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American (Norristown, PA: 1876 - Queens, NY: 3 Jan 1953) Gertrude Rennyson as Elsa, 1909. Rennyson graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. After studies in Paris (with Trabadelo) she toured with the Henry W. Savage Opera Company. At the Tremont Theatre in Boston (19 Oct 1903) she was seen as Tosca. Latter in 1903 she appeared as Marguerite (Faust) at the West End Theatre (NY) with the English Grand Opera Company (a Savage production). In 1909 she sang her Elsa at Covent Garden (London) under an assumed name, Elsa Vania. She was called the greatest Elsa that London had seen in a long time. Rennyson said, "My reason for assuming another name is that it is well known that for an artist to sing in English opera hurts her professionally on the Continent, and, as the Carl Rosa management wanted ability rather than a name, I was glad to accept a four weeks' engagement on my merits as an artist under an assumed name, never dreaming of being discovered. I have been singing this year in Dresden and Bayreuth, and I have a splendid offer from Dresden for a five years' contract, but naturally I want to sing in my native country, and before closing I am hoping that negotiations with Mr. Dippel of the Metropolitan Opera House will end in taking me back to American next year." However, she gave only one Sunday Concert (April 9, 1911) with the Met. In 1912 she was singing with the Boston Opera Company. The outbreak of World War I caused her to cancel her engagements with the Royal Opera of Dresden, and she returned to the United States. Her last residence was 460 Beach 22nd Street, Far Rockaway, Queens.Hans Richter (4 Apr 1843 – 5 Dec 1916) was an Austrian-Hungarian orchestral and operatic conductor.Alfons Schutzendorf-Bellwidt (Vught: 25 May 1882 - Weimar: 1946): German bass-baritone from a fine family of German singers. Studied in Cologne with Walter. Debut Dusseldorf. Bayreuth 1908-1912. Also sang at Covent Garden (1910) as Wotan and Gunther. German tenor Fritz Vogelstrom (1882-1963) as Parsifal in 1909. He made his debut (1903) in Mannheim as Tamino (Die Zauberflöte) where he remained until 1912. From 1912 through 1929 (the year he retired) he was a member of the Dresden Hofoper. He sang Parsifal, Lohengrin, and Frohe (Das Rheingold) at the 1909 Bayreuth Festival. He was especially admired by Cosima Wagner.Iowa-born bass-baritone Clarence Whitehill (1871-1932) as Amfortas. He made his debut (1898) in Brussels in Gounod's Roméo et Juliette. After several appearances at the Opéra-Comique he traveled to the Cologne Opera (1903-08) and other German houses. He sang in Bayreuth in 1904 with the blessings of Cosima Wagner. He sang quite often at the Chicago Opera and at Covent Garden, but he made the Metropolitan Opera his home singing for nineteen seasons beginning with an appearance as Wolfram in Tannhäuser (15 Nov 1909). Henry Krehbiel of the New York Tribune wrote that Whitehill had "no superior in the field of Wagnerian music drama," calling his Hans Sachs a "warm, human, and poetic creation." Circa 1908.
German baritone Hermann Weil (1876-1949). He initially trained under conductor Felix Mottl with aspirations to become a chorus-master. However, the discovery of his voice altered his goals. He spent the majority of his career in Stuttgart. He appeared in Bayreuth in 1911, 1912, 1924, and 1925 in the roles of Günther (Götterdämmerung), Amfortas (Parsifal), and as Hans Sachs (seen here) in Die Meistersinger. He sang these three roles as well as Friedrich and Herald (Lohengrin), Wolfram (Tannhäuser), Wanderer (Siegfried), Wotan (Die Walküre and Das Rheingold), and Kurwenal (Tristan und Isolde) during his six seasons at the Metropolitan Opera (1911-1917). Cosima Wagner protégée was Austrian soprano Luise Reuss-Belce(1862-1945), seen here as Fricka riding a chariot in the Ring cycle. She made her debut (1881) at Karlsruhe. Her Bayreuth debut was in the world premiere of Parsifal (1882) as a Flowermaiden. She was a principal singer in Bayreuth until 1912. She eventually became the drama coach at Bayreuth. Felix von Kraus (Vienna: 3 Oct 1870 - Munich: 31 Oct 1937) as Hagen. Married to American contralto Adrienne von Kraus-Osborne. Felix von Kraus studied with Anton Bruckner. The couple lived in Munich (1908-1935) where they both were vocal teachers. Felix was an early interpreter of the works of Brahms.