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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.

Photo credit: FORGOTTEN OPERA SINGERS

 

 
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Posted by on August 9, 2017 in Mezzo-Sopranos

 

CESAR VEZZANI, Tenor * 8 August 1888, Bastia, Corsica, (some sources give his date of birth as 1886) + 11 November 1951,Marseille;

Image result for Cesar Vezzani  1886

César Vezzani (8 August 1888 – 11 November 1951) was a French/Corsican operatic tenor who became a leading exponent of French grand opera through several decades. (Some sources give his date of birth as 1886.

Career
César Vezzani was born in Bastia in Corsica; his father died shortly before his birth. Soon after 1900 his family moved to Toulon on the French mainland, but little is known about his early musical training. In 1908 he went to Paris to study singing and was taught by the Corsican soprano Agnès Borgo (1879 – 1958). He then made his operatic début at the Opéra-Comique in 1911 in the title-role of Richard Coeur-de-Lion by Grétry. He continued singing there in such works as Dinorah by Meyerbeer and Erlanger’s La sorcière, as well as Italian operas such as Tosca and Cavalleria Rusticana.

In 1913 Vezzani and Agnès Borgo were married, and they had one daughter. (They later divorced in 1919, and Vezzani had two subsequent marriages.) Vezzani and Borgo were contracted to sing in the USA (including Boston) in 1914/1915 but were prevented by the outbreak of the First World War. Vezzani was called up and was wounded in action. He resumed his singing career during the later years of the war, but most of his subsequent engagements were in provincial opera houses, especially in the south of France, though he also sang in Brussels. He returned to the Opéra-Comique in Paris in 1921/1922 and probably appeared there again during the 1920s, but he never sang at the Paris Opéra. The ringing and heroic quality of his voice made him an ideal choice for certain heavy and dramatic tenor parts, but he never abandoned some of the more lyrical roles of the French repertoire.

During World War II Vezzani spent time in North Africa, singing frequently in Algiers. He continued as principal tenor in Toulon until 1948 when he suffered a stroke which left him paralyzed. He returned to Bastia, but now without an income he spent the last three years of his life in some poverty and assisted by the generosity of friends. He died in hospital in Marseille and was buried in Bastia, where a street is named after him.

Recordings
The potential of Vezzani’s outstanding voice for recording was quickly recognised, and from 1912 to 1914 he made a series of recordings for French Odéon, including excerpts from Pagliacci. Tosca, and Werther. Then from 1923 until the early 1930s he recorded for French HMV in arias from many of his favourite roles, including Reyer’s Sigurd, Halévy’s La Juive, and Meyerbeer’s L’Africaine. There was also a complete recording of Gounod’s Faust in 1930 with Mireille Berthon and Marcel Journet. It is unclear whether and when Vezzani sang Wagner on stage, but he recorded a number of pieces from Lohengrin and The Ring. In total he recorded over 170 sides. Most of these were originally released only in France, but there have been several selections transferred to CD, and a systematic reissue of his recordings has been launched by Marston Records.

Reputation
Critics have shown universal recognition of the exceptional quality of Vezzani’s voice, though they have sometimes expressed reservations about the subtlety of his approach, which was generally robust.

His recording of Faust has occasioned the following comments: “Vezzani is a noble representative of that vanished breed, the French spinto tenor… Unforced lyricism was not Vezzani’s greatest strength… [but] where ringing excitement is called for, his only equals are Caruso and, more recently, Franco Corelli.” Referring to his recording of excerpts from Roméo et Juliette, another critic has said: “He was a real ténor de force and still singing well at sixty. There is little nuance here, but the voice is healthy and brilliant, somehow typically Corsican.” Reflecting on the fact that Vezzani’s career did not take him to the world’s major opera houses, another has said: “He seems to be one of those whose gifts exceeded his attainments.” The generous attention that he received from recording companies allows later generations to form their own judgments.

Image result for Cesar Vezzani  1886

as Canio

Photo credit: FORGOTTEN OPERA SINGERS 

 
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Posted by on August 9, 2017 in Tenors

 

MARGARET RITCHIE, Soprano * 7 June 1903, Grimsby + 7 Feb 1969, Ewelme, Oxon;

Image result for Margaret Ritchie  1903

Margaret Ritchie (1903-1969). She studied at the Royal College of Music and with Plunket Greene, Agnes Nicholls (two notable British singers of the early years of the 20th Century) and Sir Henry Wood. She first attracted attention as a student in a Royal College production of The Magic Flute in which she sang the role of Pamina. She then established a reputation as a concert singer and as principal soprano of the Intimate Opera Company which was founded by Frederick Woodhouse which was to remain in being until the 1970s and to inspire and revive many small-scale operatic works by British (and other) composers. In 1944 she joined Sadler’s Wells, and in 1946-7 she sang for Glyndebourne Opera, taking in 1946 the role of Lucia in Britten’s “The Rape of Lucretia”. In 1947 she joined the English Opera Group where her performance as Miss Wordsworth in another Britten opera, Albert Herring. displayed her musical qualities and feeling for comedy. She was also admired in Handel, recording Galatea, and Elmira in “Sosarme”. She made one film in 1945 where she played the part of Adelina Patti. The film was ‘Pink String and Sealing Wax’.

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2017 in Sopranos

 

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

 

EUGENE CONLEY, Tenor * 12 March 1908, Lynn, Massachusetts, USA + 18 December 18, 1981, Denton, Texas, USA;

Resulta ng larawan para sa Eugene Conley born

Eugene Conley (March 12, 1908 – December 18, 1981) was a celebrated American operatic tenor.

Born in Lynn, Massachusetts, Conley studied under Ettore Verna, and made his official debut as the Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1940. In 1945, he first appeared with the New York City Opera, as Rodolfo in La bohème, and went on to appear with that company until 1950. He also sang with the Opéra-Comique in Paris, the Teatro alla Scala in Milan (I puritani, 1949; and Les vêpres siciliennes opposite Maria Callas, 1951), and Covent Garden in London.

The tenor made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 1950, in the title role of Faust, and appeared with the Met many times until 1956.

On television, he appeared on “The Voice of Firestone” (1950–53) and “Cavalcade of Stars” (1951-52).

Conley was artist-in-residence at the University of North Texas College of Music from 1960 until his retirement in 1978. From 1960 to 1967, he directed its Opera Workshop. In his retirement year, he presented a joint recital at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, with soprano Maria Powell.[1] Among his students was Henry Price (tenor). He died in Denton, Texas, at the age of seventy-three.

Conley’s discography includes complete recordings of Faust (with Eleanor Steber and Cesare Siepi, for Columbia, 1951), the first recording of The Rake’s Progress (conducted by the composer, Igor Stravinsky, for Columbia, 1953), and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis (conducted by Arturo Toscanini, for RCA, 1953). In 1999, VAI published, on Compact Discs, a 1952 performance of Rigoletto from the New Orleans Opera Association, with Leonard Warren, Hilde Gueden, Conley, and the young Norman Treigle as Count Monterone, conducted by Walter Herbert. A “pirated” recording of the Verdi Requiem exists, with Herva Nelli and Conley, conducted by Guido Cantelli (1954).

Resulta ng larawan para sa Eugene Conley born

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2017 in Tenors

 

ENZO MASCHERINI, Baritone * 06 August 1910, Florence, Tuscany, Italy + 29 July 1981, Livorno, Tuscany, Italy;

Resulta ng larawan para sa Enzo Mascherini born

Enzo Mascherini (August 6, 1910, Florence – July 29, 1981, Livorno) was an Italian operatic baritone, one of the leading baritones of his generation.

He studied in Florence with Titta Ruffo and Riccardo Stracciari and made his debut there in 1937, as Giorgio Germont in La traviata, and also sang at the premiere of Gian Francesco Malipiero’s Antonio e Cleopatra, in 1938. He made his debut at the San Carlo in Naples, in 1939, and at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, in 1940. He appeared in two legendary performances opposite Maria Callas, the first at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in 1951, as Montforte in I vespri siciliani, under Erich Kleiber, and on opening night of the 1952-53 season at La Scala, as Macbeth, under Victor de Sabata.

After the war, he began an international career, appearing in Paris, Vienna, Prague, London, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, Chicago, San Francisco, etc. In 1946 and 1947, Mascherini appeared at the New York City Opera, in La bohème (as Marcello), La traviata (with Dorothy Kirsten), Pagliacci (as Silvio, later as Tonio), Rigoletto, Andrea Chénier (opposite Vivian della Chiesa, directed by Theodore Komisarjevsky), and Il barbiere di Siviglia (with Luigi Infantino and Virginia MacWatters).

He made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera on December 7, 1949 as Marcello in Giacomo Puccini’s La bohème with Bidu Sayão as Mimì, Ferruccio Tagliavini as Rodolfo, Lois Hunt as Musetta, and Giuseppe Antonicelli conducting. He performed in several other roles at the Met during the 1949-1950 season, including Germont in La traviata (with Licia Albanese as Violetta and Jan Peerce as Alfredo), Lescaut in Manon Lescaut (with Richard Tucker as Des Grieux), Valentin in Faust (with Giuseppe Di Stefano in the title role), and the title role in Rigoletto (with Erna Berger as Gilda).[1] He also went on tour to South Africa in 1951.

A fine singing-actor with a powerful voice and solid technique, he taught in Florence after retiring from the stage. Among his pupils was the baritone Alexander Malta.

He can be heard on disc in Dom Sébastien, opposite Fedora Barbieri; La favorite, opposite Giulietta Simionato; Tosca, opposite Renata Tebaldi; and the aforementioned I vespri siciliani and Macbeth with Callas. In 1949, the baritone participated in a cinematic version of Il trovatore (available from the Bel Canto Society).

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2017 in Baritones

 

JESS THOMAS, Tenor * 4 August 1927, Hot Springs, South Dakota, United States + 11 October 1993, San Francisco, California, United States;

Image result for Jess Thomas

Jess Thomas (1927-1993).He studied at Stanford University in California.with Otto Schulmann. In 1957 he debuted in San Francisco as the Haushofmeister in ” Der Rosenkavalier”.followed by Malcolm in Verdi’s “Macbeth” In 1958 he was appointed to the Staatstheater von Karlsruhe, where he debuted as Lohengrin. In 1960, he appeared at the Munich Festival as Bacchus. At Bayreuth Parsifal (1961-63, 1965), Lohengrin (1962, 1967), Walther (1963, 1969), Tannhauser (1966-67) and Siegfried (1969, 1976 ), His Metropolitan Opera debut was in 1963 as Walther Caesar in the premiere of Barber’s “Anthony and Cleopatra”. In addition to his Wagner roles, Lohengrin, Parsifal, Siegmund, Siegfried, and Tristan, his repertoire included Florestan Radames Samson, Calaf, and Lensky.

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2017 in Tenors

 
 
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