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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....


Johnson (Severns), Theodate  

Nadia Turbide

(b Cleveland, OH, Aug 13, 1907; d New York, NY, March 13, 2002). American soprano, music publisher, and concert manager. She studied singing with Ruth Thayer Burnham while attending Abbot Academy, Andover, and later at Wellesley College (BA 1929). After two years as an actress at the Cleveland Playhouse, she sang in Gabriel Pierné’s La croisade des enfants with the Cleveland Orchestra (1932). She was then coached by Eva Gauthier in New York and made her debut there in 1934 at Town Hall in the North American premiere of Handel’s solo cantata La Lucrezia. Three years later she sang Butterfly and Tosca with the Royal Flemish Opera in Antwerp. After meeting Sibelius in Finland, she returned to the United States and introduced a number of his songs in concert (1938). During World War II Johnson escorted a convoy of refugees from Paris to Spain and as a result of the ordeal lost her voice. She joined the staff of ...


Sills, Beverly  

Peter G. Davis

[Silverman, Belle]

(b Brooklyn, NY, 25 May 1929; d New, York, NY, 2 July 2007). American soprano and administrator.

Her first singing appearance was at the age of three on commercial radio. When she was 11 she began serious vocal studies with Estelle Liebling and she made her operatic debut as Frasquita with the Philadelphia Civic Grand Opera Company in 1947. For a few years she worked with touring opera companies, gave lieder recitals in the Midwest, and sang with the San Francisco Opera. In 1955 she joined the New York City Opera and became the company’s diva; but her full stature was not recognized until 1966 when she sang Cleopatra in Handel’s Giulio Cesare. Her sensational success in this florid role (which she recorded) led to a series of bel canto revivals at the City Opera, including Donizetti’s trio of Tudor queens, Maria Stuarda, Anna Bolena, and Elizabeth in ...


Vestris, Lucia Elizabeth  

Ivor Guest

[Eliza Lucy][née Bartolozzi]

Member of Vestris family

(b London, 3 Jan or March 2, 1797; d London, Aug 8, 1856). French contralto, actress, and theatre manager. She was the daughter of Gaetano Stefano Bartolozzi and granddaughter of the celebrated engraver Francesco Bartolozzi and in 1813 married (Auguste-)Armand Vestris. She made her first public appearance at her husband’s benefit at the King’s Theatre (20 July 1815), in the title role of Winter’s Il ratto di Proserpina; this was highly successful although her acting and singing abilities were still limited. She made several appearances in 1816 but with less success, her faults becoming more apparent with familiarity. In the winter she appeared in Paris at the Théâtre-Italien and various other theatres, including the Théâtre-Français, where she played Camille in Les Horaces. About this time Vestris deserted her. She returned to London and on 19 February 1820 made her début at Drury Lane Theatre. Her success was immediate and she remained until her retirement in ...