Monthly Archives: August 2017

MICHELE MOLESE, Tenor * 29 August 1928, New York, New York + died 5 July 1989,Broni, Italy;

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He first studied in his hometown New York, then at the Conservatory of Milan with Emilio Piccoli and Francesco Merli, and debuted in 1956 at the Teatro Nuovo Milan as Beppe. “L’Amico Fritz” at Piccola Scala the same year. in Milan as the title hero in “Amico Fritz” of Mascagni. He success in Europe; singing at Milan’s Scala, the operas of Amsterdam, Brussels, Budapest, Prague and Sofia, at Monte Carlo, Bologna, Naples, Palermo, Turin, and at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. In 1963 he performed at the Opéra-Comique in the premiere of the opera “Le dernier Sauvage” by Gian Carlo Menotti. Werther, Hoffmann, Alfredo Des Grieux, and Manrico too.




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Posted by on August 30, 2017 in Tenors


HELGE ROSVAENGE, Tenor * 29 August 1897, Copenhagen, Denmark + 19 June 1972, Munich, Germany;’

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Opera singer. Considered one of the most popular tenors of the 20th century, he was known as “The Knight of the High D”. Born Helge Anton Rosenvinge Hansen in Copenhagen, he was largely a self-taught vocalist, combining his few lessons with listening to records of Enrico Caruso. After his debut as Don Jose in 1921, and engagements in Germany and Switzerland, he was engaged by the Berlin State Opera where he was the leading tenor from 1930 to 1944. In 1934 and 1936 he sang Parcifal at Bayreuth and in 1938 Florestan in “Fidelio” at the Royal Opera House in London. From 1948 he was engaged by the Vienna State Opera. He was frequently heard on the radio, appeared in a few films, and made numerous recordings. He also wrote his memoirs, entitled “Leche Bajazzo”. After a tour of the USA he gave his farewell concert in Vienna in 1959. (bio by: Erik Skytte)

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Posted by on August 29, 2017 in Tenors


GRÉ BROUWENSTIJN, Soprano * 26 August 1915, Den Helder, Netherlands + 14 December 1999, Amsterdam, Netherlands;

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She studied at the Amsterdam Muzieklyceum with Jaap Stroomenbergh, then with Boris Pelsky and Ruth Horna. Her debut was in 1940 as one of the three ladies in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte” in Amsterdam. During the Second World War, she was mainly a concert singer, and in 1946 joined the newly formed Netherlands Opera as Giulietta in “Les Contes d’Hoffmann”, followed by Tosca and Santuzza and above all Leonore in “Fidelio” in 1949.. At the Holland Festival in 1950 she sang Rezia Covent Garden’s Aid in 1951. The Trovatore and Forza Leonoras Amelia, Desdemona, Donna Anna, the Countess, and Iphigénie. Chrysotemis and the Marschallin too.. At Bayreuth Elisabeth, Eva, Sieglinde, Freia and Gutrune. Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Jenufa in 1959. She took leave of the stage in Amsterdam in 1971 as Leonore .

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Photo courtesy: Charles Rhodes



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Posted by on August 26, 2017 in Uncategorized


IRMA BEILKE, Soprano * 24 August 1904, Berlin, Germany + 20 December 1989, Berlin, Germany;

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She received her musical training in Berlin from HT Dreyer and Gertrud Wirthschaft. She had her debut in 1926 at the Municipal Opera in Berlin as a bridesmaid in “Der Freischuetz”. Blondchen at Glyndebourne in 1936. Sophie, Marzelline, Papagena and Blondchen at Covent Garden . The Salburg Festival’s Pamina in 1946, and the same year, at the Berlin Staatsoper she sang Colombine in Busoni’s “Arlecchino”. Susanna, Despina, Massenet’s Manon, Norina, Violetta, Oscar, Gilda, the Forest Bird, Frau Fluth. Lortzing’s Undine,and Marie in Smetana’s “Verkaufe Braut” in addition to roles in “Amelia al ballo” by Menotti and ‘Mathis der Maler’ by Hindemith.

Litrato ni Charles Rhodes.

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Posted by on August 25, 2017 in Sopranos


RAFFAELE ARIÉ, Bass * 22 August 1920, Sofia + 17 March 1988, Switzerland;

Raffaele Arié (22 August 1920, Sofia – 17 March 1988, Switzerland) was a Bulgarian bass, particularly associated with the Italian and Russian repertories.

Arié studied first in his native city with C. Brambaroff, making his stage debut at the Sofia Opera in 1945. He then left for Italy to further his studies, and was a pupil of Riccardo Stracciari, Apollo Granforte and Carlo Tagliabue. He made his debut at La Scala in 1946, as the King in The Love for Three Oranges.

He sang widely in Italy, creating in Venice, the role of Trulove in The Rake’s Progress in 1951. He also appeared at the Vienna State Opera, the Salzburg Festival, the Paris Opéra, and the Aix-en-Provence Festival.

His roles included; Osmin, Commendatore, Sarastro, Méphistopheles, Varlaam, etc. He was especially admired as Fiesco, as both Filippo and Il grand Inquisitore in Don Carlo, and as Boris Godunov.

Arié possessed a deep, easily produced and fine-textured voice, he can be heard on record, as Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, opposite Maria Callas, Giuseppe di Stefano, Tito Gobbi, under Tullio Serafin.

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Posted by on August 23, 2017 in Bassses


EDWARD JOHNSON, Tenor * 22 August 1878, Guelph, Ontario, Canada + 20 April 1959, Guelph, Ontario, Canada;

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The father of the Canadian tenor and impresario, Edward Johnson (Edoardo di Giovanni), hoped he would become a lawyer, but in 1899 he went to New York to study music.

In 1902 Edward Johnson was the hero in De Koven’s Maid Marian in Boston, and he starred on Broadway in 1908 in Straus’s A Waltz Dream. On Caruso’s advice he went to Florence in 1909 to work with Vincenzo Lombardi. As Edoardo di Giovanni he made his operatic debut in 1912 in Padua in Andrea Chenier. He sang in premieres of works by Pizzetti and Alfano, in Parsifal in Italian, making his La Scala debut in 1914, and in the Italian premieres of Puccini’s Il tabarro and Gianni Schicchi (1919, Rome).

Edward Johnson left Italy to become the leading tenor of the Chicago Opera from 1919 to 1922, making his debut there as Loris in Fedora. Following that enagement he was the leading tenor of the Metropolitan Opera in New York from 1922 to 1935, making his debut as Avito in L’amore dei tre re. He was favourite there as Pelleas, Romeo and Peter Ibbetson, a role he created in the Deems Taylor opera. Also in his repertory were Siegfried and Faust, a role he sang at Covent Garden in 1923.

Edward Johnson’s musicianship, romantic appearance and ability to project a character were coupled with a lyric voice of good quality and range, a sound technique and a seldom-used but easy high E. He followed Herbert Witherspoon, Gatti-Casazza’s successor, as general manager of the Metropolitan from 1935 to 1950, successfully guiding the company through the war period.

Litrato ni Gerhard Santos.

Courtesy: Bach Cantatas Website & Collection Canada

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Posted by on August 22, 2017 in Tenors


GISELA SCHRÖTER, Mezzo-soprano * 19 August 1928, Sardehnen, Ostpreußen † 5 November 2011 in Leipzig;

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She studied at the Berlin Conservatory with Jean Nadolovitch, and had .advanced training at the opera studio of the Dresden Staatsoper with Rudolf Dittrich. She debuted there in 1957 as a page in “Lohengrin”. In 1959 at Bayreuth she sang one of the flower girls in “Parsifal”. In 1964 she joined the Staatsoper Berlin where her repertoire included Carmen, Octavian, and the Composer in “Ariadne auf Naxos”. In 1973 she participated in the premiere of “Reiter in der Nacht” by Ernst Hermann Meyer. Sieglinde, The Nurse in “Die Frau Ohne Schatten”, Herodias, Marie in ” Wozzeck ” and the old Buryja in “Jenufa” also.

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Gisela Schröter als Octavian in Strauss’ “Rosenkavalier” 1961 an der Dresdner Staatsoper.

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Posted by on August 22, 2017 in Mezzo-Sopranos

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