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J.B. Steane

(b Vera de Bidasoa, Navarre, April 4, 1895; d San Sebastian, May 1976). Spanish.tenor . He studied at the Parma Conservatory and in 1920 made his début at Madrid in Samson et Dalila, subsequently creating a strong impression in the world première of Guridi’s Amaya at Bilbao. His first Wagnerian role was Siegmund in ...

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Cori Ellison

(b Vienna, Aug 28, 1901; d Toronto, Jan 10, 1994). Canadian soprano . She studied at the Neues Konservatorium in Vienna with Victor Fuchs. Her début was in Teplice in 1930 as Elsa in Lohengrin, after which she appeared in Brno, Buenos Aires, Chicago, Munich, Philadelphia, Prague and San Francisco. In ...

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Bonnie Elizabeth Fleming

(b Harrisburg, PA, March 2, 1921). American singing actress, producer, stage director, and teacher. Possessing a wide range of performing skills, she is 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 attributes most of her early success. In ...

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Karen Monson

(b New York, April 21, 1880; d New York, Sept 25, 1970). American soprano and teacher. Trained in Paris by Mathilde Marchesi and in Berlin by Selma Nicklass-Kempner, she made her début at the Dresden Hofoper in the title role of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor at the age of 18. She then sang with the Stuttgart Opera and at the Opéra-Comique, and appeared three times at the Metropolitan Opera (...

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Jessica Payette

(Ferrée )

(b New York, NY, Feb 18, 1943). American composer, opera singer, and educator. She studied literature and music at Columbia University, earning both undergraduate and graduate degrees. Her primary voice teachers were soprano Helen Merritt and Marina Ahmed Alam, a Hindustani raga singer. She studied composition with vladimir Ussachevsky , whom she first encountered in an undergraduate counterpoint course, and otto Luening . Ussachevsky eventually taught her the methods he developed for studio electronics and became her principal supervisor. During her student years she collaborated with Ussachevsky on film and television scores, including Line of Apogee and Incredible Voyage, which combined pure electronic and concrète sound sources; Shields also embraced this approach for many of her electronic music-theater pieces and operas. Her DMA in composition was conferred in 1975 with the completion of the third segment of a tripartite opera, begun in 1970, entitled The Odyssey of Ulysses the Palmiped...

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(b Vienna, Dec 5, 1822; d Berlin, Feb 19, 1895). Austrian singer and teacher . The son of a bass singer, Kaspar Sieber (1796–1827), who appeared in theatres in Vienna, Berlin and elsewhere, he was a pupil of J. A. Miksch in Dresden and had some career as a singer in Detmold and other German cities before studying in Italy under Ronconi and Farini. He appeared in Spain, Russia and in Germany before settling in 1854 as a teacher and critic in Berlin, where he had great influence through his numerous publications. He composed songs and other works, especially solfeggi (of which he wrote 696). His didactic works include Völlständiges Lehrbuck der Gesangskunst (Magdeburg, 1858, 2 /1878), Die Aussprache des italienischen in Gesang (1860), Katechismus der Gesangskunst (1862, 6 /1903), a series of volumes Kurze Anleitung zum gründlichen Studium der Gesangskunst...