This is an example of a "photo montage" postcard that features
Hungarian tenor Desidor Matray as Tannhäuser. The artist has
combined a real-photo image of Matray's head with a pencil-sketched
body. Matray appeared at Bayreuth in 1904 in this role. Around that time
Matray made a recording of Tannhäuser, excerpts of which have been
Belgian mezzo-soprano Jeanne Maubourg (1875 [possibly 1873] - 12
May 1953). She made her stage debut (1895) at the Théâtre des
Galeries in Brussels in the opera Ali Baba. She joined the Monnaie in
1897 where she appeared in Manon, Les Charmeurs, La Fille du
Régiment, La Domino Noir, Les Deux Billets, Les Dragons de Villars,
Lakmé, Mireille, Faust, La Bohème, Roméo et Juliette, Guillaume Tell
and the French version of Die Meistersinger (Maîtres Chanteurs), and
the first Monnaie Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel in 1898. She remained at
the Monnaie until 1907. In 1909 she came to the Metropolitan Opera and
found a home for five seasons in spite of being limited to minor roles in
over 200 performances. Sang in the American premiere (1912) of Le
Donne Curiose under Toscanini. Chicago Opera (1915, 1916).
French baritone Victor Maurel (17 Jun 1848 - 22 Oct 1923). Debut Paris (1868) as De Nevers (Huguenots). Sang in St. Petersburg, Cairo and Venice. World premiere Il Guarany (1870) at La Scala. Also created Iago (Otello: 1887) and the title role in Verdi's Falstaff (1893). Covent Garden (first London Telramund, Wolfram, and Dutchman). NY Academy of Music, Metropolitan Opera, Paris Opera. Was not an exceptional singer but sang with emotion and exhibited a talent in acting. Also designed opera sets. Taught singing in NY. The most famous Baron Ochs was Austrian bass Richard Mayr (1877-1935). Strauss said that he had Mayr in mind all along as he created the music associated with this character. However, contractual obligations with the Vienna Court Opera prevented Mayr from appearing in the Dresden world premiere. He did introduce Ochs to Vienna, and later triumphed in this role in London, Salzburg and Bayreuth. Mayr's impact at a 1924 Covent Garden performance was summed up by Ernest Newman when he said, "His smile and whistle during Annina's reading of the letter said more than a page of words could have ever done."
Belgian soprano Mariette Mazarin (1874-1953) as Carmen. A remarkable singer and actress, she created a sensation when she introduced a deranged Elektra to New York audiences in 1910. To prepare for Elektra she studied one particular institutionalized woman at a lunatic asylum to master the characterization. By far the biggest success of her career, critics found the portrayal without parallel. One year later she made her Paris Opéra debut (13 Sep 1911) as Elisabeth in Tannhäuser.Italian soprano Ester Mazzoleni (1882-1981) as Norma. She made her debut (1906) at the Teatro Costanzi (Rome) as Leonora in Il Trovatore. She was signed by Toscanini in 1907 for a season at La Scala and eventually had a long and successful partnership with that house. She sang Aida in the first Verona Arena Festival in 1913. She married and subsequently retired in 1926. Her inherited fortune in Yugoslavian real estate was confiscated by the Communists during World War II. [Dame] Nellie Melba [orig. Helen Mitchell]: Australian soprano (19 May 1861 - 23 Feb 1931). Studied with Marchesi. Debut (1887) at the Brussels Opera as Gilda (Rigoletto). Created title role in Hélène at Monte Carlo. Covent Garden, La Scala, The Met, Paris Opéra, Chicago.