La Boheme (Giacomo Puccini) Premiere, 1 February 1896. Cesira Ferrani (Mimi) and Evan Gorga (Rodolfo)

Nov 25, 2014

Felicie Kaschowska (Soprano) (Warsaw 1867 - Bielsko-Biała 1951)


At the age of 15 her voice was discovered by the famous tenor Enrico Tamberlik. She studied under Troschel in Warsaw, then at the Vienna Konservatorium with Joseph Gänsbacher and under Jean de Reszke in Paris. At the age of 16 she gave her first concert in Warsaw and made her debut at the Grand Theatre, Warsaw as Alice in ''Robert le Diable'' of G. Meyerbeer and as Marguerite in ''Faust'' of C. Gounod. Already in 1888 she was engaged by the Metropolitan Opera in New York (beginning role: Urbain in ''Huguenots'' of G. Meyerbeer), where she remained in the 1888-1890 seasons and appeared also from 1890 to 1891. She appeared there primarily in R. Wagner's operas (''Fliegenden Holländer'', Eva in ''Meistersingern'', Sieglinde in ''Walküre'',  Elisabeth in ''Tannhäuser''). She made guest appearances at the opera houses of St. Louis, Boston and Buffalo and sang in the concert hall together with the leading orchestras. In 1892 she undertook a big USA tour. In 1893 she was engaged by the National Opera in Budapest, where she excited big sensation as Brünnhilde in R. Wagner's ''Walküre''. Then in the 1894-1896 seasons she appeared at the Opera House in Dusseldorf, in the 1896-1897 season at the Opera House in Leipzig and from 1897 to 1905 at the Court Theatre in Darmstadt. Later she sang at the Court Theatre in Karlsruhe, however appeared in the 1908-1909 season again at the Metropolitan Opera. She made guest appearances at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome (1910), at the Grand Theatre in Warsaw (1910-1911), at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels, alos in Amsterdam, Madrid, Stockholm and Paris. In 1917 she retired from the stage and worked in Warsaw as a pedagogue. She also been active in Vienna in the educational field and one of her pupils was Hungarian soprano Maria Nemeth. 

Chronology of some appearances

1884 Warsaw Grand Theatre
1888-1891 New York Metropolitan Opera
1893 Budapest National Opera
1894-1896 Dusseldorf Opera House
1896-1897 Leipzig Opera House
1897-1905 Darmstadt Court Theatre
1908-1909 New York Metropolitan Opera
1910 Rome Teatro Costanzi
1910-1911 Warsaw Grand Theatre


Pathé, Berlin 1909?
Zauberflöte (Mozart): Das klinget so herrlich with Lordmann 14551
Zauberflöte (Mozart): Bei Männern with Lordmann 14553

Tosca (Puccini): Vissi d'arte E. 9564-I
L'Elegie (Massenet) E. 9564-II

Marguerite Carré (Soprano) ( Cabourg 1880 – Paris 1947)

Her real name was Marguerite Giraud. Her father was a manager of the Théâtre Graslin in Nantes. Here she made her debut in 1899 as Mimi in G. Puccini’s ‘’La Bohème’’. She studied singing at the Conservatoire de Bordeaux, then at the Conservatoire de Paris. Her real debut was happened in 1902 at the Paris Opéra-Comique, again as Mimi in ‘’La Bohème’’. She married in 1902 the manager of the Opéra-Comique, Albert Carré (1852-1938). She appeared at the Opéra-Comique in a number of opera premieres, among other things in ‘’La pure Fiammette’’ of Xavier Leroux (23. 12. 1903), ‘’La fille de Roland’’ of Henri Rabaud (16. 3. 1904), ‘’Fortunio’’ of André Messager (5. 6. 1907), ‘’Le Mariage de Télémaque’’ by Cl. Terrasse (4. 5. 1910), ‘’Chiquito’’ of Jean Nouguès (30. 10. 1909) and ‘’La Danseuse de Pompéi’’ written by the same composer (29. 10. 1912). In 1906 she sang at the Opéra-Comique the title role in the French première of ‘’Madame Butterfly’’. In 1908 she performed in an unforgettable French première of N. Rimsky-Korsakov’s ‘’The Snow Maiden’’, in 1909 in an important performance of Mozart’s ‘’Zauberflöte’’ as Pamina. On  7. 2. 1912 she sang at the Opéra-Comique in the premiere of Sylvio Lazzari’s ‘’La Lépreuse ‘’, on 20. 3. 1913 in ‘’Le Carillonneur’’ by Xavier Leroux, on 4. 6. 1913 in Charpentier’s ‘’Julien’’, in 1914 the role of Salud in the première of de of Falla’s ‘’La vida breve’’. In 1909 she appeared at the Opera House of Monte Carlo (where she made guest appearances in  the 1905-1907 seasons) in the premiere of the opera ‘’Le Cobzar’’ by Gabrielle Ferrari, in 1906 and 1910 took place guest appearances at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels. In 1911 she created for Buenos Aires the role of Mélisande. After the First World War she appeared in Paris in operetta performances (‘’ La belle Hélène’’, ‘’La fille de Madame Angot’’,  ‘’La petite femme de Loth’’). Later she worked as a singing teacher in Paris. Soprano Janine Micheau among other things belonged to her pupils.

Chronology of some appearances

1899 Nantes Théâtre Graslin
1902 Paris Opéra-Comique
1909 Monte Carlo Opera House


G&T, Paris 1904-06
Reine Fiammette (Leroux): Ariette (piano: Leroux) 33476 3438F
Roi d'Ys (Lalo): Pourquoi lutter (Chanson de l'epousee) 33477 3439F

Pathe cylinders & discs, Paris 1904?
Manon (Massenet): Duo de la rencontre with Leon Beyle 2534
Manon (Massenet): Duo with Leon Beyle  674 

Nov 24, 2014

Armand Narçon (Bass) (Paris 1866 - Paris 1944)

He was trained at the Paris Conservatoire. In 1891 he began his career as a Chorist at the Grand Opéra. He made his debut there in 1893 as comprimario in the premiere of the opera ‘’Deidamie’’ by Henri Marechal. Till 1940 he worked at the Grand. He also counted as a superior interpreter of solo parts in oratorios. during many years he appeared with the church concerts in Saint-Philippe-du-Roule in Paris. Since 1934 he was a professor of the Paris Conservatoire.

Chronology of appearances (Opera premieres)

1914 Paris Grand Opéra Scémo
1920 Paris Grand Opéra La Légende de Saint-Christophe
1922 Paris Grand Opéra Renard
1923 Paris Grand Opéra Pâdmâvâti
1923 Paris Grand Opéra Le Jardin de Paris
1928 Paris Grand Opéra Sept chansons
1929 Paris Grand Opéra Les Troyens
1935 Paris Grand Opéra Le Marchand de Venise
1934 Paris Grand Opéra Roland et le mauvais garçon
1936 Paris Grand Opéra Oedipe


Odeon, Paris 1908?
Ernani (Verdi): Ah! Que dit-elle   with Talexis, Landouzy, Bornica, Gilly, Cèbe and Delzara 56198 XP4449
Aida (Verdi): Gloire a L'Egypte with Talexis, Affre, Landouzy, Lequien and Rigaux 56196 xP 4438
Aida (Verdi): O guerriers sur ce rivage with Talexis, Lequien, Rigaux,  Affre and Landouzy 56193 xP 4439
Africaine (Meyerbeer): Oui fallut-il perdre la vie with Affre, Rigaux, Freville and Bernard 97061 XP4355
Huguenots (Meyerbeer): En mon bon droit j'ai confiance with Freville, Claudin, Affre, Lequien, Rigaux and Bernard 97142 Xp4452
Rigoletto (Verdi): Paix! voici le bouffon with Gilly and Landouzy 56199 xP 4448
Faust (Gounod): Ainsi que la brise légère with Paule Marelly and Auguste Gonguet 97644  xP 5065

Gramophone, Paris 1910-06-14
Samson et Dalila (Saint-Saens): Je viens célébrer ta victoire with Suzanne Brohly and Georges Granal  034086 01548v

Caid (Thomas): L’amour ce dieu profane with  Georges Granal  RF 13 C. 
Chalet (Adam): Dans le service de l’Autriche with  Georges Granal  RF 13 C. 
Le cor (Flegier) WLX.1402

Marie Charbonnel (Mezzo-Soprano) (Lyon 1880 - ? 1962)

She received her education at the conservatoire de Lyon and made her debut at the Opéra National de Lyon (1901). She sang in this opera house roles like the Carmen, Amneris in ‘’Aida’’, Azucena in ‘’Il Trovatore’’ and Dalila in ‘’Samson et of Dalila’’ by Saint-Saëns. In 1907 she was engaged by the Grand Opéra in Paris, where as beginning role she sang Dalila in ‘’Samson et Dalila’’ by Saint-Saëns. In 1908 she appeared there in the première of R. Wagner’s  ‘’Götterdämmerung’’, one year later in the première of ‘’Rheingold’’ as Erda. Since 1910 she also performed at the Opéra-Comique in Paris . Here she sang on  30. 11. 1910 in the premiere of the opera ‘’Macbeth’’ by Ernest Bloch, on 15. 11. 1911 in A. Magnard’s ‘’Bérénice’’ and in 1911 in the première of the opera ‘’L'Ancêtre’’ of Saint-Saëns. She made appearances also at the famous opera houses in the French province and in 1913 she sang at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels.

 Chronology of some appearances

1901 Lyon Opéra National 
1907 Paris Grand Opéra
1910 Paris Opéra-Comique


Odeon, Paris 1911-01-01
La favorite (Donizetti): Léonore, pourquoi tristement baisser les yeux with Francois Mezy X 111206 xP 5423
La favorite (Donizetti): Dans vos palais ma pauvre âme soupire with Francois Mezy X111207 xP 5424

Odeon, Paris 1912-01-01
Louise (Charpentier): Ah! quelle journée with Paul Payan X 111566 xP 6044
Louise (Charpentier): Le bonheur, vois-tu with Paul Payan X 111537 xP 6045
Carmen (Bizet): Air des cartes (Carmen) Voyons que j'essaie à mon tour X 111567 xP 6049
Mireille (Gounod): Voici la saison, mignonne (Couplets de la Sorcière) X 111539 xP 6047

Gramophone, Paris 1913-12-29
Prophete (Meyerbeer): Complainte de la mendiante 33879 P271

Gramophone, Paris 1914-04-07
Sapho (Massenet): Air de la lampe 33889 P201

Gramophone, Paris 1914-04-08
Samson et Dalila (Saint-Saлns): Amour viens aider ma faiblesse 033174 S3578

Gramophone, Paris 1920-02-23
Werther (Massenet): Oui, c'est moi (Le retour de Werther) with Rene Lapelletrie 034207  Y58

Gramophone, Paris 1920-02-25
Le crucifix (Faure) with Edouard Rouard and Rene Lapelletrie Y60 03322v

Gramophone, Paris 1925-02-23
Trovatore (Verdi): Mere, tu dors (Madre, nondormi) with Cesar Vezzani W706 034280
Trovatore (Verdi): Oui, la fatigue (Ai nostri monti ) with Cesar Vezzani P2 W706 034281

François Mezy (Baritone) (Montfrin 1872 - Montpellier 1963)


He was a pupil the song pedagogue Paul Lhérie and Léon Melchissèdec in Paris. In 1900 he made his debut at the Théâtre de Nîmes as Nelusco in ''L'Africaine'' of  G. Meyerbeer. During the following ten years he appeared at the French provincial opera houses. Then in 1910 he was engaged by the Opéra-Comique in Paris, where he appeared with great success. He was famous for his interpretations of  Escamillo in ''Carmen'', the father in ''Louise'' of G. Charpentier, Scarpia in ''Tosca'' and the Karnac in ''Le Roi d'Ys'' of E. Lalo. In 1912 he guested in Marseille and created, besides, in the French première of G. Puccini's ''La Fanciulla del West'' the role of the Jack Rance. Last he lived as a pedagogue in Montpellier.

Chronology of some appearances

1900 Théâtre de Nîmes
1910 Paris Opéra-Comique


Odeon, Paris 1911-01-01
La favorite (Donizetti): Léonore, pourquoi tristement baisser les yeux with Marie Charbonnel X 111206 xP 5423
La favorite (Donizetti): Dans vos palais ma pauvre âme soupire with Marie Charbonnel X111207 xP 5424

Nov 23, 2014

Gabriel Olaizola (Bass) (Hernani, Spain 1891 - Hernani, Spain 1973)

His full name was Gabriel Olaizola Gabarain. He began his musical studies with the organist of Hernani, Manuel Cendoya. In 1916 he joined to the Donostia choral society and later moved to Barcelona to be perfected under Joaquín Vehils. Sang during his career at the Teatro Bellas Artes de Donostia-San Sebastián, Campos Elíseos in Bilbao, Teatro Real in Madrid, Liceo in Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Oviedo, Zaragoza, Valladolid, Teatro San Carlos in Lisboa, Scala in Milán, San Carlo in Naples, Regio in Parma, Palermo, Venice, Paris, Montecarlo, Marseille, etc. Appeared under the batons of Mancinelli, Toscanini, Santini and Capuano. In 1919 at the Teatro de Bellas Artes in Donostia-San Sebastian he sang in ‘’Txanton Piperri’' of  Zapirain, ‘’Mendi-Mendiyan’’ by Usandizaga and ‘’Amaya’’ of Guridi. Also he took part in the premiere of ‘’Marianella’’ written by Jaime Pahissa. In 1937 he found by the request of José Antonio Aguirre, Eresoinka, the National Basque choir. In 1949 he founded in Hernani la Schola Cantorum.

Chronology of some appearances

1919 Lisboa San Carlos Tristan und Isolde
1923 Barcelona Liceo Marianela
1926 Naples San Carlo Aida


Gramophone, Barcelona 1928
Miserere (Eslava): Ecce enim with chorus 0262049 CJ 1341
Miserere (Eslava): Liberame with Pedro Checson and chorus 262050 CJ 1342

Nov 22, 2014

Richard van Helvoirt-Pel (Baritone) (Harlem 1873 - Amsterdam 1950)

He made his debut quite young at the Old Dutch Opera as comprimario in the premiere of Simon van Milligen's ''Brinio'' (1889) and became the successor of Joseph Orelio their as first baritone. After this opera house was closed in 1903, he went first to Germany and then sang several years at the Opera House in Riga. In 1908 he guested at the Vienna Court Opera and was engaged by the Municipal Theater in Linz (Austria). In  the 1909-1912 and 1924-1925 seasons he sang at the Bayreuth Festival in R. Wagner's ''Lohengrin'' and ''Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg''. In 1914 he came back with the outbreak of the First World War to Holland and was to be heard in the 1915-1919 seasons at the Nationale Opera of Koopman as first heroic baritone distinguished himself above all as a gifted interpreter of R. Wagner's most important operas. After the First World War he was active at several Dutch opera societies, last with the Ko-operatie in Hague. He retired from the stage in 1929.

Chronology of some appearances

1889 Old Dutch Opera
1908 Vienna Court Opera
1909  Bayreuth Festival
1915 Nationale Opera of Koopman


Gramophone 1922
Tannhäuser (Wagner): O du, mein holder Abendstern  H 62010 973 as