Category Archives: Bassses

GIORGIO TADEO, Bass * 2 October 1929, Verona, Italy + 31 January 2008, Milan, Italy;

The Italian bass, Giorgio Tadeo, studied with Ettore Campogalliani at the Conservatorio di Parma in October 1952.

Giorgio Tadeo made his debut on September 16, 1953 at RAI as Mefistofele in Faust by Charles Gounod, and succeeded in December at the Politeama of Palermo. He sung at the Teatro alla Scala from 1955 to 1982, at the Piccola Scala from 1958 to 1969, and in other Italian theatres until 1996. Abroad he has sung at the Vienna State Opera, Hamburg, Monaco di Baviera, at the Opéra of Paris, the Covent Garden and the Albert Hall in London, at the Carnegie Hall in New York and the Lyric Opera in Chicago, at the Festival of Aix-en-Provence (for ten years), in Edinburgh, Dallas, Tel Aviv, Atene and Baalbek.

Giorgio Tadeo has worked with the conductors Vittorio Gui, Carlo Maria Giulini, Tullio Serafin, Sergiu Celibidache, Antal Doráti, Oliviero de Fabritiis, Gianandrea Gavazzeni, Nino Sanzogno, Peter Maag, Herbert von Karajan, Claudio Abbado, Roberto Abbado, Pierre Boulez, Tsuneo Osawa, and with the directors Sandro Bolchi, Giorgio Strehler, and Franco Zeffirelli.

Giorgio Tadeo has performed works of the 20th century by Nino Rota, Goffredo Petrassi, Luciano Chailly, Ildebrando Pizzetti and Virgilio Mortari, but above all he has distinguished himself in the repertoire of Mozart, Rossini and Donizetti.

He was married with the soprano Mariella Adani from whom he has had two sons.

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Posted by on October 3, 2017 in Bassses


POMPEIU HĂRĂŞTEANU, Basso * 14 September 1935, Harghita, Romania + 5 October 2016, Bucuresti Municipality, Romania;

Pompei Hărășteanu

Opera Singer. A basso, he is remembered for his long career at the Bucharest National Opera (BNO). Raised in Ludus, he studied at the Parumbescu Conservatory, during his time there winning a number of international competitions, and made his 1966 BNO bow as Ferrando from Verdi’s “Il Trovatore”. Over the next decades he was to give roughly 8,000 performances and recitals, primarily in Bucharest, though from 1968 thru 1972 he resided in West Germany where he was principal bass of Opera Bonn, his assignments including King Philip in Verdi’s “Don Carlos”, Prince Gremin from Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin”, Jacopo Fiesco of Verdi’s “Simon Boccanegra”, Raimondo from Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor”, the Devil in Gounod’s “Faust”, Silva from Verdi’s “Ernani”, Wotan of Wagner’s “Ring Cycle”, Osmin in Mozart’s “The Abduction From the Seraglio”, Don Basilio of Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville”, Sparafucile in Verdi’s “Rigoletto”, the Four Villains of Offenbach’s “The Tales of Hoffmann”, Konchak in Borodin’s “Prince Igor”, Sarastro from Mozart’s “The Magic Flute”, Daland in Wagner’s “The Flying Dutchman”, and the title leads of Donizetti’s “Don Pasquale” and Boito’s “Mefistofele”. A gifted teacher, from 1982 until 1990 he served as professor at Bucharest’s Institute of Theatre and Cinema, then for the next three years was managing director of the BNO. Designated Officer of the Order of Cultural Merit in 2004, from 1997 on he held a professorship at Constanta’s Ovidiu Conservatory. At his death he could be heard on a large number of ‘live’ and studio recordings. (bio by: Bob Hufford)

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Posted by on September 15, 2017 in Bassses


NICOLAI GHIAUROV, Bass * 13 September 1929, Velingrad, Bulgaria + 2 June 2004, Modena, Italy;

Image result for NICOLAI GHIAUROV

Ghiaurov excelled in both the Slavic and the Italian and French operatic repertoire, and he also moved with ease from serious to comic roles, though the serious roles played a greater part in his career. At times, he even took on some of the lower baritone roles, Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Escamillo in Bizet’s Carmen. He was also noted for his acting and compelling stage presence. During his prime, his voice was among the richest and most sonorous basses of the twentieth century, and even as much of its freshness and bloom was gone toward the end of his career, it retained its expressiveness and technical excellence.

Though his family was quite poor, they encouraged him to explore his interest in singing, and when he entered adolescence, he borrowed instruments so he could learn clarinet, violin, and trombone. He also began to take acting lessons, briefly considering a career as an actor rather than a musician. When he entered the army, where he was a clarinetist and conducted the chorus, his singing talents came to the attention of the authorities, who enabled him to study with Christo Brambarov, and later at the Moscow Conservatory. His studies were conservative — for the first year, he did nothing but vocal exercises over one octave — a fact to which he attributed his spectacular vocal longevity. Brambarov introduced him to Italian style, a rarity for Russian singers during that time. He made his stage debut as Don Basilio in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville at the Sofia Opera in 1955 and made his Bolshoi debut as Pimen in Boris Godunov in 1957. His Italian debut was as Méphistophélès in Gounod’s Faust at the Teatro Communale in Rome the next year. His Covent Garden debut came in 1962 as the Padre Guardiano in Verdi’s La forza del destino. At the 1965 Salzburg Festival, he first sang the title role of Boris Godunov, a role generally considered the greatest challenge in the Russian bass repertoire. Aside from opera, he frequently performed and recorded Russian songs. Ghiaurov has established a place in musical history through his recorded legacy. His Boris was recorded commercially twice, once each in the “original” and Rimsky-Korsakov versions. He recorded Don Carlos in the studio three times, twice as Filippo and once (in the original French version) as the Grand Inquisitor. His early London/Decca aria recitals accurately document the size and beauty of his voice. He is also heard in Giulini’s recording of Verdi’s Requiem.

He was married to Italian soprano Mirella Freni and participated in guiding her into her forays into the Russian repertoire, notably Tatiana in Eugene Onegin and Lisa in Pique Dame.

Artist Biography by Anne Feeney

Litrato ni Gerhard Santos.

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Posted by on September 14, 2017 in Bassses


MARCEL JOURNET, Bass * 25 July 1868, France + 7 September 1933, Vittel, France;

Marcel Journet (25 July 1868 – 7 September 1933), was a French, bass, operatic singer. He enjoyed a prominent career in England, France and Italy, and appeared at the foremost American opera houses in New York City and Chicago.

Journet was born in the town of Grasse, Alpes-Maritimes, and studied at the Paris Conservatory. He made his operatic debut at Montpellier in 1891. Journet went on to sing a wide range of roles in operas by Richard Wagner and major French and Italian composers during a distinguished, 40-year career.

The Royal Opera House at London’s Covent Garden, Milan’s La Scala, the Paris Opera and the New York Metropolitan Opera, were some of the famous venues graced by Journet’s presence during the first quarter of the 20th century. Arturo Toscanini was just one of the celebrated conductors under whose baton he performed. His on-stage colleagues included such renowned singers as Nellie Melba, Luisa Tetrazzini, Enrico Caruso, Giovanni Martinelli, Titta Ruffo, Giuseppe De Luca and Feodor Chaliapin.

Journet died in Vittel, of kidney failure, aged 66.

He possessed a beautiful, cultured voice and a fine technique—hitting the absolute peak of his powers as a singer and an actor during the 1915-1925 period, during which time he became La Scala’s principal bass.

Numerous recordings testify to Journet’s outstanding vocal attributes and the high standard of his interpretative powers. Many of these recordings have been re-issued on various CDs, most notably on the Marston and Preiser labels.

Image result for Marcel Journet

As Marcel in Meyerbeer’s “Les Huguenots”

As the Father in “Louise”

As Escamillo (1918)

As Klingsor in “Parsifal”

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Posted by on September 7, 2017 in Bassses


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


KIM BORG, Bass * 7 August 1919, Helsinki, Finland + 28 April 2000, Fredensborg Municipality, Denmark;

Litrato ni Bădița Voinea.

KIM BORG (August 7, 1919 – April 28, 2000) was a Finnish bass.

An elegant artist with a firm, though not particularly large bass baritone, Kim Borg was heard most effectively in recital. His Metropolitan Opera debut appearances as Count Almaviva did not show him to advantage, for the best part of his voice lay somewhat lower and, when pushed for volume, the instrument could take on a brittle quality. In the smaller houses of Europe and on the concert stage, however, he was a commanding presence. His singing of the song literature, including the songs of Sibelius, was authoritative and finely nuanced and the frequent inclusion of one of Sarastro’s arias demonstrated his resonant lower register and unfailing legato. Borg was also a composer of some note, having written two symphonies, a contemporary setting of the Stabat Mater, some chamber music, and a number of songs.

Borg’s primary studies took place at Helsinki’s Sibelius Academy, although he later undertook further training in Vienna, Rome, and even New York. After initially presenting himself as a concert singer, he entered the realm of opera in 1951 with a debut as Colline in Denmark. During that same period, he was engaged by Walter Legge for the role of Rangoni in a recording of Boris Godunov to be made with Boris Christoff. The success of that recording afforded Borg international recognition. Subsequently, he was engaged by the Glyndebourne Festival where his Don Giovanni was received in 1956 as well-sung, but far too severe. Similar misjudgments about the suitability of roles thwarted what might have been a more fruitful Metropolitan career. Nonetheless, Borg made himself welcome in Stockholm, where he became a member of the Royal Opera in 1960. Another positive relationship was forged with Hamburg, where he appeared frequently.

Borg’s own Boris Godunov was a superb creation, one ideally tailored to his vocal gifts. In Europe, he confined himself largely to bass roles, including such deeper bass parts as Osmin, Baron Ochs, and Hagen. In 1980, Borg retired from the opera stage to concentrate on teaching at the Conservatory in Copenhagen, where he had become a professor of singing in 1972. During the years of his prime, Borg recorded often, most frequently song recitals and oratorios. Dvorák’s Stabat Mater and Haydn’s Creation are both worthy examples of his art.

Artist Biography by Erik Eriksson

Litrato ni Bădița Voinea.

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Posted by on August 8, 2017 in Bassses


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).

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Posted by on July 29, 2017 in Bassses

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