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Bonnie E. Fleming

(b Harrisburg, PA, March 2, 1921; d Westport, CT, Sept 16, 2017). American singing actress, producer, stage director, and teacher. Possessing a wide range of performing skills, she was known for undertaking challenging operatic roles such as Birdie and Regina in Mark Blitzstein’s Regina (1949, 1953, and 1958) and Lizzie in Jack Beeson’s Lizzie Borden (1965). She worked on Broadway, in light opera, on radio and television, and at New York’s Metropolitan Opera. Lewis attended Penn State University and was encouraged by its Glee Club director to audition for a scholarship at the Curtis Institute of Music, where she went on to study with Emilio de Gogorza. After her teacher suddenly left the Institute, Lewis auditioned and made her debut with the Philadelphia Opera Company at the age of 19 in the role of the Marschallin in Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier. A remarkably quick study, Lewis absorbed music and words in any language almost on the spot, a gift to which she attributed most of her early success. In ...


Jewel A. Smith

(b Hamburg, Germany, March 19, 1827; d after 1895). American singer, actor, and teacher of German birth. At the age of 16 he became an orchestral member, playing violin under Karl Krebs and Richard Wagner. He arrived in New York City in 1848 as a member of Josef Gungl’s noted band. For four or five years after Gungl returned to Europe, Rudolphsen was a member of the Italian Opera Orchestra, New York, directed by Max Maretzek. Concurrently he studied singing, giving his début in 1853 at Niblo’s Garden, New York, in Anna Bishop’s English Opera Company. He concertized extensively throughout the United States, attaining a brilliant vocal career. In 1862 he was recruited by the Handel and Haydn Society in Boston to sing in Messiah and then settled in Boston, becoming highly regarded as a teacher and singer. Around 1875 he began touring again, accompanying Camilla Urso in her concerts in the United States. In ...


Isabelle Henrion-Dourcy

(b Lhasa, 1927). Tibetan lha-mo (musical theatre) actor and teacher. He was born to a family of performers of the sKyor-mo-lung troupe and enrolled for performance at the age of eight. He was nicknamed La-pa-lags, ‘the one who sings la-la-la’. His acting, especially of the female roles, made him a national celebrity in pre-communist Tibet. He could have become the next teacher of the sKyor-mo-lung troupe at a young age if the political situation had not forced him into exile in India in 1960. After the hardships of life in exile, he was appointed lha-mo master of the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts of Dharamsala in 1979. He is the main source for the reconstitution of lha-mo in India, where he has taught the song texts for six plays from memory and has performed in all the lha-mo recordings made in exile. His brother, Tseten Dorje, remained in the Lhasa official troupe and became a stage director....


Gaynor G. Jones

revised by Bernd Wiechert

(b Münster, Aug 19, 1858; d Kiel, March 19, 1938). German baritone, reciter and actor , son of Franz Wüllner. He studied the violin and the piano at an early age and sang at the Maximilian Gymnasium in Munich. From 1876 to 1880 he studied German philology at the universities of Munich and Berlin and in 1881 he completed his dissertation, Das hrabanische Glossar und die ältesten bayrischen Sprachdenkmäler, at the University of Strasbourg. After further study in Berlin, he lectured at the Münster Academy and performed as a violinist, singer and reciter. He left Münster in 1887 for extended studies in singing (with Benno Stolzenberg), composition and piano at the conservatory in Cologne, where he also became a choir conductor. After two years he left Cologne for Meiningen; there he joined the court theatre company as an actor. Several successful concerts in Berlin in 1895–6 established Wüllner's reputation as a lieder singer. He was also very successful in operatic parts, particularly in the title role of Wagner's ...