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

Dec 21, 2014

Browning Mummery (Tenor) ( Carlton, Melbourne 1888 – Canberra 1974)

First he was active as a mechanic, but then took singing lessons. He made his debut as a member of the Italian traveling opera company in his Australian native country as Faust. Additionally, he studied in London and appeared there first with the British National Opera Company, then in  the 1925-1928 seasons at the Covent Garden, where he had a special success as an Italian singer in "Rosenkavalier". After he had accompanied prima donna Nellie Melba in 1924 on her Australia tour, she selected him to sing the role of Rodolfo at the Covent Garden as her partner in 1926. He appeared in London also in the operetta ''Madame Pompadour'' of Leo Fall and in musical Comedies and was to be heard in the promenade Concerts. He travelled around in 1928 with the Melba-Williamson Company Australia. Then he undertook an USA tour and appeared there in the 1929-1931 seasons at the NBC Radio in New York. Two years of a similar activity followed in the 1931-1933 seasons with the English broadcasting company BBC in London and the participation in a music film ''Evensong'' with Evelyn Laye. In 1934 he went back to Australia. Here he was active as a concert singer and appeared still with the Fuller Grand Opera Company. Later he worked as a pedagogue in Melbourne, then in Canberra.

Chronology of some appearances

1925-1928 London Covent Garden


HMV, London 1927-08-29
Trovatore (Verdi): Miserere with Austral & chorus D1302 2-054181
Trovatore (Verdi): Ai nostri monti with Austral D1302 2-054182

HMV, London 1929-07-18
Tosca (Puccini): When the stars were brightly shining B3160 7-2527
Manon Lescaut (Puccini): Never did I behold B3160 7-2528

Dec 8, 2014

Fritz Krauss (Tenor) (Lehenhammer 1883 - Überlingen 1976)

He studied singing in Munich, Milan and Berlin and in 1911 made his debut at the Municipal Theatre in Bremen. Then he was engaged by the Municipal Theatre in Gdansk (1912-14), sang at the Court Theatre in Kassel (1914-15) and at the Opera House in Cologne (1915-21). Since 1921 for more than twenty years he appeared with success at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich. From 1925-28 he sang as guest at the Städtische Oper Berlin. In 1922 he performed at the Salzburg festival, where sang the role of  Ferrando in ‘’Così fan tutte’’, in 1927 Florestan in ‘’Fidelio’’ and Belmonte in "Entführung aus dem Serail". As guest he appeared in 1927 at the Wagner festival in Paris, between 1927-28 at the Dresden State Opera. In 1934 he appeared in Basel. From 1921 to 1932 and again in 1939 he sang as a guest at the Vienna State Opera. Krauss also made guest appearances at the Berlin State Opera, at the Teatro Liceo in Barcelona and  at the Opera House in Frankfurt a. Several times he was to be heard at the Covent Garden in London, among other things in 1926 as Don Ottavio in ‘’Don Giovanni’’ under Bruno Walter. At the Munich State Opera he sang in 1927 in the premiere of the opera "Das Himmelskleid" by Wolf-Ferrari, in 1931 in "Das Herz" of Hans Pfitzner (the second premiere took place the same day in Berlin). His repertoire included Tamino, Idomeneo of Mozart, Hüon in ‘’Oberon’’ of Weber, Lyonel in ‘’'Martha’’, Aubry in "Der Vampyr" by Marschner, Lohengrin, Walther von Stolzing, Galba in  "Die toten Augane"  by d'Albert, Riccardo in Verdi’s ‘’Ballo in maschera’’, Alvaro in ‘’La forza del destino’’, Rodolfo in ‘’La Bohème’’’, Kalaf in ‘’Turandot’’, Chapelou in "Postillon von Lonjumeau" by Adam, Raoul in ‘’Huguenots’’, Hans in "Verkauften Braut", Hoffmann in "Hoffmanns Erzählungen"  and Sylvain in "Glöckchen des Eremiten" by Maillart. In 1940 he retired from the stage and worked as a song pedagogue in Munich. There he sang in his 60. Birthday again the role of Lohengrin. Later he lived in Überlingen.

Chronology of some appearances

1911-1912 Bremen Municipal Theatre
1912-1914 Gdansk Municipal Theatre
1914-1915 Kassel Court Theatre
1915-1921 Cologne Opera House
1921-1941 Munich Bavarian State Opera
1925-1928 Berlin Städtische Oper


Vox, Berlin 1921-12?
Africaine (Meyerbeer): Land so wunderbar *03013

Vox, Berlin 1922-01/02?
Huguenots (Meyerbeer): Ihr Wangenpaar *03068
Alessandro Stradella (Flotow): Hymne *03068
Bohème (Puccini): Che gelida manina (It) *03067
Forza del destino (Verdi): In dieser feierlichen Stunde with Renner *04014
Gioconda (Ponchielli): Enzo Grimaldo with Renner *04015
Bohème (Puccini): Ach, Geliebte with Renner *04015

Nov 30, 2014

Georgette Leblanc-Maeterlinck (Soprano) (Rouen 1869 – Le Cannet, near Cannes 1941)

She was the mistress of the Belgian poet Maurice Maeterlinck, who wrote the play Pelléas et Mélisande. Maeterlinck tried to procure the world premiere role of Debussy's operatic Mélisande for LeBlanc, but Mary Garden won the role, which she performed to great success. According to Garden's autobiography, Debussy had LeBlanc sing an act of Pelléas before a jury of musicians. The overwhelming results of that audition strengthened Debussy's support for Garden. LeBlanc had a light voice of no special quality. Fortunately, in 1903 LeBlanc recorded an excerpt of Massenet's Sapho, which is preserved in the Historical Sound Recordings collection at Yale University. Its historic value is not so much for LeBlanc's contribution, but for the fact that it is a very rare recording of Massenet himself accompanying the singer. Critic Edmond Stoullig caught her 1898 performance as Sapho at the Opéra-Comique, calling it, "quite different from that of her predecessor [Calvé, which] earned for her a personal success as actress, singer, and woman.

Chronology of some appearances

1893 Paris Opéra-Comique
1894-1896 Brussels Théâtre de la Monnaie
1907 Paris Opéra-Comique
1912-1913 Boston Opera House


Columbia, 1912
Carmen (Bizet): Aria delle carte 19754 A1153
Amadis (Lully): Bois Epais  19763 A1243
Thais (Massenet): L'amour est une vertu rare 19755 A 1153

Nov 29, 2014

Antoinette Laute-Brun (Soprano) (Nimes 1876 - ?)

She received her education at the Paris Conservatoire by Duvernoy, Melchissèdec and Mangin. In 1904 she made her debut at the Grand Opéra in Paris as Helmwige in "Walküre", then sang there the role of Ines in G. Donizetti's ''La Favorite''. During the first years of her work she took over in this opera house, whose member she remained till 1927, roles like Jemmy in G. Rossini's ''Wilhelm Tell'', Urbain in ''Huguenots'' by G. Meyerbeer, Crobyle in ''Thaïs'' and Eunoë in ''Ariane'' of J. Massenet. She sang there in several premieres, thus on 31. 10. 1906 in ''Ariane'' of J. Massenet, on 24. 5. 1907 in ''La Catalane'' of Le Borne, on 2. 5. 1909 in ''Bacchus'' of  J. Massenet, in 1910 in ''La Fille de Soleil'' of André Gailhard, in 1914 in ''Scémo'' of Alfred Bachelet and on 14. 3. 1921 in ''Antar'' of Gabriel Dupont. She sang there also in 1908 in the première of Rameau's ''Hyppolite et Aricie'', also in the premières of the R. Wagner's operas "Götterdämmerung" (1908) and "Rheingold" (1909). In 1907 she married the composer Georges Brun and appeared since that time under the name Antoinette Laute-Brun. In 1907 she undertook together with the baritone Jean Noté a tour through Belgium. She had a successful career in the French province, where she often guested. She had their big success as an oratorio soloist in ''La Damnation de Faust'' by H. Berlioz and in ''The Creation'' by J. Haydn.

Chronology of some appearances

1904-1927 Paris Grand Opéra


Zonophone, Paris 1904
Faust (Gounod): Air des bijoux X-83102
Faust (Gounod): Ballade du roi de Thule X-83105

Favorite, Paris 1906-07-10/18
Faust (Gounod): Laisse-moi contempler, pt 1 with Lucien Muratore 1-9070
Faust (Gounod):  Pt 2 with Lucien Muratore 1-9071

Odeon, Paris 1909?
Sigurd (Reyer):...Avec les fleurs...Maitre que m'ont donne les dieux with Agustarello Affre  97509 XP4886
Huguenots (Meyerbeer): O ciel, ou courez-vous with Agustarello Affre   97512 XP4889
Huguenots (Meyerbeer): Tu m'aimes with Agustarello Affre   97513 XP4890

Edison 4-min cylinders, Paris 1911?
Faust (Gounod): Ballade du roi de Thule BA 27115
Huguenots (Meyerbeer): Nobles seigneurs BA 27119
Faust (Gounod): Scene de l'eglise with Gustave Huberdeau BA 27122

Ideal, Paris 1913?
Faust (Gounod): Air des bijoux 8435
Quand l'oiseau chante (Tagliafico) 8438

Walter Kirchhoff (Tenor) (Berlin 1879 – Wiesbaden 1951)

He studied with Lilli Lehmann and Robert Weiss. He made his debut (1906) at the Berlin Imperial Opera as Faust. He was particularly noted as a Wagnerian singer. As Walter von Stolzing (seen here) in a 1913 Meistersinger at Covent Garden, The Times said, "Mr. Kirchhoff gives what one so rarely gets in a Wagnerian tenor, a combination of vocal power and manly personality, which is essential to a satisfactory representation." Kirchhoff sang at the 1911-14 Bayreuth Festivals, during which time he also served as the chief administrative assistant to the Crown Prince of Germania.

Chronology of some appearances

Kirchhoff, Walter, t, 17. 3. 1879 Berlino, †26. 3. 1951 Wiesbaden Lohengrin 2/1/1927, Siegfried 3/1/1927, Alfonso 11/15/1927, Parsifal 4/3/1928, Menelas 11/13/1928, Tannhäuser 1/8/1929, Lohengrin 1/22/1929, 11/12/1929, Tannhäuser 1/21/1930, Erik 12/2/1930, Pietro 1/6/1931 (Filadelfia)


Beka, Berlin 1906-10?
Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Wagner): Morgenlich leuchtend 7215
Lohengrin (Wagner): Mein lieber Schwan! (Abschied) 7216
Widmung (Schumann) 7218

Pierre Deldi (Baritone) (? Toulouse - ?)

For some years he was engaged by the Opera House in Toulouse, whose audience estimated him very much. During the 1930's he appeared as a guest in the famous French opera houses and sang among other things in 1934 at the Grand Opéra in Paris as Germont in ''La Traviata''. From 1947 to 1950 he worked as a director of the Opera House (Théâtre Capitole) in Toulouse, since 1953 as a professor in the conservatoire there. His repertoire included Valentin in  ''Faust'', Albert in ''Werther'', Ourrias in ''Mireille'', Boniface in ''Le Jongleur der Notre Dame'' by Massenet, Hérode in ''Hérodiade'', Lescaut in ''Manon'' of Massenet, Figaro in ''Il Barbiere di Siviglia''.

Chronology of some appearances

1930's Toulouse Théâtre Capitole
1934 Paris Grand Opéra


Pagliacci (Leoncavallo): Prologue BFX16 WLX1590
Pêcheurs de perles (Bizet): Duo de Nadir et Zurga, act 1 with Jose Luccioni BFX16 CLX1798

Willy Tubiana (Baritone) (Alger 1891 - ?)

In 1910 he began his education at the Paris Conservatoire which was interrupted in 1912 by his military service. from 1914 to 1918 he was a soldier in the front. In 1919 he took up his study again and made his debut in 1920 at the Opéra-Comique in Paris; for the next thirty years he remained a popular member of this opera house, where he appeared also as bass. Here he appeared in an important opera premières. (He sang among other things in 1929 in the premiere of ''Le Peau de Chagrin''' of Charles Lavadé). Since 1926 he appeared over and over again in opera performances of the French broadcasting company, for the last time in 1950. From 1950 to 1951 he was a professor of the Conservatoire in Algiers. Later he worked as a vocal pedagogue in Paris.

Chronology of some appearances

1920-1950 Paris Opéra-Comique


Gramophone, Paris 1924-12-11
Faust (Gounod): Seigneur, daigne permettre (Scène de l'église, pt 1) with Mireille Berthon & chorus W619 034270
Faust (Gounod): Que dirai-je alors au Seigneur (d:o, pt 2) with Mireille Berthon &chorus W619 034271