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Article

Antoniu, Kristaq  

Mikaela Minga

[Antoniu, Christache]

(b Bucharest, Romania, Dec 25, 1907; d Tirana, Albania, March 17, 1979). Tenor, actor, and stage director. He studied at the Mimodramatic High School of Bucharest and then in Rome, with M. Polverosi. In Romania, he had a successful career as an actor and singer. He was in the movie industry in the 1920s and early 30s, playing in more than 15 films, including Ciocoii (1931), Iancu Jianu, (1928), and Maiorul Mura (1927). In the meantime, he worked in the Alhambra theater as a singer and stage director of operettas. In the mid 1930s, Antoniu moved to Albania and pursued a singing career. He made only one cinematic appearance in 1943, for the short film documentary Takimi në liqen (‘Meeting at the Lake’). He was a dramatic tenor, with a baritone quality in his voice. This led him to explore a large range of operatic characters from both the Western opera repertory and the Albanian one. He performed and recorded Albanian traditional or folk songs, handled with an operatic vocal posture and arranged with western harmonies. His son, Gjergj Antoniu was a prominent Albanian cellist....

Article

Athanasi, Gjoni  

Nicholas Tochka

(b Brockton, MA, USA, Nov 4, 1925). Albanian tenor and pedagogue. Born in the large Albanian immigrant colony in New England (USA), Athanasi returned as a child to his parents’ hometown of Korça, where he participated in its vibrant prewar choral, theatre, and sports scenes. During World War II, he performed with resistance groups singing patriotic and partisan songs and, in 1948, he was selected as a soloist in the newly formed National Army Ensemble by director Gaqo Avrazi. Athanasi was among a handful of young men in this ensemble to receive a scholarship to study in the Soviet Union, and following the completion of his degree in vocal performance at the Moscow State Conservatory in 1958, he was appointed soloist at Tirana’s Theatre of Opera and Ballet. He performed leading roles in premières of Albanian operas, and was active as a recitalist, performing a broad range of art music works from the Western European and Albanian repertories as well as arranged folk songs into the 1980s. In ...

Article

Badev, Nikola  

Trena Jordanoska and Dimitrije Bužarovski

(b Glišikj, Kavadarci, Republic of Macedonia, 1918; d Skopje Sept 25, 1976). Macedonian folk singer. His lyric tenor voice, with its distinctive timbre (simultaneously light and warm), was recognized soon after his first performance in Radio Skopje in 1948, and it was established as a model for the male vocal repertory of traditional Macedonian music. He sang softly, with richness, in a narrow piano dynamic spectrum, and with delicate use of vibrato and ornaments. He became an idol among Macedonian audiences worldwide and has been adored by Balkan audiences as well, taking tours in Europe, Canada, USA, and Australia.

His recorded repertory of over 230 songs (without variants) is published on dozens of LPs and cassettes. 359 recorded songs have been digitized and stored in the Buzarovski Archive (BuzAr) in 2005. His diverse repertory was carefully selected with a refined musical taste, mainly from urban traditional songs of all genres—love, elegiac, patriotic, and humorous songs. His voice was well suited to ensemble performance, resulting in duets with V. Ilieva, A. Sarievski, Mirvet Belovska, Dragica Nikolova, Blagoj Petrov Karagjule, Violeta Tomovska, E. Redžepova, Anka Gieva, and Atina Apostolova....

Article

Berton, Adolphe  

David Charlton

Member of Berton family

(b Paris, 1817; d Algiers, Feb 28, 1857). French tenor, son of Henri Berton. After studying at the Paris Conservatoire, he began his career at the Opéra-Comique and the Théâtre de la Renaissance. Lack of success prompted him to seek work elsewhere in France and in ...

Article

Bland, Charles  

Olive Baldwin and Thelma Wilson

Member of Bland family

(b London, Aug 14, 1802; d after Jan 1838). English tenor, son of Maria Theresa Bland. He sang at Covent Garden from 1824 and created the title role in Weber's Oberon (1826) under the composer's direction. The librettist, Planché, wrote that he sang ‘at least respectably the airs assigned to the King of the Fairies’, but the reviewer of the ...

Article

Borosini, Antonio  

Carlo Vitali

[BoresiniBorosino]

Member of Borosini family

(b Venice or Modena, c1655; dVienna, after 1721). Italian tenor. He sang at S Marco, Venice, 1679–87, then moved to the ducal chapel at Modena, singing in oratorios and at the Teatro Fontanelli (1690, Legrenzi’s Eteocle e Polinice) and in Parma and Reggio nell’Emilia. In 1688 he was released at the request of the Elector of Hanover to sing in the première of Steffani’s Henrico Leone (30 January 1689); he returned to Hanover for Carnival 1696. He was appointed to the imperial court at Vienna in 1692 and retired in 1711 (or 1721, according to J.G. Walther’s Musicalisches Lexicon, Leipzig, 1732). He sang at the S Bartolomeo, Naples (1700, 1706–7), in Turin (1698, 1702), in Venice (1704–7, in serenatas and operas by C.F. Pollarolo and Caldara), in Genoa (1691, 1705, Caldara’s ...

Article

Borosini, Francesco  

Winton Dean

[Borseni]

Member of Borosini family

(b Modena, c1690; d after 1747). Italian tenor, son of Antonio Borosini. A pupil of his father, he probably made his début in Lotti’s Il vincitor generoso at Venice in 1709. He was engaged for the imperial court at Vienna from 1712 to 1731, and sang there in 11 oratorios by Caldara and a number of operas by Fux, the first (Orfeo ed Euridice) in 1715, and Conti. He was in the famous production of Fux’s Costanza e Fortezza in Prague (1723), and was for a time co-director of the Kärntnertortheater in Vienna. He sang the title role in Gasparini’s Bajazet (1719, Reggio nell’Emilia), and appeared at Modena (1720) and Parma (1729). He made his London début as Bajazet in Handel’s Tamerlano at the King’s Theatre (1724); he collaborated in Handel’s treatment of this subject, and the part was rewritten for him before performance. Borosini sang Sextus (a soprano part rewritten with new music) in ...

Article

Bowman, James  

Alan Blyth

(Thomas)

(b Oxford, Nov 6, 1941; d Redhill, March 27, 2023). English countertenor. He studied at Oxford University and made his stage début in 1967 at Aldeburgh as Britten’s Oberon, a role he sang at Covent Garden, Strasbourg, Sydney, with the WNO, and at Glyndebourne, where he made his début in 1970 as Endymion in Cavalli’s Calisto. He created the Priest-Confessor in Maxwell Davies’s Taverner (1972), his Covent Garden début; the voice of Apollo in Death in Venice (1973, Aldeburgh Festival); and Astron (with Anne Wilkens) in Tippett’s The Ice Break (1977, Covent Garden); and sang Ridout’s Phaeton for BBC Radio. Britten dedicated his fourth Canticle, Journey of the Magi, to him, Pears, and Shirley-Quirk. Bowman was a noted Handelian, and for the Handel Opera Society sang Otho, Scipio, Xerxes, and Justinian, as well as Polinesso (Ariodante), which he repeated at Geneva and Buxton. His other Handel roles include Julius Caesar (Barber Institute), Ptolemy (San Francisco and the ENO), Goffredo in ...

Article

Braham, John (USA)  

Charles Hamm

revised by Kimberly Greene

(b London, England, March 20, 1774; d London, England, Feb 17, 1856). English tenor and composer. He made his debut as a boy soprano at Covent Garden in 1787. He sang in Europe after his voice broke, returning to England at the turn of the century, where he established a reputation as one of the country’s leading tenors. He traveled to the United States in the autumn of 1840 and, at the age of 68, “surpassed all expectations” with the “pathos, sublimity, power, and wonderful execution” of his voice. He appeared first in concert, with a selection of tenor and baritone airs from opera and oratorio mixed with popular ballads. His American operatic debut, at the Park Theatre in New York, was in Stephen Storace’s The Siege of Belgrade, and he went on to re-create many of his famous roles, in Charles Horn’s The Devil’s Bridge, Thomas Dibdin’s The Cabinet, and Weber’s Der Freischütz. At one point he astonished audiences and critics by appearing in seven demanding roles in less than two weeks....

Article

Çako, Gaqo  

Nicholas Tochka

(b Korça, Albania, Jan 24, 1935). Albanian tenor and pedagogue. Identified early as a talented singer in his hometown of Korça, he attended the Arts Lyceum ‘Jordan Misja’ in Tirana where he received his first formal training, with the pedagogue Mihal Ciko. In 1957 he received a scholarship to study at the Moscow State Conservatory, where he remained until 1961. On his return to Tirana, Çako was named soloist to the Theater of Opera and Ballet, where he performed a number of leading roles in foreign and Albanian operas during the 1960s and 1970s. Chief among his roles in Albanian operatic works were Dhimitër in Lulja e Kujtimit (by P. Jakova, 1961), Doda in Mrika (by P. Jakova, 1966), and Muji in Vjosa (by T. Daija, 1980). In addition to art music, he interpreted light popular songs and arrangements of folk songs throughout his career. Named as a pedagogue to Tirana’s State Conservatory in ...

Article

Calkin, Joseph (ii)  

Christina Bashford

[Joseph TennielliTennielli]

Member of Calkin family

(b London, Jan 13, 1816; d London, June 6, 1874). English tenor, son of James Calkin. He took the name Tennielli from his mother Victoire Calkin (née Tenniel). He studied in Milan with Francesco Lamperti, then returned to London where he sang at the Philharmonic Society, the Society of British Musicians and in other concerts. He also worked as a singing teacher and composed a few songs. He was a director of the Philharmonic Society, ...

Article

Cochran, William  

Elizabeth Forbes

(b Columbus, OH, June 23, 1943; d Königstein im Taunus, Jan 16, 2022). American tenor. Educated at Wesleyan University, he studied singing at the Curtis Institute with Martial Singher. In 1969 he sang Froh with the San Francisco Opera in Los Angeles. After winning the Lauritz Melchior Heldentenor Foundation Award in 1969, he became a member of the Frankfurt Opera (1970) and the Vienna Opera. He sang in many other European houses as well as in concert with the New York PO (1971), the Boston SO, and a number of other American orchestras. He made his Covent Garden début in 1974 as Laca (Jenůfa) and returned to San Francisco in 1977 (having sung Froh in Das Rheingold there in 1968) to sing Tichon (Kát′a Kabanová). In addition to all the Wagnerian heroic tenor roles, his repertory included Idomeneus, Jason (Cherubini’s ...

Article

Coleman, Edward  

Olive Baldwin and Thelma Wilson

Member of Coleman family (opera)

(b London, bap. April 27, 1622; d Greenwich, Aug 29, 1669). English tenor and composer, son of Charles Coleman. He taught music during the Commonwealth and wrote songs, including one for Shirley’s The Contention of Ajax and Ulysses. In 1656 he sang in ...

Article

Corfe, James  

Betty Matthews

Member of Corfe family

(b Salisbury, bap. Feb 26, 1713). English tenor and organist. He was a chorister at Salisbury Cathedral from 1722 to 1729. He sang in Rosamond at Lincoln’s Inn Fields in 1733, in Handel’s operas and oratorios from c1733 to 1744 and in Messiah...

Article

Corfe, Joseph  

Betty Matthews

Member of Corfe family

(b Salisbury, bap. Feb 9, 1741; d Salisbury, July 29, 1820). English organist and tenor, son of Joseph Corfe (b 1705). He was a chorister at Salisbury Cathedral, 1752–3, lay vicar, 1759–60, and was apprenticed to the cathedral organist John Stephens. He was made a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal in 1783 and in 1784 sang at the Handel Commemoration. He was also organist of Salisbury Cathedral from 1792 to 1804. Joseph was a respected singing teacher with Nancy Storace and Mrs Second among his pupils. He married Mary Bernard on 14 April 1766 and they probably had three sons. His published works include A Treatise on Singing (1799), Sacred Music (1800), The Beauties of Handel (1803), Beauties of Purcell (c1805), Thorough Bass Simplified (1805) and Church Music (c1810...

Article

Corri [Clifton, Arthur], P(hilip) Antony  

Peter Ward Jones

revised by J. Bunker Clark and Nathan Buckner

Member of Corri family

(b Edinburgh, ?1784; d Baltimore, Feb 19, 1832). Italian composer, tenor, pianist, and teacher, son of Domenico Corri, and possibly twin brother of Montague Philip Corri. As P. Antony Corri he was well established as a composer in London from about 1802 to 1816, when many of his piano pieces and songs were published. His L’anima di musica (1810) is the most extensive piano tutor of its period, and ran to several editions. He was a founder of the London Philharmonic Society and the Royal Academy of Music in 1813, and was director of the Professional Society in 1816. He was expelled from the Philharmonic in December 1816 (due to a scandal probably involving his wife) and emigrated to the USA, where he settled in Baltimore by autumn 1817. There he was christened Arthur Clifton on 31 December 1817 and remarried the following day. He served as organist of the First Presbyterian Church (...

Article

Devriès, David  

Elizabeth Forbes

Member of Devriès family

(b Bagnères-de-Luchon, 1881; d Neuilly-sur-Seine, 1934). French tenor of Dutch extraction, son of Maurice Devriès. He studied at the Paris Conservatoire and made his début in 1904 as Gérald (Lakmé) at the Opéra-Comique, where he was engaged for many years. In 1906 he created Philodemus in Erlanger’s Aphrodite, and he was particularly successful as George Brown in the 1909 revival of Boieldieu’s La dame blanche. His roles included Almaviva (Il barbiere), Don José, Julien (Louise), Pinkerton, Des Grieux (Manon), Vincent (Mireille), De Nangis (Le roi malgré lui), Jean Gaussin (Sapho), Armand (Thérèse), Werther, Araquil (La Navarraise), Cavaradossi, Rodolfo and Alfredo. In 1909–10 he sang with the Manhattan Opera Company in New York and Philadelphia, making his début as Ange-Pitou (La fille de Madame Angot). He also sang Strauss’s Aegisthus and Narraboth and, with the permission of ...

Article

Díaz [Diaz], Rafaelo  

John Koegel

[Francisco Rafael ]

(b San Antonio, TX, May 16, 1883; d New York, NY, Dec 12, 1943). American operatic tenor and recitalist of Mexican and German heritage. He was the most prominent Mexican American opera singer of his day, although perhaps to advance his career he used the Italian-sounding first name “Rafaelo,” and press reports sometimes identified him as Spanish instead of Mexican American or Mexican. Díaz attended the German-English School and the West Texas Military Academy (now Texas Military Institute) in San Antonio. He studied piano with Amalia Hander, a local music teacher, and at the Stern Conservatory in Berlin. After vocal studies with Vincenzo Sabatini in Milan, he returned to the United States and in 1911 began appearing in small roles with the Boston Grand Opera Company, quickly moving up to more prominent assignments. He accompanied the soprano Luisa Tetrazzini on a tour in 1913 and made his Metropolitan Opera debut in Massenet’s ...

Article

Duplessis  

Nicholas Anderson

revised by Shirley Thompson

Member of Duplessis family

(fl 1722–44). French singer (taille=tenor). He entered the Paris Opéra chorus in 1711 and received an annual salary of 500 livres. He officially stopped singing in 1733 and collected tickets at the door of the Opéra until Easter 1744 when he received a pension; however, chorus lists in contemporary librettos show that he remained active as a singer well after ...

Article

Gibin, João  

Noël Goodwin

[Giovanni]

(b São Paulo, July 10, 1929; d Verona, Italy, June 12, 1997). Brazilian tenor. He began singing as a baritone; after winning the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer South American ‘Caruso Competition’ in 1954, he went to study in Italy and made the change to tenor while at the Scuola della Scala, Milan. His engagements in Italy made him known elsewhere: in ...