Opera Singers - L - Page 3

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Soprano Lydia Lipkowska (1880-1955) studied at the St. Petersburg

Conservatory before making her debut (1907) at the Mariinsky Theatre

as Gilda (Rigoletto). The majority of her career was spent outside of

Russia. In addition to her appearances in St. Petersburg and Moscow,

she displayed her brilliant coloratura voice in Paris, Monte Carlo,

London, Vienna, New York, Boston and Chicago. In 1909, to satisfy an

agreement between the Boston Opera and Metropolitan Opera to

exchange singers, she made the first of her thirteen appearances at the

Metropolitan Opera as Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia. She was also

seen there as Violetta (Traviata) and Gilda (Rigoletto).

French soprano Georgette LeBlanc (1860-1941). She was the

mistress of the Belgian poet Maurice Maeterlinck, who wrote the play

Pelléas et Mélisande. Maeterlinck tried to procure the world premiere

role of Debussy's operatic Mélisande for LeBlanc, but Mary Garden won

the role, which she performed to great success. According to Garden's

autobiography, Debussy had LeBlanc sing an act of Pelléas before a

jury of musicians. The overwhelming results of that audition

strengthened Debussy's support for Garden. LeBlanc had a light voice

of no special quality. Fortunately, in 1903 LeBlanc recorded an excerpt

of Massenet's Sapho, which is preserved in the Historical Sound

Recordings collection at Yale University. Its historic value is not so much

for LeBlanc's contribution, but for the fact that it is a very rare recording

of Massenet himself accompanying the singer. Critic Edmond Stoullig

caught her 1898 performance as Sapho at the Opéra-Comique, calling

it, "quite different from that of her predecessor [Calvé, which] earned for

her a personal success as actress, singer, and woman.

English tenor Edward Lloyd (1845-1927) had a tremendous concert and oratorio career that lasted over thirty years. He sang in the world premiere of Elgar's Dream of Gerontius in 1900, the year he retired.  Edmond Louis as Escamillo in Carmen.
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