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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....

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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Roger Covell

(b Melbourne, June 8, 1927). Australian baritone . He began his career with Gertrude Johnson’s National Theatre Movement. He left Australia in 1954 for further study in Paris and worked at Covent Garden from 1956; in 1959 he moved to Germany, where he was based for the next decade, appearing in Frankfurt, Hamburg, Berlin and Munich, and becoming a principal baritone at Cologne until ...

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David Cummings

(b Budapest, March 5, 1903). Hungarian soprano . After study with Laura Hilgermann she sang in Budapest from 1923. In Munich, Berlin and Vienna her agile coloratura was admired in the roles of Gilda, Rosina and the Queen of Night. She had her greatest success in operetta, appearing in Millöcker’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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David Cummings

(b Hildesheim, Oct 12, 1906; d Vienna, Oct 25, 1978). German bass . He studied at the Berlin Musikhochschule and made his début at Hagen in 1929 as Rocco. After engagements in Dessau and Wiesbaden he sang Gurnemanz at the Vienna Staatsoper in 1935, remaining with the company until ...

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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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Elizabeth Forbes

[Gourron, Raymond ]

(b nr Bordeaux, Jan 16, 1861; d Nice, Feb 26, 1933). French tenor . He studied in Paris and made his début in 1886 at Ghent as Gounod’s Faust. From 1892 until 1906 he was engaged at the Opéra, where he created Nicias in Massenet’s Thaïs (1894) and roles in Holmès’ La montagne noire (1895), Duvernoy’s Hellé (1896), Bruneau’s Messidor (1897), Vidal’s La burgonde (1898), Leroux’s Astarte (1901), Erlanger’s Le fils de l’étoile (1904) and Guiraud’s Frédégonde (1905). At Covent Garden he sang Leicester in the first performance of De Lara’s Amy Robsart (1903) and created Araquil in Massenet’s La navarraise (1904). In Monte Carlo he sang Paris in the first performance of Saint-Saëns’s Hélène (1904). His large repertory included Romeo, Samson, Don José, Fernand (La favorite...

Article

(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 (...

Article

(b 1780; d after 1833). Italian bass . He sang in Italy from about 1807, then appeared at the Théâtre Italien, Paris (1815). Engaged at the King’s Theatre, London, he made his début as Count Almaviva, then sang Don Giovanni (1817), Dr Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia...

Article

David Cummings

(b Budapest, Dec 22, 1903; d Vienna, Sept 28, 1977). Hungarian mezzo-soprano . She studied with Mme Charles Cahier and Georges Anthes. After her début at the National Theatre, Budapest, she sang at the Vienna Staatsoper from 1921 (début as Carmen), appearing there regularly until 1961. At Salzburg she was heard from ...

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Elizabeth Forbes

(b Libiče nad Doubravkou, Oct 13, 1817; d Sedmihorsky, Dec 11, 1864). Bohemian tenor. After studying in Vienna, he made his début there in 1845 as Flotow’s Alessandro Stradella at the Hofoper, where he was engaged until his death. The first Viennese John of Leyden (Le prophète...

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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 ...

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Elizabeth Forbes

(b Västerås, July 13, 1909; d Jan 11, 1989). Swedish tenor. He studied in Stockholm, making his début there in 1938 as Fenton (Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor) at the Royal Opera where he was engaged until his retirement in 1963. At first he sang lyrical parts such as Tamino, Ferrando, Nicias (...

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Elizabeth Forbes

(b Lösen, Blekinge, March 30, 1941). Swedish soprano. She studied in Stockholm, joining the Royal Opera in 1964. She created roles in Blomdahl’s Herr von Hancken (1965), Gunnar Bucht’s Tronkrärna (1966) and Maurice Karkoff’s Gränskibbutzen (1975) and sang Lulu in the Swedish première of Berg’s opera (...

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Elizabeth Forbes

(b Pinnaroo, South Australia, July 30, 1953). Australian soprano . After appearing in Australia she joined Opera Factory Zürich, with whom she made her London début in 1980 as Galatea. With Opera Factory London (1982–92) she has sung Pretty Polly (Punch and Judy), Lucy (The Beggar’s Opera), Denise (The Knot Garden), Juno and Callisto, Gluck’s Iphigenia, Fiordiligi, Donna Anna, Countess Almaviva and Poppaea, and took part in the première of Osborne’s Hell’s Angels (1986). For ENO she sang Monteverdi’s Eurydice and Hope (1983) and Queen Tye (Akhnaten), which she had already sung at Houston and for New York City Opera (1984), and created Oracle of the Dead/Hecate in The Mask of Orpheus (1986). She sang the Queen of Night for WNO (1986), Musetta for Opera North (1988) and Jo Ann in Tippett’s ...

Article

George Leotsakos

[Yiannis, Giannis]

(b Athens, Jan 21, 1881; d Piraeus, Dec 5, 1943). Greek baritone. He studied at the Lottner Conservatory in Athens and later with the soprano Nina Phoka. He made his début with the Elliniko Melodrama, probably in 1906, and it was on tour with this company (reportedly in 1910) that he first sang Rigoletto, which was to become his greatest role. After further study in Milan on a scholarship in 1920, he repeated the role in 1922 at the Teatro Massimo, Palermo, opposite Toti dal Monte’s Gilda. He was engaged at the Teatro Carcano, Milan, for the 1923–4 season and then appeared with an Italian opera group in Egypt before returning to Greece in 1924, where he continued to sing with the Elliniko Melodrama for the next 15 years. His roles included Enrico Ashton, Gounod’s Valentin, Ernani, Scarpia, Rossini’s Figaro, Amonasro, Escamillo, Marcello, Luna, and King Alfonso. He also created roles in some of the most important new works of the Greek repertory, among them Th. Sakellaridis’s ...

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David Cummings

(b Budapest, Nov 6, 1903; d London, Jan 31, 1978). Hungarian soprano . She studied at the Budapest Academy and made her début in Vienna in 1926 as Leonora (La forza del destino). She remained in Vienna until 1938, achieving success in roles as diverse as Pamina, Tosca, Elsa, Eva, Octavian, Marguerite and Aithra in ...