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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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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 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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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....

Article

(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 ...

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J.B. Steane

(b Obra, Poland, April 7, 1880; d New York, Jan 31, 1975). Polish-American soprano . Born of a French mother and Norwegian father, she trained in Breslau as a contralto and sang first in public at short notice and from memory in the St Matthew Passion. Her operatic début followed in ...

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Elizabeth Forbes

(Theresa )

(b La Habra, ca , May 2, 1948). American soprano . She studied with Lotte Lehmann in Santa Barbara and later at Salzburg. After winning the Illinois Opera Guild Auditions in 1971, she made her début at the Metropolitan as the Heavenly Voice in Verdi’s Don Carlos. She sang Freia at the Chicago Lyric Opera (1972), Salzburg (1973) and Covent Garden (1975). After several seasons at Stuttgart (1975–9) she sang Sieglinde in Patrice Chéreau’s production of the Ring (1979) at Bayreuth, where she also sang Isolde (1986). Apart from her Wagnerian roles (which include Elsa, Eva, Elisabeth, Gutrune and Brünnhilde), Altmeyer sings Agathe (Der Freischütz), Strauss’s Salome and Chrysothemis, Lisa (The Queen of Spades) and Leonore, which she sang at La Scala in 1990. The radiant tone of her voice and the intensity of her expression make her a particularly fine interpreter of Wagner and Strauss....

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Elizabeth Forbes

(b Rio de Janeiro, June 10, 1947). Brazilian tenor . He studied in Rio, Rome and Vienna, making his début in 1970 at Linz as Don José. He has appeared in Vienna, Munich, Oslo and Rio, as the Duke, Alfredo, Gabriele Adorno, Don Carlos, Don Alvaro, Faust, Werther and Lensky. At Wexford he sang Konrad in ...

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(b Hartford, ct , March 1, 1927). American soprano of Armenian descent. She studied at San Francisco, where she sang in the opera chorus (1945–6). At the Metropolitan she made her début (1950) as the Heavenly Voice (Don Carlos). By her 25th anniversary performance there, as Micaela, she had sung 41 roles in 35 operas, with regular appearances as Leonora (...

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David Cummings

(b Denver, 1938). American mezzo-soprano . She studied at the Eastman School, Rochester, and inCologne. After her stage début (Cologne, 1962, as Fyodor in Boris Godunov) she appeared widely in Germany, notably at Hamburg, Frankfurt, Mannheim and Düsseldorf. In 1968 she sang Ophelia in the Hamburg première of Searle’s ...

Article

Elizabeth Forbes

[Caruso, Calogero Antonio]

(b New Orleans, July 15, 1929; d Tampa, FL, Feb 15, 2012). American tenor. He studied at New Orleans and in Rome, making his début in 1954 as the Holy Fool (Boris Godunov) at the Metropolitan, where he sang for 30 years in a wide variety of lyric and character roles. They included Almaviva, Ernesto, Nemorino, Beppe (...

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Elizabeth Forbes

(b Novara, May 27, 1876; d Novara, March 23, 1941). Italian tenor . He made his début in 1898 in Italy and sang there for a decade. In 1908 he went to New York, where he made his Metropolitan début as the Messenger in Aida. He remained as chief comprimario at the Metropolitan for 30 years, creating roles in Puccini’s ...

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David Cummings

(b New York, April 28, 1942). American soprano. She studied in New York and made her début at the City Opera in 1963, as Aida. Other Verdi repertory includes Amelia (Ballo) and Leonora in Il trovatore. Her career is based in New York, but guest appearances have taken her to San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Washington, Seattle and New Orleans. She has also appeared with the WNO in Cardiff, and in Rome and Copenhagen. Further repertory includes Tosca, Turandot, Sieglinde, Donna Anna and Santuzza....

Article

J.B. Steane

(b Cologne, March 15, 1900; d New York, Dec 27, 1989). German tenor, naturalized American. He won the international singing award at Vienna in 1932 and made his début in Zemlinsky’s Der Kreidekreis at Zürich (1933). He sang in Prague and at various houses in Europe before moving to the USA in 1939. He made his début at the Metropolitan in 1941 as the Italian Singer in Der Rosenkavalier and was a leading heroic tenor there for over 20 years. He partnered Callas in some famous performances of Aida, Il trovatore and Norma at Mexico City in 1950, and again in Aida at Covent Garden in 1953. His only appearances at La Scala were in Il trovatore (1948–9). His strong voice and ability to bridge the German and Italian repertories were valued; less so the charmless style and increasingly tight voice production, which also limit the appeal of his recordings....

Article

Noël Goodwin

(b Jamestown, nd, May 10, 1935). American soprano. She studied in Los Angeles and with Lotte Lehmann in Santa Barbara. A Fulbright scholarship took her to study in Hamburg with Henny Wolff and in Düsseldorf with Franziska Martienssen-Lohmann; she made her stage début at Brunswick in 1962 as Fiordiligi. She became a member of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Düsseldorf, in ...

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Elizabeth Forbes

(b Regina, Sask., June 27, 1926). Canadian tenor. After studying in Vienna he sang Purcell’s Aeneas at Aix-en-Provence in 1961. The following year he made his British début at Covent Garden as Gonzalve (L’heure espagnole) and sang Pelléas for Scottish Opera. In 1963 he joined Sadler’s Wells Opera (later ENO), with which he sang for over 20 years; he created Governor Sciocca in Williamson’s The Violins of Saint-Jacques (1966), Hallam Matthews in Bennett’s A Penny for a Song (1967), Hernando de Sota in Hamilton’s The Royal Hunt of the Sun and Mars Plaisir in Blake’s Toussaint (1977); he also sang Shuisky, Loge, Herod, Dr Suda (Osud) and operetta roles such as Eisenstein, Danilo, and Pluto (Orphée aux enfers). He created Bernard of Clairvaux (Charles Wilson’s Heloise and Abelard) at Toronto (1973) and sang the Prince/Manservant/Marquis in ...

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J.B. Steane

(b Brünn [now Brno], April 17, 1874; d New York, Feb 27, 1915). German baritone, later tenor . He was a pupil of Adolf Robinson, who also taught Leo Slezak and Joseph Schwarz. His début as Telramund in his native city in 1896 was followed by engagements at Olmütz (now Olomouc) and Berlin, where he remained as principal baritone for the next ten years. At Bayreuth where he sang first in 1901, his roles were Gunther, Amfortas and Klingsor. As his early recordings show, he had a sturdy high baritone voice, useful in Verdi as well as Wagner, and when in 1909 he made the change to tenor he encompassed heroic roles such as Radames, Otello and Samson, though still specializing in Wagnerian heroes. It was for these that he was engaged in 1913 by the Metropolitan, where his début as Siegmund early in 1914 was described as ‘manly, interesting and commendable’ (W. J. Henderson). He went on to sing Walther, Tristan, Lohengrin, Parsifal and Siegfried, but contracted pleurisy and died at the height of his career....

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Truus de Leur and Elizabeth Forbes

(b Jakarta, Aug 30, 1936; d Amsterdam, Sept 25, 1983). Dutch bass-baritone . He studied at the Amsterdam Muzieklyceum, then with Hans Cleuver and Herman Schey. He made his début in 1960 in Amsterdam as Dulcamara, in 1963 in the USA at San Francisco as Rossini’s Don Basilio and in 1973 at the Vienna Staatsoper as Beckmesser. In 1964 he became a principal bass-baritone at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein where he remained until his death. He had a wide repertory including Varlaam, Nick Shadow, Mozart’s Figaro and Don Alfonso, Janáček’s Šiškov, Forester and Baron Prus, Beckmesser, Don Quichotte and Bettler Akki (Ein Engel kommt nach Babylon). He created Wurm in Einem’s Kabale und Liebe at the Vienna Staatsoper (1976), repeating the role in Florence (1977). As a guest artist he appeared in Europe, the USA, Russia and Japan. A fine Mozartian, he had a firm-toned voice, good diction and excellent musicianship, of special value in the 20th-century music in which he excelled....

Article

Katherine K. Preston

(b Boston, 1824; d Paris, July 1896). American soprano . The daughter of a pianist mother and an Italian violinist, she was the granddaughter and niece respectively of the composers James Hewitt and John Hill Hewitt. In 1843 she and her father travelled to Italy; she studied first with Giuditta Pasta, then with Vaccai, Nani and Lamberti. Later she married a cellist. Her début (as Elvira in Ernani) was in 1847 in Milan; her American début, on 8 December 1847 (as Amina), was with the Astor Place Opera Company in New York. Her reception there was mixed, and she returned to Europe for further study in London and Paris. In 1852 she and her husband travelled to California, where she appeared with great success. The following year she went to Lima with the Lorini Opera Company, and in 1862 was performing in San Francisco with the Bianchi Company. Biscaccianti had a voice of great richness and beauty; she was one of the first American-born singers to enjoy success abroad. She eventually returned to Europe and established herself as a teacher in Milan....

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Cori Ellison

(b Plattsburgh, ny , Jan 10, 1951). American tenor . While still at school he began his studies with Renata Carisio Booth, who remained his principal teacher. After apprenticeships with the Goldovsky and Wolf Trap opera companies, he made his début with the Washington Opera in 1976 as Lindoro in L’italiana in Algeri. In 1978 he was the first winner of the Richard Tucker Foundation Award. The following year he made his New York City Opera début in Le comte Ory, and he has subsequently sung widely in Europe and the USA. His Metropolitan Opera début was in 1981, again as Lindoro, and since 1983 he has appeared regularly at the Rossini Festival at Pesaro. His repertory includes some 30 roles, mostly by Bellini, Donizetti, Mozart and Rossini. Although the range (extending to f ″) and prodigious flexibility of his voice are widely acknowledged, its penetrating timbre, and his unusually muscular approach to this repertory, have provoked controversy....