Category Archives: Mezzo-Sopranos

BARBARA CONRAD, Mezzo-soprano * 11 August 1937, Center Point, Camp County, Texas, Texas, United States + 22 May 2017, Edison, New Jersey, United States;

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In 1957, she became the focus of a racial controversy revolving around her role as Dido in a student opera at The University of Texas at Austin. Pressure from the Texas Legislature forced her removal from the cast, and her story received national media coverage. She began her stage career in 1965 as a soprano at City Center Opera New York singing Bess followed by Countess Almaviva. She switched to mezzo in the early 1970’s and returned there as Carmen in 1976. Annina in “Der Rosenkavalier” was her debut role at the Metropolitan Opera in 1982. Her other roles there included Amneris, Maddalena, Preziosilla and Maria in “Porgy and Bess”. Azucena, Fricka, and Eboli in opera houses in Vienna, Munich, Frankfort, Venezuela, and Brussels. Under the direction of some of the world’s leading conductors, including Maazel, Bernstein, and Levine, she has performed much of the mezzo-soprano concert repertoire with the New York Philharmonic, and the London, Boston, Cleveland, and Detroit Symphonies.

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Posted by on August 15, 2017 in Mezzo-Sopranos


ALICE RAVEAU, Mezzo-soprano * 8 August 1884, Paris + 13 May 1945, Paris;

She studied at Conservatoire Nationalion Paris, with Dubulle, and debuted in 1908 at the Opéra-Comique Paris as the title hero in “Orphee”, which became her most famous role.The first Solange in Gaston Salvayre’s opera 1909. She sang in 1910 in the premieres of the operas “Léone” by Samuel-Rousseau and “Macbeth” by Ernest Bloch. In 1913, she performed in the premiere of Faure’s “Pénélope” by Gabriel Fauré, and in 1920 in “Le Sauteriot” by Sylvio Lazzari. She also created the title role in Marguerite Labori’s “Yato”. Charlotte and Delilah too. She was regarded as one of the most important French recitalists of her time, particularly the songs of Henri Tomasi who she championed, but also the works by Claude Debussy, Ernest Chausson, Henri Duparc, Gabriel Fauré and other French composers.



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Posted by on August 9, 2017 in Mezzo-Sopranos


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



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Posted by on July 24, 2017 in Mezzo-Sopranos


PATRICIA KERN, Mezzo-soprano * 14 July 1927 Swansea, Wales + 19 October 2015, Toronto, Ontario;


Resulta ng larawan para sa Patricia Kern

Patricia Kern (14 July 1927 – 19 October 2015) was a British mezzo-soprano and voice teacher.

Early years:
Patricia Kern was born in Swansea, Wales, the only daughter of a master shipwright, Clifford James Kern, and Doris Hilday (née Boyle). Patricia started her music career as a child star in cabarets and concerts at the age of 5, wearing top hat and tails. During the Depression, Patricia became the family’s chief breadwinner when father lost his job.

Singing career:
From 1949 to 1952 she studied with Gwynn Parry Jones at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London. She began her career with Opera for All (1952–55). In 1959 she joined Sadler’s Wells, making her début in Rusalka; for ten seasons she was a member of the company, her most notable achievement being her interpretations of La Cenerentola, Rosina (The Barber of Seville), Isolier (Le comte Ory) and Isabella (L’italiana in Algeri). Her other roles included Iolanthe, Hänsel, Cherubino, Pippo, and Josephine in the premiere of Malcolm Williamson’s The Violins of Saint-Jacques (1966). She made her Covent Garden debut in 1967 as Zerlina.[2] Her American début was at Washington, DC, in 1969 and in 1987 she sang Marcellina in Chicago. In the early part of her career she was a noted oratorio singer – especially Handel.

She made her debut with Scottish Opera in 1969 in Rossini’s La Cenerentola, a production by Colin Graham – the cast also included the baritone Ian Wallace. Her performance was well received and captured the essence of the character and she delivered the final taxing aria with a flamboyant ease.

She made her Canadian Opera Company debut in 1973 in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville. This was followed by Claudio Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea, in 1983, and Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring, in 1991.

Kern’s voice was light but crystal clear with a fine capacity, especially for coloratura roles and arias. Kern once remarked: “I really was a contralto. I started to exercise the voice a little more floridly, and the voice really started to travel up very easily. As a result, most of my time was spent in the higher, lighter mezzo range.”

Kern’s stage personality was described as engaging and sympathetic.

She made several recordings, including Massenet’s Manon (1990) and Monteverdi’s Madrigals (1998).

Teaching career:
In 1980, Kern was appointed adjunct professor of voice at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music, where she taught for more than 20 years. Her pupils included James Westman, Russell Braun, Brett Polegato, Jean Stilwell, and Kimberly Barber

She died at a palliative care facility in Toronto on 19 October 2015 at the age of 88

Resulta ng larawan para sa Patricia Kern

Patricia Kern: Mezzo soprano who performed in many memorable Scottish Opera productions. Picture: Getty


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Posted by on July 15, 2017 in Mezzo-Sopranos


GEORGINE VON MILINKOVIČ, Mezzo-soprano * 7 July 1913 + 26 February 1986, Munich, Germany;

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Georgine von Milinkovič (July 7, 1913, Prague – February 26, 1986, Munich) was a Croatian operatic mezzo-soprano of Czech birth, particularly associated with Wagner and Strauss roles.

After vocal studies in Zagreb and Vienna, she sang at the Zurich Opera from 1937 to 1940, and then in Hilversum and later in Prague from 1945 until 1948. She made her debut at the Munich State Opera and the Vienna State Opera in 1948, where the major part of her career was to take place. She also appeared at the Salzburg Festival, where she created the role of Alkmene in Richard Strauss’s Die Liebe der Danae, in 1952.

She sang at the Bayreuth Festival from 1954, in roles such as Fricka, Magdalene, Grimgerde, Second Nom, etc.

She made guest appearances at the Edinburgh Festival and the Holland Festival, and the Royal Opera House in London.

She was also admired in Strauss’s Die schweigsame Frau and Elektra (as Clytemnestra), as well as in Verdi roles such as Eboli, Amneris, and Bizet’s Carmen.


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Georgine von Milinkovic 1956

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Posted by on July 8, 2017 in Mezzo-Sopranos


LYNE DOURIAN, Mezzo-soprano * 29 June 1933, Lyon, France + 7 May 2014;

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In Paris she studied with Suzanne Beaumont.She sang in several cities in France, Belgium and Germany. before coming to notice as Eboli at the Paris Opera in 1966. Her repertoire included Amneris, Venus, Fricka, Marguerite (Damnation of Faust), Dido, Santuzza, Dalila, Carmen, and Charlotte (Werther), Ortrud too.

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LYNE DOURIAN, French Mezzo Soprano Original Vintage Postcard 1960’s

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Vénus, Tannhäuser – Paris 1967.

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Dalila, Samson et Dalila – Paris.

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Amnéris – Aida, Liège 1968.

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Charlotte – Werther

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as Carmen

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as Carmen

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Posted by on July 1, 2017 in Mezzo-Sopranos


NAN MERRIMAN, Mezzo-Soprano * 28 April 1920 + Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA + 22 July 2012 – Los Angeles, California, USA;

Katherine Ann “Nan” Merriman (April 28, 1920 – July 22, 2012) was an American operatic mezzo-soprano.

A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, she performed with her pianist brother, Vic (J. Victor) O’Brien (later president of the Pittsburgh National Bank), in cafes and supper clubs in the Pittsburgh area. She studied singing in Los Angeles with Alexis Bassian and Lotte Lehmann. By the age of twenty she was singing on Hollywood film soundtracks and it was there that she was spotted by Laurence Olivier. He picked Merriman to accompany him and his wife, actress Vivien Leigh, on a tour of Romeo and Juliet, where she performed songs during the set changes.

Merriman sang many roles both live and on radio under the baton of Arturo Toscanini between 1944 and 1953, while he was conductor of the NBC Symphony Orchestra. Among the roles she sang with him, were Maddalena in Act IV of Verdi’s Rigoletto, Emilia in Verdi’s Otello, Mistress Page in Verdi’s Falstaff, and the trousers role of Orfeo in Act II of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice and also sang in his first and only studio recording of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, with the NBC Symphony Orchestra, in 1952. She was also featured as Dorabella in a 1956 La Scala performance of Mozart’s Così fan tutte, which was conducted by Toscanini’s short-lived protégé, Guido Cantelli.[citation needed]

Merriman was the first singer to record Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde twice, recording it on both occasions with the tenor Ernst Haefliger and the Concertgebouw Orchestra. The 1957 recording was conducted by Eduard van Beinum for the Philips label, while the 1963 recording was conducted by Eugen Jochum for Deutsche Grammophon (see discography in the external links). The latter recording was awarded the Grand Prix du Disque of the Académie Charles Cros.

Merriman was particularly well received in the Netherlands, where she met and married Dutch tenor Tom Brand, a widower with several children. She retired from performing to care for the family in 1965. Brand died in 1970. After the children were grown, she maintained residences in Hawaii and California. She died at her home in Los Angeles on July 22, 2012 from natural causes, aged 92.

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Posted by on April 28, 2017 in Mezzo-Sopranos

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