Opera Singers - K - Page 1

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Fritz Krauss (Lehenhammer: 16 June 1883 - Überlingen: 28 Feb 1976), German tenor. After studying in Munich, Berlin and Milan, he made his début in Bremen in 1911. He was a house tenor at Cologne from 1915 to 1921. In 1921 he joined the Staatsoper in Munich. There he stayed until his retirement in 1943. In 1931 he created the role of Asmus Modiger in Hans Pfitzner's Das Herz. He appeared at the Vienna Staatsoper, the Salzburg Festival, and Covent Garden, among others.

Russian baritone Oscar Isaevich Kamionsky (1869-1917). He studied

at the St. Petersburg Conservatory with S. I. Gabel and O. O. Palechek.

He made his debut (1892) in Naples (1892: Teatro Bellini), where he

went for further studies. Before joining the opera in Kharkov in 1893, he

sang in Florence and Athens. As the preeminent Russian baritone of the

period he took his escalated image to heart. Although he has been

described as self-centered in nature, no one could doubt the brilliance

and accuracy of his singing. His early death has been attributed to


Soprano Maria Kuznetsova-Benois (1880-1966) was at first a ballet dancer at the Alexandra Theatre in St. Petersburg before studying singing with Joachim Tartakov in that same city. Her opera debut (1905) was at the Mariinsky Theatre as Marguerite in Faust. It wasn't long before she was regarded as one of the most brilliant, beautiful, and sensitive singers of her time, but like Lina Cavalieri, perhaps many of the kudos were generated by her own persistent and public self-advertisements. In 1908 she was invited to the Paris Opéra, where she repeated the vocal successes she had in St. Petersburg, and even appeared (with only mild success) as Potiphar's wife in a 1914 Paris ballet production of La Légende de Saint Joseph (R. Strauss) with Serge Diaghilev as Potiphar. At the Monte Carlo Opera she was engaged to premiere two operas by Massenet. In 1912 she created Fausta in Roma in which she was called "a feast to the eyes" and "the prettiest and most seductive Fausta that one might wish for." For Cléopâtre, Massenet wanted the mezzo-soprano Lucy Arbell, but after Massenet's death the 1914 world premiere was scheduled with Kousnietzoff (as she was known in France) in the title role. The dismayed Arbell instituted legal action but lost. During the litigation she contended that over 288 posthumous changes were made to Massenet's original work to accommodate a soprano instead of a contralto. Arbell did eventually sing the role in both Nantes and Bordeaux. In 1915 Kousnietzoff married a French citizen. Three years later she left Russia permanently for France. With limited success, she even organized Russian companies (the Opéra Russe) to introduce Russian opera to the French audiences. In 1920 she became a film actress. After the age of fifty she confined her appearances to recitals.
Mikhail Karakash (Simferopol, Crimea 1887 - Bucharest: 1937), Russian baritone. He took singing lessons with soprano Iretzksaya, and then with basso Stanislav Gabel. Karakash made his debut at the Mariinsky Theatre (1911), where he remained until 1918. He was an admired singer throughout the Russian provinces, but left there in 1921 for political reasons. He made guest appearances in Spain, Italy and France. Along with Maria Kuznetsova, he founded the “Opéra Russe.” He retired from singing in 1926 due to vocal difficulties, but become the Director of the Bucharest Opera, and taught singing.

Hungarian mezzo-soprano Sabine Kalter (1889-1957) as Lady Macbeth, a role for

which she was particularly known. She made her opera debut in Vienna (1911). In

Hamburg, where she made her first appearance in 1915, she replaced Ottilie

Metzger as their principal mezzo. She remained there until Nazi occupation forced

her to leave. She took up residence in England in 1935. Also seen here as Aida.

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