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Lana Paćuka

(b Herceg Novi, Montenegro, Dec 5, 1921; d Sarajevo, Bosnia, April 17, 2012) Bosnian baritone and opera soloist of Montenegrin origin. He made his début at the National Theatre in Sarajevo (1946), and after that, except for short engagements at the Zagreb Opera (1955–7), his artistic work was tied to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Before beginning his musical education he attended the Maritime Trade Academy, after which he enrolled in solo singing at the Rossini Conservatory in Pesaro. He also worked as a member of the Ivo Lola Ribar ensemble in Belgrade.

His début in the role of Rigoletto (Rigoletto, G. Verdi) enabled him to gain the status of first soloist at the Sarajevo Opera, which was the decisive moment in his career. During his artistic career he interpreted the roles of Papageno (The Magic Flute, W.A. Mozart), Sima (Ero s onog svijeta...

Article

Peter Mondelli

(b Washburn, IL, Nov 20, 1959). American bass-baritone. He studied at Millikin University and Wichita State University under Richard Cross and George Gibson. In 1986, he made his debut with Central City Opera in Denver as Colline in La Bohème. He made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 1989 as Mr. Redburn in Billy Budd. He has since been heard with many major companies, including those in Washington, Chicago, San Francisco, Vienna, Salzburg, London, Paris, and Milan. He is a winner of the Birgit Nilsson Prize. His rich-hued, powerful voice is especially well suited to the operas of Wagner and Strauss, including such roles as Wotan, Kurwenal, the Dutchman, Jochanaan, and Orestes. He has also been successful in such dramatically demanding roles as Wozzeck in in comic roles such as Leporello and the Four Villains in Les contes d’Hoffmann. As a concert soloist, he has performed with the Chicago Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the National Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Paris Orchestra, and the Kirov Opera Orchestra. His recordings include Donner in Wagner’s ...

Article

Jonas Westover

(b United States). American baritone. One of his earliest professional performances took place at the Lake George Opera Festival, where he performed as Damis in Kirke Mechem’s Tartuffe in 1982. He appeared there again as Papageno in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, one of his signature roles. His voice, while not overpowering, is full of nuance and carries a light brilliance. A sought after performer, he has served as a principal singer with Glimmerglass Opera, Virginia Opera, Chicago Opera Theatre, New York Grand Opera, El Paso Opera, and the Natchez Opera Festival. By the early 2010s, he had performed nearly 150 different roles in a variety of theatrical productions, including bel canto opera, musical theater, and, especially, light opera. During more than a quarter century singing with the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players, he has performed in each opera and in more than 20 roles. His international reputation as a premiere interpreter of this repertoire has been built on more than 500 Gilbert and Sullivan performances. Other notable works he has performed in New York include Carlisle Floyd’s ...

Article

Irina Boga

(b Vânju Mare, Romania, June 2, 1930). Romanian baritone. He graduated from the Theatre Faculty in Iași (1948–9) and the Bucharest Music Conservatory (1952–6) where he studied with Constantin Stroescu. He continued his studies in Salzburg (Mozarteum, 1956), Paris (1958–60), and Rome (1960). He made his début in 1949 in the operetta Cântec de via ță nouă (‘Song for a new life’) by Florin Comișel; he gave his Bucharest Opera and Ballet Theatre début in December 1956. He performed 262 international tours in 61 countries, appearing in almost 1100 opera performances across the globe. He performed 45 operatic roles, and gave over 1600 lieder recitals. He sang on the major stages of Europe and North America, in productions alongside Mario Del Monaco, Placido Domingo, Mirella Freni, Renata Scotto, Virginia Zeani, Montserrat Caballé, Luciano Pavarotti, Franco Corelli, N. Rossi-Lemeni, and Giuseppe Di Stefano, among others. He was awarded various prizes throughout his lengthy career, including the Robert Schumann Prize (Berlin, ...

Article

Anya Laurence

(b Akron, OH, Nov 10, 1954). American baritone and teacher. He received his vocal training at the University of Houston where he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music. His teachers included Franco Corelli, Jean Preston, louis Quilico , and Michael Trimble. He made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 1991 and has subsequently sung numerous roles there, including Germont (La traviata), Enrico (Lucia di Lammermoor), and Rigoletto (Rigoletto). In 2009 he appeared in the premiere of André Previn’s opera Brief Encounter with Houston Grand Opera and in 2010 the premiere of Stephen Schwartz’s Séance on a Wet Afternoon with Opera Santa Barbara. In 2011 he performed William Bolcom’s A View from the Bridge with the Rome Opera Theater. He has been recognized with awards from the William Sullivan–George London Foundation, the Loren L. Zachary Society, the Licia Albanese–Puccini Foundation, and the Bagby Foundation, and has also received a Bruce Yarnell Scholarship and a career grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation. He has also worked as associate professor of voice at the University of Oklahoma....

Article

Sofia Kontossi

(b Athens, Greece Sept 8, 1936). Greek baritone. He began his vocal studies at the Athens Conservatory with Kimon Triantafyllou (1954–8) and graduated from Marika Kalfopoulou’s class (1963). He pursued his studies at the Salzburg Mozarteum (1963–7) with Max Lorenz (voice) and Paul von Schilhawsky (Lied, oratorio), where he also took classes in composition and conducting.

His career was launched in the Staatstheater Braunschweig (1967) as a performer of leading operatic roles of the Italian repertory, and expanded thereafter into all of Europe, America, and Australia. Acclaimed for his Lieder and song performances, he distinguished himself also in contemporary opera. Equally oriented towards concert repertory and experimental music, he gave an impressive number of world premières of works including those by Cage, Crumb, Xenakis, Ligeti, Bialas, Christou, Antoniou, Apergis, Kounadis, Kouroupos, Hadjidakis, Theodorakis, and Tavener. Numerous compositions have been created especially for his voice, while his fruitful collaboration with Xenakis yielded ...

Article

Roger C. Anderson

(b Brooklyn, NY, Aug 7, 1883; d Plattsburg, NY, Sept 13, 1953). American concert and radio baritone. His father, who emigrated from Denmark, and his mother were professional singers. He became the most popular and best known American-born baritone during the years immediately preceding World War I to the mid-1920s. He attended New York University, where he was a member of the Glee Club, and established a friendship with the future music critic Deems Taylor, graduating in 1905. He later studied with Percy Rector Stevens and French baritone Victor Maurel.

The concert stage and recital hall were the venues where he established and maintained his reputation and public acclaim, making numerous appearances at Carnegie Hall, and sometimes traveling to Europe. His repertoire included a wide range of popular songs and ballads, both American and European, opera arias, and sacred hymns. He was described as having excellent diction along with a voice pure in tone. He made a brief excursion into opera, debuting as Silvio in ...