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Elizabeth Forbes

(b Genoa, 1821; d Milan, 1896). Italian mezzo-soprano . She studied with her father, the composer and teacher Natale Abbadia, making her début in 1836 at Sassari. In Vienna she sang Corilla in Donizetti’s Le convenienze ed inconvenienze teatrali (1840). At La Scala she created Giulietta in Verdi’s ...

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J.B. Steane

(b Lemberg [now L’viv], July 14, 1872; d Weidling, nr Vienna, Sept 1, 1932). Polish soprano of Austrian parentage . She first appeared as a child prodigy, singing operatic arias in her native town. At 13 she entered the Vienna Conservatory; she later studied in Milan, becoming highly proficient in florid singing while developing a voice of considerable power. She made her début (1889) in La sonnambula at the Vienna Opera. In the Munich première of Falstaff she sang Mrs Ford, and at Dresden in 1902 sang Tosca in the opera’s German première. She retired in 1908, having sung some 70 operatic roles, ranging from coloratura parts such as the Queen of Night and Lucia to dramatic roles including Sieglinde and Venus. A few rare gramophone records made in 1902 display some dubious stylistic qualities along with an extraordinary fluency in decorative work and a warm, limpid tone characteristic of the Lamperti school....

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(b Riverside, ny , 1878; d New York, Feb 9, 1919). American soprano . She appeared first with her sister Jessie in vaudeville, then, in London, in operetta; she was heard there in 1898 by Jean de Reszke, who helped her to study in Paris with Victor Capoul and Mathilde Marchesi. Her début at the Opéra as Juliet in ...

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Elizabeth Forbes

(b Bristol, Dec 20, 1928; d Norwich, April 8, 1996). English bass . He was a chorister at Worcester Cathedral and later became an actor. After singing in the D’Oyly Carte Opera chorus, from 1953 to 1969 he was principal bass of the company. In 1963 he co-founded ‘G&S for All’, with whom he toured extensively in Australia and the USA. In 1983 he sang the Mikado in Chicago, returning for Baron Mirko Zeta and the Theatre Director/Banker (Lulu). He made his Covent Garden début in 1983 as a Frontier Guard (Boris Godunov), and later sang Quince and Frank. For the ENO (1985–92) he has sung Dikoj (Kát’a Kabanová), Mozart’s Bartolo, and Pooh-Bah; for the WNO (1985–7) his roles included Monterone and Rossini’s Bartolo. He also appeared at Glyndebourne (Dikoj, Quince and Swallow), Amsterdam, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Geneva. In ...

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David Cummings

[Chapman, Adele ]

(b Boston, 1855; d Dieppe, Feb 1924). American soprano . She studied with Pauline Viardot and Giovanni Sbriglia in Paris. Her début role was Meyerbeer’s Dinorah, at Varese in 1876. She appeared with the Mapleson Company in New York and after returning to Europe sang at the Opéra from ...

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Elizabeth Forbes

(b Verdello, Bergamo, Nov 23, 1882; d Buenos Aires, July 6, 1954). Italian soprano . She studied in Milan and made her début in 1903 at Pavia as Fedora. She sang throughout Europe, in South America and in Russia. After an engagement at the Manhattan Opera House, New York (...

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Elizabeth Forbes

(b Verona, July 21, 1874; d Abington, pa , July 26, 1951). Italian tenor . He made his début in 1895 at Nuovi Ligure. In 1897, after singing Rodolfo for the first time at Cagliari, he took the role in the American première of La bohème at Los Angeles and in the New York première (...

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David Cummings

(b Stockholm, Aug 1, 1942). Swedish tenor . He studied at the Stockholm Opera School with Erik Saedén, Aksel Schiøtz and Max Lorenz. From 1969 he has appeared at the Royal Opera, Stockholm, notably in works by Mozart and Rossini (début as Tamino). At Drottningholm he has sung in many revivals of Baroque operas. He left Stockholm in ...

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Elizabeth Forbes

(b Whitstable, Feb 22, 1910; d Croydon, Jan 12, 1982). English bass . After studying with Roy Henderson, he was engaged at Sadler’s Wells Opera (1947–52), singing Colline, Don Basilio, Zuniga, Simone (Gianni Schicchi), Alfio, the Grand Inquisitor, the Commendatore, and Cancian (I quatro rusteghi...

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Elizabeth Forbes

(b Torre del Greco, Naples, Aug 13, 1912; d Rome, June 11, 2005). Italian tenor . He studied in Rome and made his début in 1942 at La Fenice as Ramiro in La Cenerentola. After touring in Hungary and Germany, he was engaged by the S Carlo and sang with that company at Covent Garden in ...

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Sergio Durante

[‘Il Luigino’ ]

( fl 1692–1706). Italian contralto castrato . His name first appears in a libretto in 1692 as Silandro in Pausania (composer unknown) at Crema, and he sang frequently thereafter in the principal Italian centres in lead and second-lead male parts. In Venice he appeared at S Giovanni Grisostomo in operas by C. F. Pollarolo (Tito Manlio, Marzio Coriolano, La fortuna per dote and Il Dafni). Galliard (1743), in the notes to his translation of Tosi’s treatise, indicated that he was a pupil of Pistocchi in the service of Emperor Josef I, but there is no record of such service. He served the Duke of Modena from 1694. Tosi cites him as Pistocchi’s successor only in terms of style. He was one of the best representatives of the generation of castratos after Pistocchi.

P. F. Tosi: Opinioni de’ cantori antichi e moderni (Bologna, 1723; Eng. trans. by ...

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J.B. Steane

(b Amsterdam, Feb 1, 1866; d Paris, Sept 12, 1925). Flemish baritone . He began as an actor in comedy, and in 1889 made his operatic début as Méphistophélès in Faust at Amsterdam. Massenet heard him in Antwerp and arranged for him to study in Paris with Jean-Baptiste Faure. He then travelled widely in France and the USA, making his début at the Metropolitan in ...

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Elizabeth Forbes

(b London, 1 May ?1814; d London, Sept 25, 1847). English contralto . She made her début in 1830 in London at the King’s Theatre as Pippo in La gazza ladra. In 1831 she went to Italy and married a lawyer; she continued to sing, appearing at the Teatro della Cannobiana (...

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Dennis Libby

(b Milan, c 1720; d after 1766). Italian tenor . He made his début in opera seria in Venice in autumn 1737, then sang with the Mingotti company in central Europe, resuming his Italian career in autumn 1740 when he was quickly recognized as a leading artist with engagements in the most important theatres. In Venice he sang in Gluck’s ...

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David Cummings

(b Duisburg, June 14, 1908; d Munich, Oct 8, 1959). German tenor . His first major success was at Frankfurt (Manrico and Riccardo, 1939). During World War II he appeared at opera houses in Erfurt, Darmstadt and Düsseldorf. At the Dresden Staatsoper (1944–52) he developed as a Heldentonor and he sang Siegfried at Bayreuth between ...

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Elizabeth Forbes

(b Lazise, Lake Garda, Jan 6, 1824; d Verona, May 11, 1906). Italian baritone . He studied in Verona and Milan, making his début in 1858 at Novara as Germont. For the next 20 years he sang at all the leading Italian theatres, including S Carlo, where he created Raoul in Donizetti’s posthumously performed ...

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Elizabeth Forbes

(b Villafranca Veronese, 1828; d Colognola ai Colli, 1907). Italian soprano . She made her début in 1849 at Verona as Bellini’s Beatrice di Tenda, also singing Donizetti’s Maria Padilla. In 1854 at the Teatro S Benedetto, Venice, she scored a triumph as Violetta not long after the disastrous première of Verdi’s ...

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Elizabeth Forbes

(b Utica, ny , Oct 15, 1915). American bass-baritone . He studied in New York, making his début in 1941 in St Louis as Masetto. In 1955 he went to Germany and sang in Cologne, Düsseldorf, Munich, Berlin and Stuttgart, where he was engaged for a decade, and where he created the title role in Orff’s Prometheus (1968). He also appeared in Vienna, Florence and at Glyndebourne, where he sang Mittenhofer in the first British performance of Elegy for Young Lovers (1961). At Bayreuth he sang Beckmesser (1963–4). His repertory included the Dutchman, Wotan, Iago, Baron Prus (The Makropulos Affair), John the Baptist, Mandryka and Cardinal Borromeo (Palestrina). A powerful singing actor, he excelled in roles such as Dr Schön (Lulu), Schoenberg’s Moses and Father Grandier (The Devils of Loudun), in which his musical and dramatic gifts were effectively displayed....

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Laurie Shulman

(b Paris, Dec 29, 1814; d Marseilles, Jan 23, 1850). French bass-baritone . He began his career as a violinist, studying under Chrétien Urhan, but switched to singing in 1834, enrolling at the Paris Conservatoire. After earning first prize there in 1836, he made his début the following year as Saint-Bris (Les Huguenots). Alizard was associated with the Opéra, primarily in minor roles, until 1842 when he accepted a two-year appointment in Brussels. A throat problem, possibly induced by higher baritone roles, forced him to take leave from 1844 to 1846. Following a short recuperative sojourn in Italy, he enjoyed a brief second success in Paris from 1846 to 1848. A recurrence of his ailment necessitated his permanent retirement to the balmier climate of Marseilles, where he died. Contemporary critics described his voice as powerful and of a flattering timbre. His short and overly muscular stature, however, compromised his popularity with the public....

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(Louise )

(b Campbell, oh , March 17, 1930). American mezzo-soprano . She studied at Wilberforce University and the Hartford School of Music, later with Sarah Peck More, Zinka Milanov and Paul Ulanowsky. Chosen by Leonard Bernstein to sing in a performance of his Jeremiah Symphony in 1951, she made her opera début the following year in Thomson’s Four Saints in Three Acts, and later took part in the first complete recording. She made her début with the New York City Opera as Queenie in Kern’s Show Boat; her other roles included Azucena, Mistress Quickly, Jocasta, Eurycleia in Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, Teresa in La sonnambula and the title role in Joplin’s Treemonisha. She first appeared at the Colón, Buenos Aires, in 1964 as Jocasta in Oedipus Rex, and has also sung with Boston, Houston, San Francisco and Santa Fe opera companies. In the 1970s her tone acquired a contralto-like deepening, which can be heard on her recording of Prokofiev’s ...