Monthly Archives: September 2017

PATRICIA NEWAY, Soprano * 30 September 1919, Kensington, New York City, New York, United States + 24 January 2012, Corinth, Vermont, United States;

Patricia Neway as Lady Macbeth in the NBC Opera presentation of Verdi’s opera  in 1953

Patricia Neway as Lady Macbeth in the NBC Opera presentation of Verdi’s opera in 1953


Patricia Neway (September 30, 1919 – January 24, 2012) was an American operatic soprano and musical theatre actress who had an active international career during the mid-1940s through the 1970s. One of the few performers of her day to enjoy equal success on both the opera and musical theatre stages, she was a regular performer on both Broadway and at the New York City Opera during the 1950s and 1960s.

Critic Emily Langer of The Washington Post wrote that, “Neway was a rare type of singer — one with the classical training and raw vocal strength to meet the demands of opera as well as the acting talent and appeal required to succeed in musical theater.” She is particularly remembered for creating roles in the world premieres of several contemporary American operas, most notably Magda Sorel in Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Consul. On Broadway she won a Tony Award for her portrayal of the Mother Abbess in the original production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music.

Born on Ditmas Avenue in Kensington, Brooklyn to Irish-American parents, Neway grew up in Rosebank, Staten Island. Her father was a printing plant foreman who had briefly worked in vaudeville as the high tenor in a vocal quartet. She attended the Notre Dame Academy on Staten Island and then Notre Dame College, where she earned a degree in the sciences with a minor in mathematics. Although she had studied piano briefly as a child, her interest in music and singing awakened in her years at Notre Dame College after she began singing through a book of Neapolitan songs that her uncle had given to her father as a present. What began as a hobby turned into a passion and following her graduation from Notre Dame she entered the Mannes College of Music, where she earned a degree in vocal performance. She later studied singing with tenor Morris Gesell, whom she eventually married.

While still a student, Neway made her Broadway debut as a member of the chorus in a 1942 production of Jacques Offenbach’s La Vie parisienne. In April 1944 she was the soprano soloist in the world premiere of Norman Dello Joio’s The Mystic Trumpeter with conductor Robert Shaw and the Collegiate Chorale at Town Hall. She made her first opera appearance in a leading role in 1946, as Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, at Chautauqua Opera. In 1948, she returned to Broadway to portray the Female Chorus in the United States premiere of Benjamin Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, at the Ziegfeld Theatre.

In 1950, Neway made opera history when she starred as Magda Sorel in the world premiere of Gian Carlo Menotti’s critically acclaimed Cold War-era opera The Consul at the Shubert Theatre in Philadelphia, with Cornell MacNeil as John Sorel and Marie Powers as the Mother. Later that year, she went with the production to the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on Broadway, where it ran for 269 performances. She later recorded the role for Decca Records, and performed the role for the premieres in London, Paris, and other European cities. Neway, Kuhlmann, and Powers also performed these roles in the UK at the Cambridge Theatre in February 1951, with Norman Kelley playing the role of the magician Nika. For her work in the Broadway production she won the Donaldson Award for Best Actress in a Musical in 1950.

In 1951, Neway made her debut with the New York City Opera (NYCO), where she returned often through 1966. Her first appearance with the company was as Leah in the world premiere of David Tamkin’s The Dybbuk on April 10, 1951, with Robert Rounseville as Channon. She also notably sang in the world premiere of Hugo Weisgall’s Six Characters in Search of an Author in 1959, with Beverly Sills. Among the many other productions she appeared in with the NYCO were: Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana (as Santuzza, conducted by Julius Rudel), Alban Berg’s Wozzeck (as Marie, directed by Theodore Komisarjevsky), Menotti’s The Consul (as Magda), Amahl and the Night Visitors (as the Mother), and The Medium (as Mme Flora), Bucci’s Tale for a Deaf Ear (as Laura Gates), Carlisle Floyd’s Wuthering Heights (as Nellie, opposite Phyllis Curtin as Catherine); Benjamin Britten’s The Turn of the Screw (as the Governess, with Richard Cassilly as Peter Quint), and Richard Strauss’s Salome (as Herodias), among others.

While singing largely at the NYCO, Neway continued to perform with other opera companies and on Broadway. In 1952 she sang and recorded the title heroine in Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride at the Aix-en-Provence Festival. Between 1952-1954 she was engaged as a principal soprano at the Opéra-Comique, in Paris. While there, she gave two of the greatest performances of her opera career, portraying the title role in Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca, and the role of Katerina Mihaylovna in Franco Alfano’s Risurrezione. In 1955, she sang in the world premiere of Raffaello de Banfield’s Una lettera d’amore di Lord Byron in New Orleans, with Astrid Varnay. In 1957 she portrayed Madame de Croissy for NBC Opera Theatre’s production of Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites, with Rosemary Kuhlmann as Mother Marie, Elaine Malbin as Blanche, and Leontyne Price as Mme Lidoine.

Neway notably portrayed Miriam in the world premiere of Lee Hoiby’s The Scarf at the very first Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, Italy on June 20, 1958. In August 1958, she sang the role of the Mother in the world premiere of Menotti’s Maria Golovin at the Brussels World’s Fair.[ She continued with the production when it premiered on Broadway in November 1958, at the Martin Beck Theatre, under the umbrella of the NBC Opera Theatre. The following year she sang the role again with the New York City Opera in addition for recording the role for a national television broadcast on NBC.

In June 1959, Neway returned to the Spoleto Festival to portray Geraldine in the world premiere of Samuel Barber’s A Hand of Bridge (which she recorded in 1960). The following November she returned to Broadway where she originated the role of the Mother Abbess in the original Broadway production of The Sound of Music, for which she won the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical, in 1960.

In 1963, Neway created the role of Jenny MacDougald in the world premiere of Carlisle Floyd’s The Sojourner and Mollie Sinclair, in Raleigh, North Carolina, opposite Norman Treigle as Lachlan Sinclair, and conductor Julius Rudel.

In 1964, she performed the role of Lady Thiang in The King and I at Lincoln Center with Risë Stevens as Anna and Darren McGavin as the King. In 1966, she made her first appearance at the San Francisco Opera, as the Governess in The Turn of the Screw. She returned there in 1972 to play the Widow Begbick in Kurt Weill’s Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny.

In 1967, she appeared as Nettie in a special television production of Carousel, starring Robert Goulet as Billy Bigelow. Her featured solo was the song “You’ll Never Walk Alone”. In 1970 she created the role of the Queen in the world premiere of Menotti’s stage play, The Leper.

Neway’s other repertoire included Arnold Schönberg’s Erwartung.

Patricia Neway as the Mother Abbess and Mary
Martin as Maria in The Sound of Music


Nancy Dussault (Carrie Pipperidge), Patricia Neway (Nettie Fowler) and Constance Towers (Julie Jordan) in the 1966 revival of Carousel

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Posted by on September 30, 2017 in Sopranos


GIUSEPPE CAMPORA, Tenor * 30 September 1923, Tortona, Italy + 5 December 2004, Tortona, Italy;

Giuseppe Campora (September 30, 1923 – December 5, 2004) was an Italian operatic tenor.

Giuseppe Campora was born on September 30, 1923 in Tortona, Italy.
Campora was a Puccinian tenor. In 1954 he was the dubbed voice for Nicolai Filacuridi as Pinkerton in the Carmine Gallone directed film of Madama Butterfly.

Campora enjoyed successes in all the major theatres of Italy (including Maurizio in Adriana Lecouvreur with Magda Olivero at the Teatro alla Scala, 1958), as well as at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, where his performances of the 1950s and 1960s are still fondly remembered.[citation needed] He was the Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, in Maria Callas’s only Met broadcast, in 1956. In 1973, he debuted at the New York City Opera as the Chevalier des Grieux, in Manon. In 1980, he was heard at the San Diego Opera in Die Fledermaus, opposite Dame Joan Sutherland and Beverly Sills, in their only joint appearance. He also frequently sang the music of fellow Tortonese Lorenzo Perosi.

His discography includes recordings of La forza del destino (1952), La Gioconda (1952), Madama Butterfly (with Renata Tebaldi, 1952), Simon Boccanegra (with Victoria de los Ángeles, Tito Gobbi and Boris Christoff, 1957), Tosca (with Tebaldi and Enzo Mascherini, 1952) and La traviata (1952).
Campora died on December 5, 2004.

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Posted by on September 30, 2017 in Tenors


ANNA EUGÉNIE SCHOEN-RENÉ, Soprano * 1864, Koblenz † 1942;

Anna Eugenia Schoen-René (1864-1942), born in Coblenz, Germany, was one of the most prominent vocal teachers of her generation. As a young woman she displayed some potential as an opera singer, studying at the Royal Academy of Music in Berlin and later with the prima donna and great pedagogue Pauline Viardot. She made her operatic debut in 1887 as Marcelline in Beethoven’s
Fidelio at the Court Opera of Saxon-Altenburg and later sang in various operas by Mozart and other composers. Impressed with her performances of German
Lieder, Charles Gounod helped bring her to Paris to appear in concert. In 1893, her career as a performer ended, however, owing to traumatic vocal troubles. Rather than give up on music, she moved to Minneapolis where she helped establish several choirs and a professional orchestra, gave lectures on music at the University of Minnesota, and taught private lessons. She returned every summer to France where she presented her best students to Viardot, and from 1909 to 1918, she lived in Berlin teaching the Garcia method of singing. Following the First World War, she moved to New York City and in 1925 joined the faculty at the Julliard School of Music, retiring only weeks before her death. She taught singers who became famous in opera as well as Broadway. Among the best known were Risë Stevens, Thelma Votipka, Paul Robeson, Lanny Ross, Charles Kullman, Jane Pickens, Florence Easton, Kitty Carlisle, Julius Huehn, Waldemar Stagemann, Putnam Griswold, Kathleen Howard, Karin Branzell, Lillian Blauvelt, Anne Konetzni, and Margaret Harshaw. Schoen-René wrote a memoir,
America’s Musical Inheritance (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1941), but as far as I know the following excerpt was never published nor was it intended for her book. The original typewritten manuscript is among a small archival collection of her materials housed at Yale University (MSS 110). This lecture is the last of six that appear under the larger heading “Do’s and Don’ts for Young Singers” although it is unclear where she delivered these talks or when. Nevertheless, this final one concerning finance is a fun read from beginning to end. She begins with a confident statement: “no young singer of really startling promise will need to languish long for music lessons because of lack of funds.” But overall, her remarks speak to problems concerning the under- and sometimes over-funding of individual young musicians. In the end, she argues, students must keep in mind the efforts and sacrifices of their teachers: “There is one coin of payment for the lessons and help and inspiration which a devoted teacher of singing imparts so freely to her pupils without which no teacher has been sufficiently paid— and that is the coin of appreciation and gratitude.” It’s hard to argue with that.
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Posted by on September 29, 2017 in Sopranos


HERMINE BOSETTI, Soprano * 28 September 1875, Vienna, Austria + 1 May 1936, Hohenrain, Switzerland;

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Hermine Bosetti née von Flick (28 September 1875, Vienna – 1 May 1936, Hohenrain or Munich), was a German coloratura soprano.

Bosetti sang her debut in Wiesbaden (1898) as “Ännchen” in Der Freischütz. In 1900, she was a member of the Vienna State Opera and from 1901 until 1924 she was a star singer with the Bavarian State Opera. In 1903, she sang the role of “Colombina” in the first performance of Le donne curiose (Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari). She appeared in most of the German opera houses as well as in the Netherlands, Belgium, London, and Russia. In 1908, she sang in Vienna as a guest in roles such as “The Queen of the Night” and “Marguerite de Valois”. She recorded for G&T Recordings, Odeon, and Gramophone.

She taught at the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt am Main from 1926-28. Among her students were Marcia Van Dresser and Adele Kern.

In 1913, she became the face of Aok products in Germany in their advertising, claiming “I have used Aok soap for years”.

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as Eva in “Die Meistersanger” by Wagner

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as Sussanna in “Marriage of Figaro” by Mozart

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as Philine in “Mignon” by Thomas

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Posted by on September 29, 2017 in Sopranos


AKSEL SCHIØTZ, Tenor * 1 September 1906, Roskilde, Denmark + 19 April 1975, Copenhagen, Denmark;

A musician of the utmost integrity and musicality, tenor Aksel Schiøtz was a symbol of Danish resistance in the face of Nazi rule during WWII in addition to being one of Scandinavia’s most accomplished lyric singers. Exemplary in opera, oratorio, and recital, he recorded extensively, preserving on disc interpretations seldom equaled since and scarcely surpassed. Before he had reached his mid-forties, however, Schiøtz was diagnosed with a brain tumor. While the operation was successful, the singer’s voice suffered and his public appearances diminished. Following an early retirement, Schiøtz established himself as a singing teacher of exceptional gifts.

After graduating in 1930 from the University of Copenhagen, where he had concentrated on the study of modern languages, Schiøtz became a schoolmaster. For the next eight years, he taught languages and music in several Danish schools, pursuing his interest in music as an avocation. Denmark’s most prominent choral conductor, Møgens Wöldike, offered him membership in Copenhagen’s foremost male chorus and soon began to assign him solo work. In 1936, Schiøtz gave his first recital as a non-professional and, by 1939, he had decided to forego teaching and devote himself to singing full-time. Following a brief period of study with the Swedish baritone John Forsell in Stockholm, Schiøtz made his debut that same year with the Royal Opera in Copenhagen, singing Ferrando in Mozart’s Così fan tutte. A final accomplishment in 1939 was his professional recital debut in Copenhagen.

Numerous other opera, recital, and oratorio engagements followed, notably Gounod’s Faust and Sverkel in J.P.E. Hartmann’s Liden Kirsten for the Royal Opera. One adulatory review after another followed as the tenor soared to unprecedented popularity in his native country. When the Nazis invaded Denmark, Schiøtz refused requests to sing German lieder, realizing that such performances would be used for German propaganda. He sang, instead, the music of Denmark, both art songs and folk music, his research significantly adding to the store of published Danish song. In addition to maintaining his singing career, Schiøtz became active in the Resistance, a choice which led to his being knighted by King Christian X in 1947.

In the years immediately after the war’s end, Schiøtz’s reputation spread abroad, largely through his many radio broadcasts. He recorded with accompanist Gerald Moore memorable performances of Die Schöne Müllerin and Dichterliebe in 1945 and 1946, respectively. In 1946, Schiøtz was engaged by the Glyndebourne Festival Chorus to alternate with Peter Pears as the Male Chorus in Benjamin Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia.

Just as his career was achieving international scale, Schiøtz was diagnosed with the tumor whose excision left his face partially paralyzed. With intense application, he retrained, enabling himself to return to the concert stage in Copenhagen in September 1948, this time as a baritone. His New York debut a month later, however, confirmed that while his artistry was unimpaired, his voice had suffered greatly in tone and volume. Over the next few years, Schiøtz made ever fewer appearances before the public and eventually retired to devote himself to teaching in Minnesota, Toronto, Colorado, and finally, in his native Copenhagen. A 1969 text on singing, The Singer and His Art, reveals Schiøtz as an astute and considerate observer of singers and the vocal literature; the wise, unpretentious volume warrants a place in every singer’s collection.

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Posted by on September 27, 2017 in Tenors


FLORINDO ANDREOLLI, Tenor * 24 September 1925, Adria, Italy + 18 April 1995, Adria, Italy;


Opera Singer. A tenor with a repertoire of about 150 roles, he is remembered as one of his generations more distinguished comprimarios, the artists called upon to go onstage almost every night portraying a wide variety of characters in a multiplicity of languages. Originally trained by soprano Rosetta Pampanini, he later studied at the Conservatory of Venice with another distinguished soprano, Gilda Dalla Rizza. Andreolli made his June 6, 1948 professional bow with a recital of opera arias at the Teatro Ferrini of Adria then after winning a 1950 vocal competition was first seen on the operatic stage in January 1951 at La Finice di Venice as Gherardo from Puccini’s “Gianni Schicchi”. Over the years he appeared in numerous major venues, bowing in London and Paris in 1960, Lisbon in 1964, Geneva in 1965, Buenos Aires in 1967, and at New York’s Metropolitan Opera in 1968, while performing at most of the major Italian theatres including La Scala Milano, the Arena di Verona, and Florence’s Maggio Musicale. 

Andreolli’s list of characters included at least three roles from Puccini’s “Turandot” and four from Jacques Offenbach’s “The Tales of Hoffmann”, Cassio and Roderigo of Verdi’s “Otello”, Goro from Puccini’s Madame Butterfly”, the Abbe and the Incredible in Umberto Giordano’s “Andrea Chenier”, Remendado from Bizet’s “Carmen”, Beppe of Leoncavallo’s “I Pagliacci”, Maestro Trabucco from Verdi’s “La Forza del Destino”, Baron Scarpia’s evil henchman Spoletta in Puccini’s “Tosca”, and at least one major role, the dimwitted Nemorino of Donizetti’s “L’Elsir d’Amore”. He occasionally sang in oratorio presentations, gave his 1994 final performances at Teatro Regio di Parma as Masil from Mussorgsky’s “Boris Godunov”, never officially retired, and died of a stroke. He can be heard on a number of studio recordings and archived broadcasts.

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Posted by on September 25, 2017 in Tenors


PABLO ELVIRA, Baritone * 24 September 1937, San Juan, Puerto Rico + 5 February 2000, Bozeman, Montana, United States;

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Pablo Elvira (September 24, 1937 – February 5, 2000) was a Puerto Rican baritone. Elvira was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and began his musical career playing jazz trumpet there, with his uncle, Rafael Elvira, in his orchestra, he continued in his father’s band and later started his own band who played at the Hotel San Juan. In 1966, he joined the voice faculty of the Indiana University School of Music; during his eight years there he performed baritone roles in many of the school’s opera productions.

In 1974, Elvira made his first appearance with the New York City Opera. He debuted at the Metropolitan Opera in 1978 and performed there over 100 times during the next 12 years in works by Rossini, Donizetti, Verdi, Puccini, Berlioz and Leoncavallo.

Elvira maintained his primary residence in Bozeman, Montana, and was a strong supporter of opera in that state.


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Posted by on September 25, 2017 in Baritones

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