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Category Archives: Tenors

EDMOND VERGNET, Tenor * 04 July 1850, Montpellier + 15 February 1904, Nice;

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Edmond-Alphonse Vergnet (4 July 1850, Montpellier-d 15 February 1904, Nice) was a French operatic tenor.

Biography
Vergnet studied singing in Paris before making his professional opera début at the Paris Opéra in 1874 as Raimbaut in Giacomo Meyerbeer’s Robert le diable. He continued to sing leading tenor roles at that house for many years including the title role in Charles Gounod’s Faust, Léopold in Fromental Halévy’s La Juive, Ruodi in Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell, Laertes in Ambroise Thomas’s Hamlet, Don Ottavio in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Fernand in Donizetti’s La favorite, Max in Carl Maria von Weber’s Der Freischütz, Alim in Jules Massenet’s Le roi de Lahore, John of Leyden in Giacomo Meyerbeer’s Le prophète, Vasco da Gama in Meyerbeer’s L’Africaine, Samson in Camille Saint-Saëns’s Samson et Dalila and the title role in Richard Wagner’s Lohengrin.

At the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels, Vergnet portrayed John the Baptist in the world premiere of Massenet’s Hérodiade (1881) and Shahabarim in Ernest Reyer’s Salammbô (1890). He sang at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (1881–2) as Radames, Faust, Belmonte and Wilhelm Meister. In 1883 he created Admetus in Alfredo Catalani’s Dejanice at La Scala. At the Opéra de Monte-Carlo (1884–9) he sang Riccardo in Giuseppe Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera, the title role in Fra Diavolo, Raoul de Nangis in Les Huguenots, Edgardo in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, the Duke of Mantua in Verdi’s Rigoletto, Gérald in Léo Delibes’s Lakmé, and Florestan in Beethoven’s Fidelio. He also sang Zarastra in the world premiere of Massenet’s Le mage (1891) and Dominique in the world premiere of Alfred Bruneau’s L’attaque du moulin at the Opéra-Comique (1894).

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Posted by on February 15, 2018 in Tenors

 

EUGEN GURA, Tenor * 08 November 1842, Žatec, Czech Republic + 26 August 1906, Berg, Germany;

34334439.a04d6e61.640                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Eugen Gura (8 November 1842 – 26 August 1906) was a German operatic baritone.

Life
Gura was born in Nové Sedlo, Louny District, Bohemia (now in the Czech Republic).

He was at first educated for the career of a painter at Vienna and Munich; but later, developing a fine baritone voice, he took up singing and studied it at the Munich Conservatorium. In 1865, he made his debut at the Munich opera, and in the following years he gained the highest reputation in Germany, being engaged principally at Leipzig till 1876 and then at Hamburg till 1883.

He sang in 1876 in Wagner’s Ring at Bayreuth, and was famous for his Wagnerian roles; his Hans Sachs in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, as performed in London in 1882, was magnificent. He created the role of Gűnther in Wagner’s Götterdämmerung on 17 August 1876.

In later years, he showed the perfection of art in his singing of German Lieder. He died in Aufkirchen, Bavaria.

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Eugen Gura 1889

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2018 in Tenors

 

HEINRICH WILHELM GUDEHUS, Tenor * 30 March 1842, (some sources say 1845) Altenhagen, Celle, Germany + 09 October 1909, Dresden, Germany;

The tenor Heinrich Gudehus was a pupil of Malwine Schnorr von Carolsfeld. In 1866 he married Celle Caroline Johanne Klippel, but she died in 1867 after she gave birth to a dead child. In 1868 he married her sister Dorothee Friedrike, but she died in 1869.

In 1871 he debuted at the Court Opera in Berlin. Afterwards Luise Ress (1843-1908) became his teacher and after several other stations he was was engaged at the Court Opera in Dresden in 1880. There he worked until 1890. In 1877 he had married Elisabeth Tovote in Meppen and with her he had two daughters and two sons.

He met Richard Wagner in Dresden in 1891 and Wagner was so impressed that he invited him to Bayreuth in 1882 where he sang the title part in the second performance of Wagner’s final opera “Parsifal”. He performed in Bayreuth several more times. In 1890 he was engaged at the Metropolitan Opera for one season. He ended his career in 1896. After he lost most of his money during a banking crisis in Leipzig and was forced to work as a teacher. He died in 1909 and his wife survived him until 1925.

as Tristan Bayreuth 1886

as Lohengrin

as Lohengrin

as Stolzing with Malten and Scheide- mantel Dresden

as Siegfried “Siegfried”

as Siegfried “Siegfried”

as Parsifal Bayreuth 1882

as Parsifal Bayreuth 1882

as Parsifal Bayreuth

as Parsifal Bayreuth 1888

as Parsifal Bayreuth

as Parsifal with Malten Bayreuth

as Parsifal with Brandt and Siehr Bayreuth 1882

as Parsifal with Malten and Siehr Bayreuth 1882

as Parsifal with Malten and Siehr Bayreuth 1882

as Parsifal with Malten and Siehr Bayreuth 1882

Portrait

The grave of Heinrich Gudehus at the Alter Annenfriedhof, Dresden.
Picture by Androom (06 Aug 2016)

 

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2018 in Tenors

 

TRAIAN GROZĂVESCU, Tenor * 21. November 1895, Lugoj, Banat + 15 February 1927, Vienna Austria;

Traian Grozăvescu (21 November 1895 – 15 February 1927) was a Romanian operatic tenor.

Grosavescu, Trajan

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Posted by on February 15, 2018 in Tenors

 

ALESSANDRO ZILIANI, Tenor * 3 June 1906, Busseto, Emilia-Romagna, Italy + 12 February 1977, Nervi, Liguria, Italy;

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Alessandro Ziliani (1906-1977) was born in Busseto and exhibited a fine voice and musical aptitude at an early age. He studied in Milan with tenor Alfredo Cecchi and made his first stage appearances in his hometown theater in the now forgotten operetta Addio Giovinezza. In the fall of 1929, Ziliani made his official operatic debut at Milan’s Teatro Re as Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, making a tremendous impression on critics and public alike. His reputation growing, he was soon engaged in an opera tour that included appearances in Malta and the Netherlands. Upon his return to Italy, Ziliani was heard by impresario Angelo Ferrari, who insisted that the young tenor be granted an audition at Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera. Famed conductor Gino Marinuzzi was present at the audition and was impressed enough to offer the tenor a contract. Ziliani remained with the company for 13 seasons. Marinuzzi invited the tenor to join him at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires in 1933. While in South America, Ziliani also made important debuts in Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro.

Although he never became a superstar, Ziliani was a popular tenor who frequently appeared at the major theaters of France, England, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, South Africa and the U.S. In fact, following a successful season in San Francisco, Ziliani was scheduled to make his Metropolitan debut. Sadly, as he was about to leave Milan for New York, war broke out in Europe and travel was forbidden. His Met contract was cancelled and this golden opportunity was lost forever. Ziliani spent the war years in Europe, with appearances in Germany, Portugal and Spain. Ziliani also made good use of his cinema idol good looks and ventured into the film industry. His two pictures, the German UFA production “Canto per te” (a.k.a. “Canzone dell’ amore” and “Liebeslied”, 1936) and the Italian production “Diario di una Stella” (1939), were pleasant diversions, but did little to propel his career. In addition to the cinema, Ziliani also took advantage of the popular radio medium while maintaining his appearances in opera.

After the war, the tenor (now married to soprano Mafalda Favero) resumed his international career with performances in Chile, Argentina and the U. S., as well as much heralded appearances at La Scala, the San Carlo in Naples, the Arena di Verona, the Teatro Verdi in Trieste and the Teatro dell’ Opera in Rome. In all, Ziliani amassed an impressive repertoire of 70 roles including Alfredo in La Traviata, Loris in Fedora, Cavaradossi in Tosca, Rodolfo in La Bohème, Calaf in Turandot, Dick Johnson in La Fanciulla del West, des Grieux in Manon Lescaut, Luigi in Il Tabarro, Enzo in La Gioconda, Julien in Louise, Georges in La Dame Blanche and the title role in Lohengrin. Ziliani also sang in the world premiere of two works, Wolf-Ferrari’s La Vedova Scaltra (Rome, 1931) and Mascagni’s La Pinotta (Rome, 1932), and sang Calaf in the Italian premiere of Busoni’s Turandot in 1940. (After he passed the age of 50, the tenor began to curtail his singing activities and retired from the stage in 1958. Although he continued to lend his voice to charity concerts, Ziliani mainly busied himself with his second career as a theatrical agent. His agency, ALZI, became highly regarded throughout Europe for its roster of world class talent, including a young Luciano Pavarotti. The ex-tenor also founded the Concorso Internazionale di Voci Verdiane, one of Italy’s most renowned singing competitions. Ziliani passed away in Milan on February 18, 1977 at the age of 70.

Alessandro Ziliani made a large number of recordings during the 1930s and ‘40s for such labels as Columbia, HMV, Electrola and Telefunken.

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Posted by on February 13, 2018 in Tenors

 

WALTER HYDE, Tenor * 06 February 1875, Birmingham + London, 11 November 1951, London;

Walter Hyde

English tenor.

Walter Hyde was one of the greatest dramatic tenors in Britain in the early decades of the twentieth century. He trained in London at the Royal College of Music under Gustave Garcia and Walter Parratt, appearing in student productions of Euryanthe and Much Ado About Nothing (Stanford). His early professional career was in musical comedy, including Miss Hook of Holland (Rubens 1907) and Three Kisses (Talbot 1907).

Percy Pitt then recruited him to sing Siegmund in the 1908 English language Ring cycles at Covent Garden, which were conducted by Hans Richter and directed by E C Hedmondt. He continued to work regularly at Covent Garden until 1923. One of his early appearances there was as Sali in the British premiere of Delius’ A Village Romeo and Juliet, conducted by Beecham (1910). He worked extensively with Beecham’s company, and in the twenties became a director of BNOC, continuing to sing with them until they folded.

He sang Siegmund at the New York Met, and in 1912 toured the USA in Robin Hood. After Siegmund, his most notable Wagnerian role was probably Parsifal.

He later became Professor of Singing at the Guildhall School of Music, where his students included John Heddle Nash and Eric Shilling.

Walter Hyde

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2018 in Tenors

 

YOSHIE FUJIWARA, Tenor * 05 December 1898, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture, Japan + 22 March 1976, Tokyo, Japan;

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Yoshie Fujiwara (藤原 義江 Fujiwara Yoshie, December 5, 1898 in Osaka, Japan – March 22, 1976) was a Japanese tenor singer.

Biography
He was born in Osaka. His mother Kinu Sakata was a biwa-player and a geisha, worked in Shimonoseki of Yamaguchi Prefecture. Her mother was born in Osaka too. His father, Neil Brodie Reid, (November 30, 1870 – January 19, 1920) was Scottish merchant, worked for Holme Ringer & Co., however he was not raised by his father. Tokuzaburō Fujiwara adopted him, from whom he received the family name “Fujiwara”. Even so, his true father met him later in his life and put Yoshie into school. Yoshie’s mother died in his youth, and Reid remained a bachelor all his life. There is Reid’s grave in Shimonoseki and Reid’s boarding house later became the “Fujiwara Yoshie Memorial Museum”.

In 1934, he established the Fujiwara Opera and became a notable figure of Japanese opera history.

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Posted by on February 5, 2018 in Tenors

 
 
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