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repertory included many leading tenor parts from operas by Verdi, Wagner, Gounod, Mascagni and above all by Russian composers, and a large number of Bulgarian folksongs. He staged several operas in Sofia and wrote many articles in Bulgarian and Russian as well as a book, Po vaprosa za osnovavaneto na Balgarskata narodna opera (‘On the foundation of the Bulgarian National Opera’, Sofia, 1907 ).

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Rodolfo Celletti

revised by Valeria Pregliasco Gualerzi

exceptional beauty. Encouraged by the tenor Francesco Marconi to devote herself to opera, she studied with Maddelena Mariani-Masi and made her début in 1900 at the S Carlos, Lisbon, in Pagliacci , immediately afterwards singing in La bohème at the S Carlo, Naples. Although mostly engaged in Paris, Monte Carlo and, above all, St Petersburg, she also sang in New York (Metropolitan and Manhattan Opera House) between 1907 and 1910 , and in London in 1908 (Covent Garden) and 1911 (London Opera House). With an agreeable though limited voice, she was an elegant, natural

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Alan Blyth

), Manon Lescaut, Jenůfa, Chrysothemis (which she recorded for Solti) and Marie ( Wozzeck ). In 1962 she created the role of Hecuba in Tippett’s King Priam , and the following year sang Katerina Izmaylova in the first British staging of Shostakovich’s opera. In all, she sang 293 performances at the Royal Opera. At Sadler’s Wells she sang Venus, Tosca, Concepcion ( L’heure espagnole ) and Kát’a. At the Metropolitan, New York, she created the role of Christine in Marvin David Levy’s Mourning Becomes Electra ( 1967 ). She appeared in San Francisco as Minnie in

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favour is clear from the size and quality of all his parts for her. Rolli paid tribute to her intelligence and acting skill in Lotario ; Mrs Pendarves wrote that ‘her voice is not extraordinarily good or bad … she sings easily and agreeably’. Burney dismissed her, quite wrongly, as ‘a singer of the second or third class’. Merighi was singing in Florence in 1731–2 and Modena in 1735 . She returned to London in 1736 for the unsuccessful final season of the Opera of the Nobility and sang at the King's Theatre in operas by Hasse, Riccardo Broschi, Pescetti, Veracini

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Richard Wigmore

an Opera’s Young Artists Development Program, winning the Met’s National Council Auditions in 1991. The following year he made his Met début as the Steersman in Der fliegende Holländer . His success in the role has led to regular appearances in the house, in roles such as Mozart’s Belmonte, Idamante, Ferrando and Don Ottavio, Almaviva ( Il barbiere di Siviglia ), the Duke ( Rigoletto ), Camille de Rosillon ( Die lustige Witwe ), Des Grieux (Jules Massenet’s Manon ), Tom Rakewell and Lysander ( A Midsummer Night’s Dream ). Having honed a reputation above all as

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André Tubeuf and Elizabeth Forbes

of Dialogues des Carmélites ( 1957 ). She created Elle in La voix humaine ( 1959 , Opéra-Comique), a vulnerable, subtle portrayal of a part admirably suited to her gifts, and repeated the role in the American première at Carnegie Hall and the British première with the Glyndebourne company at Edinburgh ( 1960 ). At Glyndebourne she sang an affecting Mélisande ( 1962 ). Duval was a most gifted singing actress, as the roles composed for her by Poulenc demonstrate. She recorded all three of these roles, together with a delightful Concepción in Cluytens’s set of L’heure

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Thor, Jr. Eckert

operatic debut, singing Arkel ( Pelléas et Mélisande ) with the New England Opera Theater. He was heard in opera, in concert, and with orchestras around the world. He created the central role in Schuller’s opera The Visitation in Hamburg, Germany ( 12 October 1966 ), and he repeated the role when the Hamburg company made its American debut at the Metropolitan Opera House in 1967 . Among his recorded performances is that of Crown in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess . He possessed strength and vibrancy in all registers, but it was as an interpreter that he was acclaimed, for fully

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Richard LeSueur

revised by Jonas Westover

and abroad. She has performed and recorded Thomson’s The Mother of us all . Her voice is a large, dramatic instrument, and as an artist she has an expressiveness that is best suited to the grand gesture. She was married to the conductor Kurt Klippstätter, with whom she performed for the first time as Tchaikovsky’s Joan of Arc at the Michigan Opera Theater in 1979 . Dunn has taught at numerous locations, including the University Texas at Austin, the University of Illinois, Northwestern University, Brooklyn College (CUNY), and for several years at Manhattan School

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Alan Blyth

Nightwatchman in Die Meistersinger during the Covent Garden season of English opera in 1909 under Richter, he favoured oratorio and concerts over opera, declaring the latter to be ‘too much work for too little pay’. However, he did not exclude opera from his recitals and practically always mixed aria with classical song and ballads in his programmes. Dawson described himself as a ‘singer of the people’ and believed it essential to communicate directly with his public; to this end he sang all his repertory in English, employing impeccable diction. His bluff, outgoing

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Harold Rosenthal

where she was the first local Venus, and then went to Paris where she was engaged by the Théâtre Italien ( 1859–70 ). In 1875 she sang Rachel in La Juive at the inauguration of the Opéra’s new building; she remained a member of the Opéra company (except for a short period, 1885–6 ) until the end of 1888 . She became famous for her portrayals of Meyerbeer heroines, Leonore and above all Aida and Donna Anna; she created a number of roles, including Pauline in Gounod's Polyeucte ( 1878 ) and Catherine of Aragon in Saint-Saëns’s Henry VIII ( 1883 ). At La Scala she

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Desmond Shawe-Taylor

I Burian was a leading and much-admired tenor at the Dresden Opera, where he made a powerful impression in the première ( 1905 ) of Strauss’s Salome as Herod, repeating this role in the first productions of the opera in both New York and Paris in 1907 . Wagner was the mainstay of his international repertory; as well as singing Tristan in the Hungarian première of Tristan und Isolde , he sang several of the chief Wagner roles at Covent Garden in four seasons between 1904 and 1914 , and virtually all of them ( Die Meistersinger excepted) during seven seasons at

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revised by Evan Walker and Sarah Hibberd

he created the principal tenor roles in all major new productions, generating an entire repertory for the acting tenor. His success in Moïse and Le siège de Corinthe was so great that in 1827 he was appointed professeur de déclamation pour la tragédie lyrique at the Conservatoire, where his most famous student was the dramatic soprano Cornélie Falcon . Moïse marked a turning-point in singing at the Opéra, as the singers turned to the more open-voiced, italianate production favoured by Rossini. Here, as in all the scores written for Nourrit, the dynamics

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Alan Blyth

, and Sergey in the British première of Katerina Izmaylova . In Paris in 1964 he sang Pollione to the Norma of Callas. For Scottish Opera he sang Siegmund, Florestan and his first Otello, the role he then sang all over Italy and Germany (and at Chicago in 1966 ) but not in London until 1981 with the ENO, and finally at Covent Garden in 1983 . Probably the best English lyric-dramatic tenor of the postwar era, Craig sang all his roles with Italianate fervour and innately musical phrasing. Though his acting was never subtle it had rude sincerity and honest conviction

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her début in Warsaw on 25 March 1857 . On 20 April 1858 she made her stage début in Warsaw in Flotow's Alessandro Stradella , later singing in Les Huguenots and Don Giovanni . From 1859 , for 35 years, she sang about 100 operatic soprano roles, including all of Moniuszko's operas as well as operas by Kurpiński, Münchheimer, Auber, Hérold, Grossman, Bellini, Donizetti, Meyerbeer, Weber, Verdi, Flotow, Halévy, Rossini, Marschner, Mozart, Wagner, Bizet and others; she was the first in Poland to sing Marguerite in Gounod's Faust ( 1865 ). Between 1873 and

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J.B. Steane

Conservatory with Désirée Demest. In 1900 he appeared as Thoas in Iphigénie en Taurid e with the Opéra-Comique in Paris, where he became one of the leading and longest-serving members of the company. He sang in many premières, including those of Massenet’s Grisélidis ( 1901 ) and Thérèse ( 1907 ), and Ravel’s L’heure espagnole ( 1911 ). He was also the Opéra-Comique’s first Scarpia in Tosca and the Opéra’s first John the Baptist in Salome ( 1910 ). Above all, he was associated with the role of Golaud in Pelléas et Mélisande , which he sang at the première

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Richard Wigmore

Lyons. Ciofi’s other roles include Mozart’s Susanna (which she sang on her return to the Opéra Bastille in 2001 ), Blonde (Florence, 2002 ) and Fiordiligi (Turin, 2003 ), Handel’s Asteria ( Tamerlano ), Morgana ( Alcina ) and Polinessa ( Radamisto ), Amina ( La sonnambula ), which she first sang at the Martina Franca Festival in 1994 , and all four heroines in Les contes d’Hoffmann (Marseilles, 2004 ). She has also been admired in several Rossini roles at the Rossini Opera Festival, Pesaro, including Fiorilla ( Il turco in Italia ), Desdemona and Amenaide ( Tancredi

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Max Loppert

Curphey, Margaret ( b Douglas, Isle of Man , Feb 27, 1938 ). British soprano . She studied at the Birmingham School of Music. After touring with Opera for All, she joined Sadler’s Wells in 1965 . A full and flexible lyric soprano enabled her to play a wide range of parts, from Mimì, Pamina and Violetta to Ellen Orford, Elisabeth de Valois and Santuzza, all sung with taste and distinction and acted with reserve. In Wagner, however, she progressed from a capable, vocally well-projected Eva (notably at the first Coliseum performances in August

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Martin Cooper

soprano . She studied in Toulouse and at the Paris Conservatoire, and made her début in 1933 at the Opéra-Comique as the Newspaper Girl in Louise . In 1935 in Amsterdam she sang Mélisande, which she later repeated elsewhere in Europe and in San Francisco. Her French roles at the Paris Opéra-Comique ( 1933–56 ) included Mireille, Olympia and Bizet’s Leïla; she was also an acclaimed Zerbinetta and was the first French Anne Trulove in 1953 . At the Opéra ( 1940–56 ) she sang Juliet, Gilda, Violetta, Pamina, Sophie ( Der Rosenkavalier ) and Creusa in Milhaud’s

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Winton Dean

Carli who sang in six operas (five of them by C.F. Pollarolo) in Venice between 1689 and 1699 is reported as a tenor. He was probably the singer who appeared at Modena in 1690 , Mantua in 1697 , Piacenza in 1698 (in Giovanni Bononcini's Camilla ), Parma in 1699 (a tenor part in A. Scarlatti's La caduti de' Decemviri ) and Reggio nell'Emilia in 1700 . The Carli who sang in most or all of the later productions was a bass: Turin in 1703 , Genoa in 1703 , 1706 and 1715 , Bologna in 1708 , Florence in 1708 and 1719–20 (eight operas, as a virtuoso of the

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Elizabeth Forbes

Corinto , she strongly influenced the operas that Rossini composed for Naples. Elisabetta, regina d'Inghilterra ( 1815 ), Otello ( 1816 ), Armida ( 1817 ), Mosè in Egitto , Ricciardo e Zoraide ( 1818 ), Ermione , La donna del lago ( 1819 ), Maometto II ( 1820 ) and Zelmira ( 1822 ) all contained parts written to display her special vocal and dramatic gifts. Colbran and Rossini, who had lived together for some years, were married at Castenaso on 15 March 1822 , on their way to Vienna. Semiramide , the final opera that he composed for her, was produced