Soprano Maria Labia (1880-1953) as Carmen and Violetta. She took the unconventional route by beginning her career outside of her native Italy. At the Stockholm Opera she made her debut (1904) as Mimi in La Bohème. At the Berlin Opera in 1906 she performed the first German language Tosca. Labia's career was temporarily halted when she was accused of espionage for Germany in 1914. She was arrested but was soon cleared of the charges. She returned to her career after the war. She was the first European Giorgetta in Puccini's Il Tabarro (11 Jan 1919). Perhaps it was Labia's comments that got her in trouble during the war; after all, it was she who told Puccini that there was "too much screaming" in the final scene of his newly created opera, Sour Angelica.Isabelle L'Huillier as Musetta in La Bohème. She sang at the Metropolitan Opera during the 1908-09 season. This is a Aimé Dupont photo postcard.English mezzo-soprano, Louise Kirkby Lunn (Manchester: 8 Nov 1873 - London: 17 Feb 1930).OBITUARYLondon, Feb . 17. -- Mme. Louise Kirkby-Lunn, famous English contralto, who made several operatic tours in the United States, died here tonight at the age of 57 after five months' illness.... Mme. Kirkby-Lunn had sung in Covent Garden Opera House in London, at the Metropolitan in New York and in Budapest and Germany. She toured America, Australia and New Zealand in concert, and in 1909 created the role of Dalilah in French at Covent Garden. [She] was born in Manchester, England, and received her musical training at the Royal College of Music, where she held an open scholarship for singing. After study in violin with Visetti, she made her operatic debut in Schumann's Genoveva and in Delibes's Le Roi l'a dit at the Royal Academy of Music. Her professional debut was made later as Nora in Shamus O'Brien with the Opéra-Comique in London.In 1896 Mme. Kirkby-Lunn was on tour in grand opera with Augustus Harris. From 1896 to 1899 she was with the Carl Rosa Opera Company, and in 1902 sang the part of Kundry in the English performance of Parsifal at the Metropolitan Opera.... She had sung at many festivals in Great Britain and Ireland, and had been a regular performer at the Royal opera, Covent Garden, in London. New York Times - 18 Feb 1930.
French tenor Léon Laffitte (Saint-Geniès: 1875 - Paris: 1938) in Le Troyens. He made his debut (1898) at the Paris Opéra as David in Die Meistersinger. He sang for fifteen seasons at the Monnaie in Brussels where he was a great favorite. In 1904, with piano accompaniment, Lafitte sang excerpts from Sylvio Lazzari's opera-in-progress, Armor, for Prince Albert. The Prince, who was not at all pleased at what he heard, promptly dismissed the opera. Laffitte was not a top-tier tenor, showing, at times, unevenness in his singing. French soprano Jeanne Laffitte performed in Monte Carlo and French provincial houses. She was the wife of Léon Laffitte and often performed together. One such instance was in Covent Garden (1906) in the first performance there of Le Jongleur de Notre-Dame. Jeanne sang Thysbé.A rare postcard of French contralto Ketty Lapeyrette (1884-1960) in an unidentified role. Along with Albers, LaSalle, and Malvini she made one of the first complete opera recordings (La Favorita). These very rare records, five centimeters in diameter, played outward from the center! Photograph by Henri Manuel.Heldentenor Adolf Löltgen (1881-1968) as Parsifal and Lohengrin.