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

Jul 27, 2014

John Forsell (Baritone) (Stockholm 1868 - Stockholm 1941)

He made his operatic debut at the Royal Swedish Opera, Stockholm, in 1896 as Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia. He would remain its premiere baritone for some 30 years. He would also establish an international career, singing for example at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City in 1909/1910, performing such parts as Tonio in Pagliacci, Amfortas in Parsifal, Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Telramund in Lohengrin, Germont in La traviata and Yeletsky in The Queen of Spades. The title role in Mozart's Don Giovanni was probably his most famous interpretation. He sang the part numerous times, including during the 1909 season at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London, and at the 1930 Salzburg Festival. Among the other major European cities in which Forsell sang the Don and various leading parts were Copenhagen, Berlin, Amsterdam and Vienna. Forsell become the Director (Intendant) of the Royal Swedish Opera in 1923/24, and performed less frequently on stage as a consequence. His voice, however, remained in fine condition. As late as on his 70th birthday, he sang Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro by Mozart. He retired from his director's position in May 1939 and died in Stockholm two years later. In addition to his administrative duties at Stockholm's opera house during the 1920s and '30s, Forsell taught voice as a professor of singing at the Stockholm Conservatory of Music. His pupils included Jussi Björling, Hjördis Schymberg, Joel Berglund and Set Svanholm.

Chronology of some appearances

1896-1918 Stockholm Royal Swedish Opera 


G&T, Stockholm 1905-10
Don Giovanni (Mozart): Du bör ej fruktan bära (Là ci darem la mano) with Hellström 84064 2741e
Trovatore (Verdi): Ser du, af tårar (Mira d'acerbe) with Hellström 84066 2744e
Tannhäuser (Wagner): Sången till aftonstjärnan 82987 2710e
Barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini): Brevduett (Dunque io son) (w. Hellström) 84059 2745e
Nozze di Figaro (Mozart): Hur kan du grymma flicka (Crudel perché finora) (w. Hellström) 84070 2740e

G&T, Stockholm 1907-02-16/17
Faust (Gounod): Bön (Avant de quitter) 2-82528 10277u
Guillaume Tell (Rossini): Bön (Sois immobile) 2-82534 10278u
Mignon (Thomas): Svalduetten (Légères hirondelles) with Hesse 84086 10279u
Aida (Verdi): Duett (A te grave cagion) with Lyckseth-Schjerven 84083 10280u
Barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini): Faktotumsarian 082015  0717v

Gramophone, Stockholm 1907-10
Nozze di Figaro (Mozart): Grevens aria (Vedro mentr'io) 2-82614 7035e

Gramophone, Stockholm 1912-08-23
Favorita (Donizetti): Så mycken kärlek (A tanto amor) 082066
Pagliacci (Leoncavallo): Prolog 082065 449ac

Gramophone, Berlin 1913-10-28
Walküre (Wagner): Der Augen leuchtendes Paar 042475 1242s

Gramophone, Stockholm 1916-12-29
Rigoletto (Verdi): Monolog (Pari siamo) 2-082002 306p(sm)
Don Giovanni (Mozart): Finch'han dal vino (Sw & It) 7-82005 13507o(sm)
Trovatore (Verdi): Hennes skönhet öfverstrålar (Il balen) 2-082005 307p(sm)
Eugen Onegin (Tchaikovsky): Om ödet mig behagat giva 2-082006 309p(sm)

Gramophone, Stockholm 1916-12-30
Rigoletto (Verdi): Se jag gråter... Ädle herrar (Miei signori) 2-082001 310p(sm)

Walter Hyde (Tenor) (Birmingham 1875 - London 1951)

He was one of the greatest dramatic tenors in Britain in the early decades of the twentieth century. He trained in London at the Royal College of Music under Gustave Garcia and Walter Parratt, appearing in student productions of ''Euryanthe'' and ''Much Ado About Nothing'' (Stanford). His early professional career was in musical comedy, including ''Miss Hook of Holland'' (Rubens 1907) and ''Three Kisses'' (Talbot 1907). Percy Pitt then recruited him to sing Siegmund in the 1908 English language Ring cycles at Covent Garden, which were conducted by Hans Richter and directed by E C Hedmondt. He continued to work regularly at Covent Garden until 1923. One of his early appearances there was as Sali in the British premiere of Delius' ''A Village Romeo and Juliet'', conducted by Beecham (1910). He worked extensively with Beecham's company, and in the twenties became a director of BNOC, continuing to sing with them until they folded. He sang Siegmund at the New York Met, and in 1912 toured the USA in Robin Hood. After Siegmund, his most notable Wagnerian role was probably Parsifal. He later became Professor of Singing at the Guildhall School of Music, where his students included John Heddle Nash and Eric Shilling.

Chronology of some appearances

1908-1923 London Covent Garden


Odeon London 1908 
The nightingale/ A maiden fair to see" WH and chorus  44872 Lx2153
Odeon London 1909 
The Noble Outlaw (Bishop) The Pilgrim of Love Odeon 84222 Lxx296

HMV, London 1910-07-27
Contes d'Hoffmann (Offenbach): Legend of Kleinsack (w. chorus) 02256 4341f

HMV, London 1921
Die Walküre (Wagner): Winter storms have waned (Winterstürme wichen dem Wonnemond) (o Byng) 02932 598 

Jul 26, 2014

Joseph O'Mara (Tenor) ( Limerick, Ireland 1864 – Dublin 1927)

He received his education among other things by Moratti in Milan. He made his debut at the Royal English Opera House in London (1891) in the title role of the opera ''Ivanhoe'' of Sullivan. In the 1894-95 season he appeared with great success at the Drury Lane Theatre like at the Covent Garden in London in which he performed still  in 1910. Then he became the leading tenor of the Moody Manners Opera Company. In the 1902-04 seasons he undertook as a member of the Beecham Opera Company tours through the English cities. Later he founded own opera troop under the name O'Mara Opera Company which real star singer was he himself. He counted as an excellent Wagner's interpreter, however, his extensive repertoire contained more than 70 stage roles. In 1896 he created in the premiere of the opera ''Shamus O'Brien'' of Charles Stanford in London the title role. In 1926 he retired from the stage. 

Chronology of some appearances

1891 London Royal English Opera House
1894-1895 London Drury Lane Theatre


G&T, London 1901
Shamus O'Brien (Stanford): Ochone! When I used to be young 2-2567 1229b

G&T, London 1902-03?
An April Birthday (Ronald) (pf: Ronald) 2-2061 4143a
Friend and Lover (Ronald) (pf: Ronald) 2-2062 4144a

Jul 25, 2014

Roberto Tamanti (Bass) (1871-1940)

Probably he made his debut in 1889 at the Teatro Ventido Basso at Ascoli Piceno in G. Verdi’s ‘’Traviata’’. He made guest appearances in Cairo (1896), Bucharest (1898), Amsterdam (1898, 1921), Lisbon (1900, 1902-1903), Mexico City (1901), Oporto (1904), Alessandria (1905), Nice (1906), Buenos Aires (1907), Stockholm (1913). Probably he retired in 1921. He made two published records.

Chronology of some appearances

1889 Ascoli PicenoTeatro Ventido Basso Traviata (Grenvil)
1896 Cairo Teatro Esbekieh Ernani (Silva)
1898 Bucharest Teatro Nazionale Concert
1898 Amsterdam Paleis Voor Volksvlijt Ebrea (Ruggero)
1901 Mexico City Aida (Re)
1904 Oporto Teatro San Joao Thais (Palemone)
1905 Alessandria Teatro Finzi Adriana Lecouvreur (Principe)
1906 Nice Casino Municipale Barbiere di Siviglia (Don Bartolo)
1907 Buenos Aires Teatro Coliseo Rigoletto (Monterone)
1913 Stockholm Teatro Reale Barbiere di Siviglia (Don Bartolo)


Fonotipia, Milano 1906-07-04
Siberia (Giordano): O bella mia with Francesco Maria Bonini, Gino Martinez-Patti and Oreste Luppi 39821 XPh1974

Jul 24, 2014

Nazzareno Bertinelli (Baritone)

He studied singing under Antonio Cotogni and probably made his debut in 1921 at the Teatro Verdi of Salerno in G. Verdi’s ‘’Forza del Destino’’.

Chronology of some appearances

1921 Salerno Teatro Verdi Forza del Destino (Don Carlo)
1922 Roma Teatro Morgana Aida (Amonasro)
1923 Mantova Teatro Sociale Tannhauser (Wolframio)
1925 Castelsangiovanni Teatro Verdi Concerto
1927 Fano Teatro Della Fortuna Rigoletto (Rigoletto)
1931 Galatina  Teatro Comunale Cavalleria Rusticana (Alfio)
1932 Torino Teatro Vittorio Emanuele Barbiere di Siviglia (Figaro)
1933 Piombino Teatro Nuovo Trovatore (Conte)


Fonotipia, Milano 16-01-1931
Nerone (Boito): Vivete in pace e in concerto soave d'amor! 172169 XXP6684

Manon Lescaut (Puccini): No pazzo son with Arturo Ferrara M35003

Fabio Ronchi (Baritone) (Este 1884 - Roma 1974)

He made his debut in 1922 at the Teatro Valle of Rome in ‘’Traviata’’. He was well known lyric baritone, who appeared mostly at the smaller opera houses. After the retirement he devoted himself to teaching.

Chronology of some appearances

1922 Roma Teatro Valle Traviata (Germont)
1924 Padova Teatro Garibaldi Aida (Amonasro)
1926 Livorno Politeama Piccolo Marat (Soldato)
1928 Genova Teatro Carlo Felice Werther (Albert)
1930 Augsburg Stadt Madama Butterfly (Sharpless)
1932 Modena  Teatro Municipale Turandot (Ping)
1934 Milano Teatro La Scala  Don Giovanni di F.Lattuada (Avellia)
1937 Barcellona  Teatro Tivoli  Boheme (Schaunard)


Fonotipia, Milano 1924-11-17
Nerone (Boito): Nell'antro ov'io m'ascondo 74252 XXPh5459

Fonotipia, Milano 1924-11-18
Nerone (Boito): S'avanza una gran nube di turbe 152631 Pho5460

Fonotipia, Milano 1925-09-28
Ballo in maschera (Verdi): Alla vita che t'arride 152738 Pho5667

Fonotipia, Milano 1926-04-03
Faust (Gounod): Dio possente 74258 XXPh5681
Trovatore (Verdi): Il balen 74315 XXPh5684
Ballo in maschera (Verdi): Eri tu 74316 XXPh5685

Fonotipia, Milano 1926-10-28
Barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini): All'idea di quel metallo with Salvatore Salvati  120010 XXPh5807
Barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini): Numero quindici with Salvatore Salvati 120011 XXPh5808

Leonardo Aramesco (Tenor) (Temesvár 1898 – New York 1946)

He studied singing at Vienna under Otto Iro and Kate Naether-Osten. He began his stage career appearing in the 1920-23 seasons at the Vienna State Opera. In 1926 he was engaged by the West German broadcasting company in Cologne. Here he attained a quite unusual popularity singing roles like Rodolfo in ‘’Bohème’’, Cavaradossi in ‘’Tosca’’, Don Ottavio in ‘’Don Giovanni’’, Lohengrin, Riccardo in Verdi’s ‘’Ballo in maschera’’, Jason in ‘’Medea’’ of Cherubini, Don José in ‘’Carmen’’, Almaviva in ‘’Barbiere di Siviglia’’ and Tamino in ‘’Zauberflöte’’. He also sang in other German radio stations, among other things at Frankfurt a. M., Stuttgart, Munich, Vienna and Prague. Also as an operetta singer he had a significant career. In 1933 he was dismissed as a Jew with the German broadcasting company. Then in the 1935-36 season he was engaged by the Opera House in Lucerne, in the 1937-38 season he performed at the Opera House of Teplitz-Schönau in Czech Republic. He went to Amsterdam, where he made guest appearances and then been active in the field of education. Then he emigierted to USA. Here he still gave a recitals. He died suddenly during an USA tour.

Chronology of some appearances

1920-23 Vienna State Opera
1923-24 Berlin State Opera
1924-25 Erfurt Municipal Theatre
1925-26 Bielefeld Municipal Theatre
1926-27 Erfurt Municipal Theatre
1926-28 Essen Opera House


Electrola, Berlin 1929-09-26
Rosenkavalier (Strauss): Arie des Sängers EH423 62-625

Grammophon 1929
Zarewitsch (Lehár): Napolitana (Warum hat jeder Frühling)  27162
Gräfin Mariza (kalman): Komm', Zigany 844-A