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J.B. Steane

(b Paris, 1878; d Paris, May 30, 1952). French soprano . She studied at the Paris Conservatoire with Jacques Isnardon and made her début in the title role of Gounod’s Mireille in 1904 with the Opéra-Comique. This company remained at the centre of her career, though she also sang in Brussels, Lisbon, Cologne and London (in Jean Nouguès’ ...

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Elizabeth Forbes

(b Buffalo, ny , May 18, 1918). American tenor and baritone . He studied in Philadelphia, making his début as a baritone as Count Almaviva. Later he became a tenor and in 1952 joined the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich; he sang Midas with the Staatsoper in the British première of Die Liebe der Danae (1953, Covent Garden). He sang at Florence, Naples, Zürich and Vienna and his tenor roles included Idomeneus, Florestan, Radames, Lohengrin, Don José, the Emperor (Die Frau ohne Schatten), Matteo (Arabella), Calaf and Laca. Reverting to baritone, he sang the title role in the German première of King Priam at Karlsruhe (1963), created Michael in Steffens’s Eli (1967) and sang Adam Brant in the European première of Levy’s Mourning Becomes Electra (1969), both at Dortmund. He was a powerful actor with an expressive voice whose baritone repertory included Scarpia, the Dutchman and Telramund. He was married to the soprano Anna Green....

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Elizabeth Forbes and Arnolds Klotiņš

(b Sarkanmuiža, Ventspils district, Oct 11, 1899; d Riga, Feb 27, 1969). Latvian soprano. She studied in Milan, making her début at Genoa in 1925 in Franchetti’s Asrael. During the next five years she appeared at Bologna, Turin, Naples, Milan (La Scala), Venice (La Fenice), Parma and Trieste, singing Aida, Amelia (...

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Elizabeth Forbes

(b St Petersburg, 1828; d St Petersburg, 24 Aug/Sept 6, 1900). Russian bass . He studied in St Petersburg, where he made his début in 1856 at the Bol’shoy. In 1860 he was engaged at the Mariinsky, where he sang in the première of Serov’s Rogneda (...

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Elizabeth Forbes

( fl Milan, 1812–14). Italian bass . He took part in three premières of Rossini operas at La Scala: as Pacuvio in La pietra del paragone (1812), as Licinius in Aureliano in Palmira (1813) and as Prosdocimo in Il turco in Italia (1814). Apart from an unflattering reference by Stendhal, who heard him in ...

Article

Noël Goodwin

(Edward)

(b Melbourne, June 6, 1926). Australian conductor and musicologist. He studied in Melbourne and London, where he made his conducting début in 1953 as assistant to Beecham with the RPO, and worked with Knappertsbusch at Bayreuth. As a scholar he became absorbed by textual inaccuracies between autograph and published texts of operas by Verdi and Puccini, and was drawn into dispute with the Ricordi publishing house. He published papers on Verdi (La Scala, no.104, 1958, pp.11–15, 71–2) and on Puccini’s orchestration (PRMA, lxxxvii, 1960–61, pp.1–14), and the article ‘“Tradition” in Verdi and Puccini’ (Opera, xii, 1961, pp.301–5). He became adviser to UNESCO on musical copyright and its abuses (1962–7) and was largely responsible for the 1967 Stockholm revision of the Berne International Copyright Convention.

Vaughan was music director for the Elizabethan Trust Opera Company, Sydney, in 1966, and in the 1970s he worked at the Munich and Hamburg opera houses. He returned to Australia as music director of the State Opera of South Australia at Adelaide (...

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Max Loppert

(b Llanfyllin, Montgomeryshire, March 12, 1937). Welsh soprano. She studied with Olive Groves at the RAM. In 1960 she first appeared as Abigaille in Nabucco with the WNO: her success led to her joining the Royal Opera. Her many Covent Garden roles since 1961 have included Mimì, Liù, Britten’s Tytania, Teresa (Benvenuto Cellini), and both Andromache and Hecuba (Tippett’s King Priam). She has also sung with the ENO, notably as Penelope Rich in Gloriana (1984) and as Fidelio. Above all in Verdi roles – Gilda, Violetta, Amelia (Simon Boccanegra), a brilliant Abigaille (1973) – her lyric soprano has most happily displayed its rhythmic vitality, flexibility and reserves of power; and although her vibrant tone sometimes lacks sweetness her phrasing is always musically sensitive. A diminutive figure lends credibility to her touching Butterfly, seen with the ENO and in Johannesburg, Vienna and Montreal. She made her Metropolitan début as Donna Elvira (...

Article

David Cummings

(Filippovich )

(b Mokino, nr Kirov, Dec 23, 1927). Soviet bass . After study in Moscow and Milan he made his début at the Bol’shoy in 1957, as Ivan Susanin in Glinka’s A Life for the Tsar. He sang in Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev and Tbilisi, most notably as Dosifey (Khovanshchina...

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Elizabeth Forbes

(b Zagreb, Oct 20, 1943). Croatian mezzo-soprano. She studied in Zagreb, where she made her début. She joined the Frankfurt Opera in 1978 and the same year sang Kundry at Bayreuth, Venus at the Metropolitan and the Woman in Erwartung in Florence. She has appeared in Vienna, Hamburg, Düsseldorf, Bologna, Paris, Geneva, Basle, Brussels and Salzburg and at La Scala. Her wide range, encompassing soprano and mezzo-soprano roles, allows her to sing Senta, Brünnhilde, Abigaille and Marie (...

Article

Charles A. Jahant

(b New Kensington, pa , June 7, 1932). American tenor. He studied in Pittsburgh and at the Accademia di S Cecilia in Rome and made his début at Pittsburgh in 1954, subsequently appearing with the Chicago Lyric Opera and the Cincinnati Summer Opera. He became a member of the Metropolitan Opera in ...

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David Cummings

(b Buenos Aires, Aug 18, 1940; d Buenos Aires, Dec 18, 1997). Argentine conductor. He studied in Argentina and conducted widely in South America before moving to Europe in 1970, initially working with the Stuttgart Opera and in Milan. He was artistic director of the Liceu theatre, Barcelona, and music director of the Avignon Opera. Best known for his vigorous performances of operas by Verdi, he conducted Giovanna d’Arco at Parma (1980), Macbeth and Un ballo in maschera at Avignon (1980–81), Don Carlos at Macerata and Marseilles (1983–4) and Aida at Orange (1983). He returned regularly to South America, giving Otello and La forza del destino in Buenos Aires and I due Foscari and La traviata in Santiago. His repertory included Francesca da Rimini (1982, San Diego) and Tosca, Samson et Dalila and Andrea Chénier (1983–5, Santiago). He conducted ...

Article

Paola Besutti

(b Parma; fl 1686–97). Italian soprano. She is first mentioned in Milan in 1686 in the role of Julia in Antonio Sartorio’s Antonino e Pompeiano. She was already designated a ‘virtuosa’ of the Duke of Parma, whose service she entered officially on 15 June 1687, remaining until 15 February 1695...

Article

James R. Anthony

(fl 1675–80). French soprano. The little we know about her career comes from the Parfaict brothers in their manuscript Histoire de l’Académie royale de musique (in F-Pn). Esteemed for her performances of confidantes and other secondary parts, she created the following roles in Lully’s operas: a priestess of Minerva in Thésée (1675); Flora in Atys (1676); and La Renommée and a syrinx in Isis (1677). Durey de Noinville (Histoire du théâtre de l’Académie royale de musique, Paris, 1757) in his discussion of her 1676 performance in Atys claimed that Verdier sang in spectacles ‘from the age of 15 to the age of about 60’. She left the stage in 1680; in 1698 she was receiving an opera pension of 500 livres. She was described by the Parfaicts as having been a ‘rather good actress, tall and thin with chestnut-brown hair and with a delicate temperament’....

Article

Elizabeth Forbes

(b Montpellier, July 4, 1850; d Nice, Feb 15, 1904). French tenor . He studied in Paris, making his début at the Opéra in 1874 as Raimbaut (Robert le diable). He also sang Faust, Léopold (La Juive), Ruodi (Guillaume Tell), Laertes (Hamlet), Don Ottavio, Fernand (La favorite), Max (Der Freischütz), Alim (Le roi de Lahore), John of Leyden, Vasco da Gama, Samson and Lohengrin. At the Théâtre de la Monnaie, Brussels, he created John the Baptist in Massenet’s Hérodiade (1881) and Shahabarim in Reyer’s Salammbô (1890). He sang at Covent Garden (1881–2) as Radames, Faust, Belmonte and Wilhelm Meister. In 1883 he created Admetus in Catalani’s Dejanice at La Scala. At Monte Carlo (1884–9) he sang Riccardo (Ballo), Fra Diavolo, Raoul, Donizetti’s Edgardo, the Duke, Gérald (...

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Elizabeth Forbes

(b Bruges, Feb 7, 1928). Belgian baritone . He studied at Bruges and Ghent, then in 1960 he joined the Koninklijke Vlaamse Opera, Antwerp, making his début as Wotan (Das Rheingold). In 1966 he moved to Gelsenkirchen and in 1973 to the Deutsche Oper, Berlin. He sang Kurwenal at Salzburg (Easter 1973) and Köthner at Bayreuth (1981–8). He appeared at Brussels, Vienna, Amsterdam and in Germany, France and Italy. His wide repertory included Boris Pizarro, Amonasro, Falstaff, John the Baptist, Orestes, Golaud, Amfortas and Hans Sachs. He also sang Keppler (Die Harmonie der Welt), King Fisher (The Midsummer Marriage), Saint-Just (Dantons Tod) and Lopakhin (Kelterborn’s Der Kirschgarten). A member of the Wuppertal Opera from 1984, he sang the secret police agent (The Consul) there in 1991. With his strong, serviceable voice and a fine stage presence, he made a particularly convincing Wotan....

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Elizabeth Forbes

(b Rome, c1765; d Parma, Aug 1822). Italian bass. He made his début about 1790. From 1800 to 1816 he sang at La Scala, where in 1814 he took the part of Don Magnifico in Pavesi’s Agatina (a version of the Cinderella story). In 1817 he sang the same role in the first performance of Rossini’s ...

Article

Robert Lamar Weaver

[Jacopo]

(b Arezzo, c1730; d Florence, after 1797). Italian soprano castrato. He first sang innamorato roles in comic operas, appearing at the Teatro dei Nobili in Perugia in 1751 while in the service of Duke Salviati, and in Pietro Pertici’s famous comic company at the Cocomero, Florence, in 1752 and 1753. Later in 1753 he turned to serious opera at the Teatro delle Dame, Rome (Publius in Jommelli’s Attilio Regolo and Masinissa in Galuppi’s Sofonisba). Over the next few years he sang in the major houses of Italy, most frequently at S Carlo in Naples, the Grande in Siena and the Pergola in Florence; at the last he sang the title role in Galuppi’s L’arrivo d’Enea nel Lazio to celebrate the arrival in Florence of the new grand duke, Pietro Leopoldo (14 November 1765). The following year the grand duke appointed him ‘virtuoso della Real Cappella, e di Corte’, and at his direct command Veroli sang at the Pergola in Tommaso Traetta’s ...

Article

Elizabeth Forbes

(b Milan, Jan 30, 1938). Italian tenor. He studied in Milan, and has sung in Dublin, Cologne, Verona Arena, Paris, Barcelona, Vienna, Berlin, Zürich and Detroit. In 1983 he made his début with the Royal Opera at Manchester as Pinkerton and sang Roland de Blois (Esclarmonde) at Covent Garden. He made his Metropolitan début in ...

Article

Elizabeth Forbes and Arnolds Klotiņš

(b Tirza, Gulbene, July 19, 1901; d Toronto, Dec 24, 1965). Latvian tenor. He studied in Riga, making his début in 1922 at Liepāja as Faust. In 1923 he sang Cavaradossi with the Latvian National Opera, Riga, then went to Italy for further study. On returning to Riga in 1926, he sang the Duke, Werther, and Giosta in Zandonai’s I cavalieri di Ekebù. He created Laimons in Jāzeps Mediņš’s Vaidelote (‘The Priestess’) in 1927 and Edgars in Jānis Kalniņš’s Ugunī (‘In the Fire’) in 1937. He also appeared in Germany and Russia. His repertory included Lohengrin, Tannhäuser, Parsifal, Riccardo, Manrico, Radames, Otello, Don José, Pedro (Tiefland) and the title role of Kalniņš’s Hamlets. His voice was strong and rich-toned; his characterizations combined psychological insight with dramatic power. In 1946 he went to live in Halifax, where he taught and, in 1949, founded the Nova Scotia Opera Association....

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J.B. Steane

(b Bastia, Corsica, Aug 8, 1886; d Marseilles, Nov 11, 1951). Corsican tenor. Brought up in Toulon, he studied in Paris and made his début at the Opéra-Comique in the title role of Grétry’s Richard Coeur-de-lion (1911); his voice impressed more favourably than his artistry. He appeared with the company in ...