Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

Dec 22, 2015

Lily Pons (Soprano) ( Draguignan near Cannes, France April 12, 1898 – Dallas, Texas, USA February 13, 1976)

                                                       with tenor Joseph Bentonelli

Her real name was Alice Joséphine Pons. At the age of 13 she came to the Conservatoire National de Paris, where first she studied piano. she Then trained her voice and was a pupil of Dyna Beumer in Cannes and Albert di Gorostiaga in Paris and already in 1917 gave a concert in Paris. In 1924 she appeared at the Paris Théâtre des Variétés in an operetta. She made her stage debut in 1927 at the Municipal Theater of Mulhouse (Alsace) in ‘’Lakmé’’ of L. Delibes. She was heard in Montpellier by Giovanni Zenatello and his wife, Maria Gay. It was on their recommendation that she came to the Metropolitan opera where she enjoyed a 30-year career.

Chronology of some appearances

1931-1960 New York Metropolitan Opera
1932 Buenos Aires Teatro Colón
1932-1951 San Francisco Opera
1934  Buenos Aires Teatro Colón
1935 London Covent Garden
1936-1941 Chicago Opera 


Odeon, Paris 1928-12-19
Rigoletto (Verdi): T'amo with Enrico di Mazzei 123.597
Rigoletto (Verdi): Addio, addio with Enrico di Mazzei 123.597
Bohème (Puccini): Entrée de Mimi with Enrico di Mazzei 123.598 XXP6771
Bohème (Puccini): O douce jeune fille with Enrico di Mazzei 123.598 XXP6772

Odeon, Paris 1929-02-20
Mireille (Gounod): O légère hirondelle 188.642 Ki-2199
Contes d'Hoffmann (Offenbach): Les oiseaux dans la charmille 188.642 Ki-2221 

Odeon, Paris 1929-02-21
Lakmé (Delibes): Pourquoi dans les grands bois? 188.640 Ki-2204
Lakmé (Delibes): Air des clochettes, pt 1 188.641 Ki-2205
Lakmé (Delibes): Air des clochettes, pt 2 188.641 Ki-2206
Lakmé (Delibes): Dans la forêt près de nous 188.640 Ki-2207

Odeon, Paris 1929-02-26 
Zauberflöte (Mozart): Air de la reine de la nuit 188.644 Ki-2229 
Parysatis (Saint-Saëns): Le rossignol et la rose 188.645 Ki-2276
Variations (Proch) 188.645 Ki-2277
Rigoletto (Verdi): Air de Gilda 123.623 XXP6832
Zauberflöte (Mozart): Air de Pamina 123.624 XXP6831 
Bohème (Puccini): Om m'appelle Mimi XXP6830 123.623

Odeon, Paris 1929-03-21
Barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini): Air de Rosine, pt 1 188.646 Ki-2278
Barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini): Air de Rosine, pt 2 188.646 Ki-2279

Odeon, Paris 1929-07-06
Nozze di Figaro (Mozart): Mon coeur soupire 188.644
Entführung aus dem Serail (Mozart): Air de Blondine 123.624  XXP6925

Dec 19, 2015

Ida Abry (Soprano) (Rome, Italy 1895 - ?)

She studied singing at Milan under Antonio (or Nino) Cairone. First she appeared with great success in operettas. She made her operatic debut in 1916 at the Teatro Ponchielli at Cremona. She made also some successful guest appearances in Egypt and Switzerland. She retired from the stage in 1926.

Chronology of some appearances

1916  Cremona Teatro Ponchielli  Andrea Chenier (Maddalena)
1918 Torino  Politeama Chiarella  Loreley (Loreley)
1920 Venezia Teatro Malibran Carmen (Carmen)
1922 Milano Teatro Carcano Andrea Chenier (Maddalena)
1924 Catania  Teatro Bellini Adriana Lecouvreur (Adriana)
1925 Alessandria d'Egitto  Teatro Alhambra Adriana Lecouvreur (Adriana)
1926 Zurich Mefistofele (Elena)


Fonografia Nazionale, Milano 1922/1923?
Tosca (Puccini): Qual occhio al mondo with Giuseppe Krismer D1045 1045
Tosca (Puccini): Vissi d'arte D1046 1046

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Hermann Kaufmann (Tenor)

About this singer I have no information.


L'Ebrea (Halevy): Rachele allor che iddio  B 62208 695 bm
Aida (Verdi): Celeste Aida  B 62207 694 1/2 bm

Rachel Morton (Soprano) (Webster, Massachusetts 1889 - Carmel, California 13 April 1982)

She had a Canadian mother and Yorkshire-born father who emigrated to the US from Canada. In 1912 she auditioned in Berlin for Lilli Lehmann, who recommended that she study with Clara Willenbucher. She also trained under Gertrude Miller, Frank King-Clark, and Frau Niklaus Kempner, the teacher of Frieda Hempel. After auditioning for Gatti-Casazza at the New York Met, she returned to Europe to study with Jean de Reszke. Her operatic debut in December 1924 was in Nice, as Donna Anna followed by Sieglinde. This success led to Frederic Austin offering a contract with BNOC, and she made her debut as Tosca in 1925. The cast also included Tudor Davies and Percy Heming, conducted by Malcolm Sargent. She remained with BNOC until 1928 singing Tosca, Aïda, Elsa, Elisabeth, Eva, Sieglinde, Kundry and finally Isolde under Adrian Boult. In 1928 she returned to America where she sang Isolde in a concert performance with Rudolf Laubenthal as Tristan.  In 1929, back in London, she opened the Promenade Concert season at the Queen's Hall and then toured with the Covent Garden Opera Company. She then returned to New York where she opened a vocal studio and continued her concert career. In 1940 she moved from New York to Long Beach, California, where, as well as teaching, she was music critic for the local paper for eight years.  From 1967 until her death, aged 93, she taught in Carmel, California (Obituary Opera Dec 1984). Opera August 1984 quotes Neville Cardus as thinking her rather dull, and not a good actress.

Chronology of some appearances

1924 Nice Opera Don Giovanni (Donna Anna)
1924 Nice Opera Walküre (Sieglinde)


HMV, Hayes 1926-04-22
Carmen (Bizet): Près des rempart de Séville (Seguidille) E447 (7-33081)

HMV, London 1926-09-13
Carmen (Bizet): Habanera E440 (3-3110)
Tosca (Puccini): Love and music E440 (3-3109)
Faust (Gounod): He loves me E447 (3-3108)

HMV, London 1927-04-27
Messiah (Händel): I know that my Redeemer liveth D1247 (03900)
La serenata (Tosti) E457 (3-3168)
Messiah (Händel): Come unto Him D1247 (03901)
Sadko (Rimsky-Korsakov): Chanson hindoue E457 (3-3173)