYER, Soprano * 24 July 1927, Vienna, Austria + 05 September 2014, Vienna, Austria;

The Austrian soprano, Anny Felbermayer, studied at the Vienna’s Musikakademie with Josef Witt and Elizabeth Rado. She won the Ceborati Prize in Vienna as well as singing competitions in Geneva and Verviers.

In 1951 Anny Felbermayer was appointed it to the Wiener Staatsoper, whose member she remained until 1982. Since 1952 she appeared for some successive years at the Salzburg Festival. There she sang in 1952 and 1956-1957 Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro as well as roles in portions in the Zauberflöte and in the premiere of the opera Die Liebe der Danaë by R. Strauss (August 1952 as Xanthe). In 1956 she participated in this festival in Mozart’s Idomeneo, in 1957 in Elektra by R. Strauss. She appeared as a guest, among other things, at Milan’s La Scala and at the opera (Théâtre de la Monnaie) of Brussels, at the Teatro Liceo Barcelona and at the Stadttheater of Graz.

As a beautifully formed, lyric soprano, Anny Felbermayer appeared on the stage in multiple roles, such as Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, as Pamina in Zauberflöte, as Marzelline in Fidelio, as Ighino in Palestrina by Hans Pfitzner, as Nannetta in Falstaff by Verdi, in addition in numerous smaller roles. In the concert hall she excelled particularly as an oratorio singer.

Recordings: Decca (Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro, small roles in Rosenkavalier, Ariadne auf Naxos, Frau ohne Schatten, Freischütz), Columbia (Zdenka in Arabella, Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro, Hänsel und Gretel), Cetra (Elektra, Salzburg 1957), beautiful oratorio and Lieder recordings on Amadeo-Vanguard.

Resulta ng larawan para sa Anny Felbermayer (Soprano)

Resulta ng larawan para sa Anny Felbermayer (Soprano)

Resulta ng larawan para sa Anny Felbermayer (Soprano)

Resulta ng larawan para sa Anny Felbermayer (Soprano) Bach Cantatas Website

Courtesy: Bach Cantatas Website

Leave a comment

Posted by on July 24, 2017 in Sopranos


AMADEO ZAMBON, Tenor * 19 July 1934, Fontane di Villorba, Treviso + 28 February 2000, Treviso, Italy;

Image may contain: 1 person

Amadeo Zambon (1934-2000) was an Italian tenor in the mold of Mario Del Monaco. This no surprise as he was taught by Mario’s brother Marcello Del Monaco. Marcello, in his turn, was taught by Arturo Melocchi who also taught Mario. Melocchi was known for his advocacy of the ‘lowered larynx’ method of singing which was credited with producing the stentorian vocal production that made Mario famous.

Zambon had a creditable career, but not the one his obvious gifts would seem to have merited. He sang mainly in second tier houses. He made a solitary appearance at the Met in 1978 as Manrico in Il Trovatore; he substituted for an ill Giorgio Merighi. He didn’t get a very good review from the New York Times. He sang Aida in Dallas, but as far as I know never sang at La Scala; but their online archives are buggy, so I can’t be sure. He was in the 1969 New York concert performance of Bellini’s La Straniera that featured Montserrat Caballe. He did appear a number of times at the San Carlo in Naples. For many years he was the leading tenor at the Istanbul Opera where he sang roles in Turkish. He made no studio recordings. All the documents of his singing were made in performance, often by audience members with smuggled tape recorders. Accordingly, the sound quality varies a lot. I’ve picked the recording that show his voice to its best effect and which have acceptable audio. Zambon sang Otello, but I couldn’t find any recordings from that opera that had minimally acceptable sound.

As you will hear, Zambon had a powerful spinto or even dramatic tenor. Subtlety was not his forte – forte and more was. He could really sing very loud. His high notes had squillo and he wasn’t afraid to hold on to them like a bad habit. On the basis of the following recordings, this is a voice that seems in the same league as that of Mario del Monaco. Why he had far less success and recognition is not clear. I think if a voice like this appeared today that it would be in demand at all of the great opera houses.

I’ll start with Celeste Aida recorded in 1969. Forget about pp and morrendo for the final B-flat. It’s full steam ahead. A tempio io giungo from the second act of Bellini’s La Straniera is from the 1969 concert performance of the opera. The baritone is Vicente Sardinero. This singing is more con belto than bel canto, but it’s effective.

Tu qui Santuzza from Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana was recorded in 1971. The soprano was Leyla Gencer (1928-2008). The Turkish singer had a major career everywhere save at the Met. Addio alla madre from the same opera is from a 1976 performance in Vienna.

Calaf in Puccini’s Turandot was a regular part of Zambon’s repertoire. Non piangere Liu and the conclusion of Act 1 is from 1980 (I think he’s still holding the final ‘Turandot’), while Nessun dorma is from a 1977 performance. He sang in more than one production of La Wally. Quando a solden occurs near the end of the opera just before the fatal avalanche carries the tenor away. Zambon’s singing here (1975) is like an intercontinental ballistic missile – stunning.

Vesti la giubba is from 1978. The tenor’s breath control extraordinary. Ah si ben mio and Di quella pira are from 1979. The aria is belted out. There’s not even an attempt at a trill. The stretta is exciting with a thrilling climactic high note – a B not a C.

The last two numbers are from relatively late in Zambon’s career -both from 1984. The Improvviso from Giordano’s Andrea Chenier and No no pazzo son from Puccini’s Manon Lescaut. In the Puccini Zambon imitates Gigli’s tasteless insertion of a gratuitous high note just before the scene’s close. But the audience likes it.

Just for fun here’s the tenor’s record setting Vittoria vittoria from the second act of a 1971 Tosca. The final note can still be heard in the Apennines. So if you like your tenors forceful, loud, and with rocket high notes, Zambon was your man.

Courtesy: Medicine and Opera   

Image may contain: 1 person

Leave a comment

Posted by on July 19, 2017 in Tenors


AMY SHUARD, Soprano * 19 July 1924, London + 18 April 1975, London;

Amy Shuard

Amy Shuard CBE was an English dramatic soprano who achieved great acclaim in the roles of Elektra, Turandot and Brünnhilde.

Following studies at the Trinity College of Music she took lessons under the great Eva Turner and made her debut in South Africa in 1949 playing Aida and then Guilletta in The Tales of Hoffman. She also sang and Tannhauser.

Returning to Britain she sang at Sadler’s Wells before undergoing further studies in Italy. She returned to Britain again and remained based there, singing regularly at Covent Garden till her passing at the early age of 50.

Her roles included both title roles in Janáček’s Káťa Kabanová and Jenůfa (she played both leading roles in their British premieres). She also sang a wonderful Turandot in London with Franco Corelli following his enormous success in the role of Calaf the year previous in Italy with Birgit Nilsson.

She sang Carmen, Tosca, Turandot, Elektra, Madama Butterfly and Aida as well as Santuzza (Cavalleria Rusticana), Eboli (Don Carlos), Tatyana (Eugene Onegin), Magda Sorel (The Consul), Lady Macbeth (in the very first production of Verdi’s Macbeth at Covent Garden), and the Kostelnička in Jenůfa.

Noteably she recieved wide acclaim singing the heavier roles of Brünnhilde in Die Walküre, Elektra and Turandot.

She also sang Turandot, and Brünnhilde in Götterdämmerung, Isolde, Sieglinde and Kundry.

Amy Schuard also sang at Bayreuth, La Scala, Vienna, Buenos Aires and San Francisco and she was the first soprano ever to sing Brünnhilde at the Royal Opera Covent Garden.

Described as “the best English dramatic soprano since Eva Turner” (her teacher) Amy Shuard was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE).
She died in 1975, at the early age of 50.

Amy Shuard made very few recordings but there are many recordings that were taken of her in live performance. They are testament to an exceptional voice.

Courtesy: Opera Arts

Leave a comment

Posted by on July 19, 2017 in Sopranos

Powers Behind Grand Rapids

History of Powers and Ball Family

Arioso7's Blog (Shirley Kirsten)

Journal of a Piano teacher from New York to California




Aprile Millo's View of the Opera/World


Information and Resources for Historic-Sound Enthusiasts

Ihr Opernratgeber ( Herausgeber: Sven Godenrath )

Sängerporträts, CD & DVD Besprechungen, Rezensionen von Aufführungen

winckelmann in venedig

cronache da una città morta

Il cavaliere della rosa

Un blog orgogliosamente di nicchia: opera, ricordi e piccole manie di un improvvisato collezionista

The Blog

The latest news on and the WordPress community.