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Colin Timms

(b ?Massa; fl 1723–41). Italian singer . He was in the service of the Duke of Massa and Carrara in 1724–5, the Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt in 1729 and the Hereditary Prince of Modena from 1730 to 1736. He appeared in eight operas at Florence between 1723 and 1737 and 11 at Venice, 1724–37, including new works by Albinoni, Antonio Pollarolo, Orlandini, Vivaldi and Porpora. He also sang at Livorno in 1727 and at Naples in 1740–41. He may have been married to Teresa Baratta, who appeared at Florence and Venice in 1735–7, Naples in 1739–41 and Turin in 1742–3. She may possibly be identified (according to Weaver) with the soprano (Maria) Teresa Pieri, who performed at Florence (1727–32), Naples (1728–30 and 1740–41) and Venice (1734–5); if so, she appeared as both Baratta and Pieri in 1740–41.

R. L. Weaver and N. W. Weaver...

Article

Elizabeth Forbes

(b Toulouse, April 12, 1824; d Paris, Jan 1, 1879). French tenor. He studied with the younger Manuel García in Paris, where he made his début at the Opéra in 1848. For a decade he toured Italy, singing at Bologna, Turin, Rome, Milan and Naples. In 1859 he returned to Paris and created the title role of Gounod’s ...

Article

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

Andrew Lamb

[Fleet, George Rutland]

(b Penge, Jan 15, 1853; d London, May 31, 1922). English baritone. From 1875 he appeared with the entertainer Mrs Howard Paul, joining her (as Dr Daly) in the original cast of The Sorcerer, in 1877 and creating the further Gilbert and Sullivan roles of Captain Corcoran (HMS Pinafore), Sergeant of Police (The Pirates of Penzance), Grosvenor (Patience), Earl of Mountararat (Iolanthe), King Hildebrand (Princess Ida), Pooh-Bah (The Mikado), Sir Despard Murgatroyd (Ruddigore), Giuseppe (The Gondoliers), King Paramount (Utopia Limited) and Ludwig (The Grand Duke). Other works in which he created leading roles were Edward Solomon’s The Nautch Girl (1891), Sidney Jones’s The Geisha (1896) and Lionel Monckton’s A Country Girl (1902). He reappeared in Gilbert and Sullivan roles under W. S. Gilbert at the Savoy in ...

Article

Elizabeth Forbes

(b Bayonne, Sept 22, 1810; d Paris, April 1871). French baritone. After studying at the Paris Conservatoire, he went in 1830 to Italy, where he sang in Milan, Genoa, Verona, Trieste, Turin, Palermo and Rome. Engaged at S Carlo, he created roles in Donizetti’s L’ assedio di Calais (1836) and Roberto Devereux (1837) and in Mercadante’s Elena da Feltre (1838) and La vestale (1840). On returning to Paris he was engaged at the Opéra, where he sang in the first performances of Donizetti’s La favorite (1840) and Dom Sébastien (1843); Halévy’s La reine de Chypre (1841) and Charles VI (1843); and Adam’s Richard en Palestine (1843). His other roles included Don Giovanni, William Tell, Donizetti’s Torquato Tasso, Enrico Ashton and Belisarius, and many others in the Italian and French repertories. In ...

Article

Lesley A. Wright

[Adrien ]

( b Bayonne, France, June 7, 1828; d Asnières-sur-Seine, France, Aug 13, 1898). French composer, pianist, and teacher . After studying with Leborne, he won the Prix de Rome in 1854. The music section of the Académie praised his envoi, the French opera Don Carlos (1857), for its craftsmanship, fine orchestration, and strong sense of the stage, and in 1858 they awarded him the Prix Édouard Rodrigues for his oratorio Judith, over the only other competitor, Bizet. That year Barthe married mezzo-soprano Anna Banderali.

The Théâtre-Lyrique opened a competition in 1864 on Jules Adenis’s libretto La fiancée d’Abydos, for Prix de Rome winners whose work had not yet reached the stage. Barthe was the unanimous choice of the jury, above Émile Paladilhe and three others. Extensive changes were made during rehearsal and the première took place on 30 December 1865. Critics were largely positive, though they noted resemblances to Meyerbeer, Félicien David, Gounod, and others, and found the libretto somewhat tedious. After a respectable 21 performances (in Paris and Bayonne) the work disappeared from the repertory....

Article

J.B. Steane

(b La Valetta, Malta, Jan 18, 1873; d Munich, Sept 13, 1926). German tenor . He trained first for the medical profession, specializing in neurology at Leipzig University, and it was not until he was nearly 30 that his ability as a singer was discovered by Arthur Nikisch and he began to study singing with Richard Müller. He made his stage début in ...

Article

Péter P. Várnai

(b Beregszàsz, June 13, 1901; d Budapest, May 20, 1962). Hungarian soprano. She studied at the Budapest Academy of Music with Bianca Maleczky, making her début in 1928 at the Budapest Municipal Theatre as Elisabeth in Tannhäuser. For her Budapest Opera début in 1929 she sang Amelia (...

Article

Elizabeth Forbes

(b Paris, 1838; d Paris, 1888). French soprano. After appearing as a child in Offenbach’s Pépito at the Théâtre des Variétés, Paris, she made her début in 1860 at the Théâtre Italien as Amina (La sonnambula). She sang Oscar in the first Paris performance of Un ballo in maschera...

Article

Xoán M. Carreira

(b Colmenar Viejo, Madrid, March 12, 1884; d El Ferrol, Coruña, Nov 4, 1938). Spanish composer and conductor He studied the flute and composition at the Madrid Conservatory, where he was a pupil of Tomás Bretón. After playing in chamber groups and touring abroad (1906–9), he was appointed director of music of a regiment in El Ferrol, where he spent the rest of his life except for a period in Africa, 1915–17. As well as a large amount of military music, three dramatic scenes and five symphonic poems, he composed many zarzuelas (alone and in collaboration), of which few survive. In 1928 he conducted the première of his opera Cantuxa, whose success led to further performances in Spain and at the Teatro Colón. A story of jealousy (including a death quarrel at a local folk festival) in rural Galicia, the opera exemplifies verismo in its continuous melodic tension, vocal characterization, immediacy of emotion and the anguish of its brutal ending. Of Baudot-Puente’s other opera, ...

Article

Elizabeth Forbes

(b Hamburg, 1849; d Herne Bay, Kent, Oct 15, 1926). German, later British, mezzo-soprano. She studied in London at the RAM and made her début in Dublin in 1866. She first sang at Covent Garden in 1868, as Siébel in Faust, and returned there every year until 1905...

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

David Cummings

(b Thessaloniki, Sept 29, 1908; d Vienna, June 24, 1982).Greek tenor. He studied in Vienna and made his début in 1934 at the Vienna Volksoper in Wolf-Ferrari’s Sly. At the Zürich Opera, where he sang until the outbreak of war, he sang Alwa in the first (incomplete) performance of Berg’s ...

Article

(b Vernïy [now Alma-Ata], 20 April/May 2, 1912; d Moscow, June 6, 1957). Kazakh, soprano. She studied at the Vernïy Institute of Education (1924–8), sang with the Kazakh National Dramatic Theatre from 1934 and joined the Kazakh opera in 1937. Her voice was soft and of a distinctive timbre, and she was a good actress. She created many roles in operas in the Kazakh repertory by Brusilovsky, Tulebayev, Zhubanov and Kharmidi, combining in her interpretations a vocal style that was both strongly national and also European. She was the first Kazakh singer to perform Tatyana, Tamara (...

Article

Philip Weller

(d 1688). French baritone (basse-taille). Recruited in Languedoc, he first sang in Paris in 1671, in Cambert’s Pomone (as Vertumne) and Les peines et les plaisirs de l’amour. He joined the Opéra in 1672. The Parfaict brothers (MS, F-Pn ) attributed the creation of the title role in Cadmus (1673) to Beaumavielle; Durey de Noinville (writing in 1753) to Gaye. The casts may have been different for the court and public performances, as in Bellérophon (1679), when Jobate was apparently sung by Gaye at St Germain but by Beaumavielle in Paris. Pluto (in Lully’s Proserpine, 1680) was similarly divided between them.

The principal basse-taille roles between 1676 and 1686 were taken mostly by Gaye, and later by Dun. Those sung by Beaumavielle included four in further works by Lully: Time (Atys, 1676), Jupiter (Isis, 1677), Phineus (Persée...

Article

Elizabeth Forbes

(b Karlsruhe, March 19, 1939). German baritone . He studied in Karlsruhe, making his début in Brunswick. In 1974 he became a member of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein. He sang Donner at Covent Garden in 1978, and at Bayreuth he has sung Alberich (from 1979) and Kurwenal (...

Article

Elizabeth Forbes

(b Budapest, May 5, 1827; d Bratislava, April 9, 1904). Hungarian baritone. He studied in Vienna and made his début in 1851 as the Speaker (Die Zauberflöte) at the Hofoper, where he was engaged from 1853 for over 30 years. He sang Don Giovanni at the opening of the new Opera (...

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 ...

Article

Roger Covell

(b Nelson, Dec 1, 1932; d Sydney, April 12, 2009). New Zealand mezzo-soprano. She studied with Dame Sister Mary Leo in Auckland, at the New South Wales Conservatorium and at the London Opera Centre. Her Australian début (1954, Sydney) was as Azucena with the Sydney-based National Opera of Australia. She sang in England with the Carl Rosa company and from 1961 to 1964 at Sadler’s Wells. After a return to Auckland for a period with New Zealand Opera (1964–6) she made guest appearances at Covent Garden, Bordeaux, Chicago and elsewhere. She was a principal at Covent Garden from 1972, then joined Australian Opera in 1976, where she had marked success in such diverse roles as Jane in Patience and Carmen. In 1990 she sang Mother Marie (Dialogues des Carmélites) at San Diego. She sang Marcellina in Ponnelle’s film of Le nozze di Figaro...

Article

Elizabeth Forbes

(b Birkenhead, June 23, 1952). English tenor. After a career as an actor (including a spell with the Royal Shakespeare Company), he studied at the Guildhall School of Music, London, making his début in 1983 as the Archangel Gabriel (Taverner) at Covent Garden, where during the next five years he impressed with his versatility and dramatic subtlety in character roles: Andres (Wozzeck), Borsa (Rigoletto), Snout and Lysander (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Bardolph (Falstaff), Heinrich der Schreiber and Walter von der Vogelweide (Tannhäuser), Pang (Turandot), Scaramuccio (Ariadne auf Naxos), Guido Bardi (A Florentine Tragedy), Basilio (Le nozze di Figaro), Cassio and Froh. He has also sung Alfredo (Sadler’s Wells), Don Ottavio (Glyndebourne Touring Opera), Nadir (Scottish Opera) and Boris Grigorjevič (Kát’a Kabanová). In 1990 he sang Pelegrin in the Glyndebourne première of Tippett’s ...