Photographers - Dupont - Page 5

Historic Opera
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Sophie Traubmann: American soprano (12 May 1867 - 16 Aug 1951): Coached by Marchesi, Viardot, and Cosima Wagner for Wagnerian roles. She secured a scholarship at the National School of Opera after she gave a concert, at the age of eighteen, in old Steinway Hall in New York. She made her debut with that company at the NY Academy of Music as Venus. First American Woglinde, and Margiana (Barbier von Bagdad). She appeared at the Metropolitan Opera for three seasons beginning in 1887-88. She also sang in Cologne, Munich, Vienna, Altona, Covent Garden, and Hamburg. They still keep saying that Sophie Traubmann is 21 years old. She was about of that age when she was in the National Opera Company in 1886. She is promising, though, and when she is 22 she may be a great singer. Brooklyn Eagle, 19 Jan 1890. Brooklyn born soprano Susan Strong (3 August 1870 - London: 11 March 1946). In November of 1889, New York State senator, Demas Strong, was struck by paralysis, one assumes from a stroke. After his death in November of 1893, his will stipulated that his six sons receive $2,500 each, while the balance of his estate, estimated between $150,000 and $300,000 was to be split among his daughters, including the youngest, Susan Strong. The sons, in an effort to obtain more from the estate, contested the will, and the recently discovered will of their mother, claiming that their parents were mentally unfit. To complicate the matters, it was discovered that all of the children, except for one, agreed to share and share alike the estate. A year later the various judgments were made and the estate wound up being shared equally, with the exception of Susan, who received an additional voluntary contribution from each share. The one daughter who did not enter into the agreement did not receive any part of the estate. They are having Wagner’s operas in English at Covent Garden, London, and among the sopranos is Susan Strong, daughter of the late Demas Strong of Brooklyn. Here is what the musical Courier’s correspondent writes about her: “Another American soprano of whom America has good reason to be proud is Miss Susan Strong. My readers will be interested to learn that Miss Strong is a native of Brooklyn, and was educated musically by Francis Korbay, the Hungarian composer, who last November took up his residence in London, where she followed to continue her studies. This was Miss Strong’s first appearance before any public, as she had never sung previously in either concert or opera, and her success as Sieglinda was, considering this, most extraordinary. She has a very pleasing dramatic soprano voice, and her histrionic ability is exceptional.” In my humble opinion, this artist has every quality, and her performance is a complete one. She has warmth, passion, abandon, delicacy, power, sentiment and colossal virtuosity. That she occasionally misses a note does not count for anything. Brooklyn Eagle; 3 Nov 1895 Basso Herbert Witherspoon (1873-1935) was born in Buffalo, New York. He was a member of the Metropolitan Opera Company for eight seasons, first appearing there in 1908. In 1930 he became the artistic director of the Chicago Opera. That experience led to his selection as the successor to Gatti-Casazza as general manager of the Metropolitan Opera. However, shortly after assuming the position he collapsed and died outside his office. 
Marcella Sembrich: Polish soprano (15 Feb 1858 - 11 Jan 1935): Debut (1877) as Elvira (I Puritani) in Athens. Dresden Royal Opera, Met, Paris, Milan, Berlin, Vienna, Stockholm, Brussels. Equally adept with the piano and violin and often accompanied herself. One of the most famous coloratura sopranos in operatic history. Seen here in The Daughter of the Regiment in the second image. To see Marcella Sembrich and her jewels the average country woman will ride miles over a railroad … and sit in a crowded and insufferably hot hall without her dinner. When she has seen Sembrich and taken in the details of her gown and her diamonds she is ready to hear the prima donna sing. And she does not wish to hear her sing Mozart, though she can sing that as no other living singer can. What the country woman desires is to be astounded by the agility of her execution and by the peal of some wonderful high note. And, no matter how Sembrich sings, the country woman will probably be disappointed because she will not be able to tell the difference between this art and that of some such singer as Ellen Beach Yaw. But she can say that she has seen the famous Polish prima donna who gets any number of thousands of dollars a night at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. And that is something to live for. W.J. Henderson. New York  Times, 17 Sep 1899
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Ernestine Schumann-Heink [orig. Ernestine Rossler]: German contralto (15 Jun 1861 - 17 Nov 1936): Stage debut (1878) as Azucena (Trovatore) with the Dresden Royal Opera. Kroll Opera, Hamburg Opera, London CG, Bayreuth, Met, Chicago, Created  Klytemnestra (Elektra). Most  famous contralto of her generation.