Bayreuth Singers - Series 4 - Page 3

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Lauritz Melchior was born in Copenhagen on 20 March 1890 (a birthday he shares with Beniamino Gigli). He began his vocal studies as a baritone under Paul Bang at the Royal Opera School, Copenhagen. He made his debut (1913) as a baritone at the Royal Danish Opera as Silvio in Pagliacci. American contralto Mme. Charles Cahier advised Melchior that he was better suited as a tenor and encouraged him to retrain his voice for the higher repertory. So Melchior began lessons with Danish tenor Vilhelm Herold. His second debut was on 8 October 1918 in the title rôle of Tannhäuser, also at the Royal Danish Opera. His first great successes were at Covent Garden in 1924. Word of his talents spread to Cosima and Siegfried Wagner, and from 1924 to 1931 he was a principal attraction at the annual Bayreuth Festivals. His career took him to the Berlin State Opera (1935-39), Vienna, Munich, Brussels, Milan, London, Paris, Buenos Aires, Stockholm, Chicago, and San Francisco. He made his Metropolitan Opera debut (17 Feb 1926) as Tannhäuser. According to Olin Downes, then reviewing for the New York Times, the role of Tannhäuser seemed a bit too high for Melchior. “The tone was forced and rough in quality and the melodic line suffered.” Downes thought it would have been better had his debut been in a role he was more vocally comfortable with. He remained at the Met for 24 seasons, performing only in Wagnerian roles and gala performances. His roles included Tannhäuser, Lohengrin, Parsifal, Tristan, Siegmund and the two Siegfrieds. Melchior died in Santa Monica, Ca on 19 Mar 1973. Dr. Karl Muck: German conductor (Darmstadt, Germany: 22 Oct 1859 - Stuttgart, Germany: 3 Mar 1940). He made his debut (1880) in Leipzig with the Gewandhaus Orchestra. Sigismund Pilinszky (Budapest: 19 Dec 1891 - Budapest: 1963) as Tannhäuser. He studied at the Conservatory in Budapest, and then with Böhme-Köhler in Leipzig and Konrad von Zawilowski in Berlin. He made his debut (1913) at the National Opera in Budapest. In the late 1920s he could be seen in Berlin. In 1930 and 1931 he sang his Tannhäuser at the Bayreuth Festivals. He also sang in Vienna, Chicago, San Francisco, and London. He returned to Budapest after he retired. Maria Rösler-Keuschnigg (1890-1944) as Kundry. Received vocal lessons from Irene Schlemmer Ambros in Vienna. Spent a good deal of her career at the Staatsoper in Dresden, where she appeared in the world premiere (8 Jan 1927) of Othmar Schoeck's Penthesilea. Arturo Toscanini: (Parma: 25 March 1867 - New York: 16 Jan 1957). Italian conductor. Hungarian, later American bass-baritone Friedrich Schorr (Nagyvarad: 2 Sept 1888 - Farmington, CT: 14 Aug 1953) as Wotan. He was first heard singing small roles in Chicago in 1912. That same year, he made his official debut (as Wotan) in Graz, where he continued to sing through 1916. He also sang in Prague (1916-18), Cologne (1918- 23), Berlin (1923-31), NY (Met: 1924-43), London (Covent Garden: 1924-33), Bayreuth (1925-33), and guest appearances in other cities. His Wotan was considered peerless during the 1920s and 1930s.
(m. 14 Oct 1896), and a brother, Karl Benedict, four years her junior (he committed suicide on 28 Oct 1919). The Tillon family was from the Chestnut Hill area in Philadelphia. The family was soon back in Berlin for the birth of Roselind's youngest brother, Baldur von Schirach, who went on to become a convicted Nazi war criminal as the head of the Hitler Youth movement. According to a New York Times article (9 Aug 1974), "Along with his [Baldur’s] sister, Rosalinde, who sang Wagnerian roles, the young student became a faithful protégé and personal friend of Hitler...." As her brother ascended the Nazi ranks, Rosalind left Wiesbaden and sailed to the U.S. in October of 1936. In 1937 she was back among the Philadelphia elite as the "Baroness" Rosalind von Schirach.
Rosalind von Schirach was born in Berlin circa 1898. In addition to a Bayreuth Ring (1931), Rosalind performed at the Stadtische Oper in Berlin (1930-1933). In 1905 she travelled to Philadelphia with her father, Carl Baily Norris Schirach,  her American mother, Emma Middleton Lynah Tillon
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