English bass Robert Radford (Nottingham, England: 13 May 1874 - London, England: 3 Mar 1933). He made his operatic debut at Covent Garden (1904) as the Commendatore in Don Giovanni. He sang in the first English Ring Cycle in London. He created Abbott Tunstall in Angelus (Naylor). In 1921 he became a founder, along with Thomas Beecham, of the British National Opera Company. Later he became its director.German baritone Theodor Reichmann (15 Mar 1849 - 22 May 1903): Studied Berlin, Milan, Prague. Debut Magdeburg (1869). Engagements in Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Strasbourg, and Vienna (1883 - 1889, 1893, 1903). Created Amfortas (Bayreuth: 1882). Also sang at Covent Garden, Metropolitan Opera.
American bass Léon Rains (1870-1954) made his debut (1897) with the Damrosch-Ellis Opera Company. He spent eighteen years with the Dresden Royal Opera (and in other European houses) but because he was an American citizen he felt obliged to leave Germany at the outbreak of World War I. Although he was one of the finest basses in Germany, he appeared, sadly, with few accolades at the Metropolitan Opera in 1909.(2) French mezzo-soprano Jeanne Raunay [-Dumény] Richomme (1863 [also given as 1869]-1942) was a student of Obin. In 1895 she joined the Monnaie to sing in Tannhäuser and Faust. In Brussels she created the role of Guilhen in Vincent D'Indy's Fervaal (1897). In 1898 she joined the Paris Opéra-Comique. She also created roles in l'Ouragan and Titania. She made her Paris Opéra debut (1 Jun 1888) as Uta in Sigurd. During the 1905 Royal Opera Season at Covent Garden she was seen in Orphée, and in Ballo in Maschera with Enrico Caruso. In 1910 she appeared with the Monte Carlo Opera. She was also quite successful in Cologne, Lamoureux, and at the Renaissance (Ipgihénie en Tauride). She retired in 1908 upon her marriage to André Beaunier.(3) A rare postcard of French contralto Alice Raveau (1887-1945) as Orpheus from an Opéra-Comique production. In his book, Opera on Record, Alan Blythe wrote, ". . . no ear of faith is needed to appreciate the beauty of Alice Raveau's Orpheus; the impact is immediate. No voice ever poured itself into the music with greater purity or passion. . . . Raveau's is an exalted art, difficult to pin down in words." This postcard was signed by Raveau in 1912.
Above: French baritone Maurice Renaud (1861-1933) as Athanaël in Massenet's Thaïs. He introduced this role to American audiences with a performance of Thaïs at the Manhattan Opera (25 Nov 1907) along with Charles Dalmorès and Mary Garden. His performance opposite Garden was described in the following manner: "Every movement of those marvelously beautiful and soulful eyes was eloquent of spirituality. . . . One needed no book nor spoken words to realize the gradual change of the saint to the sinner in thought, the triumph of the man over the monk." It is believed that Renaud joined the Monnaie in Brussels early in his career to avoid military service in his home country of France. He later atoned for his act of avoidance by enlisting during the first World War. Renaud did not have the most beautiful baritone voice of his time, but that fact is overlooked when one considers the power and embodiment of characterization that this artist attained.