TIMELINE OF WORLD HISTORY
 

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  The Best of...
Part I

Bach - Beethoven - Brahms - Chopin -  Handel  - Haydn
Liszt - Mendelssohn
Mozart  -  Paganini  -  Puccini  -  Schubert
Schumann
Strauss  - Tchaikovsky  -  Verdi  -  Vivaldi  -  Wagner

 Part II
The greatest opera singers

1.Voice type - 2.A-C - 3.D-J - 4.K-M - 5.N-Sc - 6.Si-Z
 
     
     
 
 
 
 
CONTENTS
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The Best of... (Part I)
 
 
The greatest opera singers - 6 Si-Z
 
 
 
 
 
100 Greatest Opera Singers by L. Richard Lewis
 
 
Greatest Singers: BEVERLY SILLS
 
Beverly Sills, Soprano (1929-2007)

Jacques Offenbach - The Tales of Hoffmann
Doll-Song from Olympia "Les oiseaux dans la charmille"
(Recorded 1972)

 
 
 
 
 
Greatest Singers: LÉOPOLD SIMONEAU
 
Léopold Simoneau, Tenor (1916-2006)

Georges Bizet - Les pêcheurs de perles (The Pearl Fishers)
Au fond du temple saint
With Réne Bianco, Baritone (1908-2008)
(Recorded 1952)

 
 
 
 
 
Greatest Singers: LEO SLEZAK
 
Leo Slezak, Tenor (1873-1946)

Giuseppe Verdi - Otello
Ora per sempre
(Recorded 1912)

 
 
 
Leo Slezak
 

Leo Slezak (18 August 1873 – 1 June 1946) was a world-famous Moravian tenor. He was associated in particular with Austrian opera as well as the title role in Verdi's Otello. He is the father of actor Walter Slezak and grandfather of the actress Erika Slezak.

 
Life and work
Beginnings

Born in Šumperk (Mährisch-Schönberg) the son of a miller, Slezak worked briefly as a blacksmith,[3][4] an engineer's fitter and served in the army before taking singing lessons with the first-class baritone and pedagogue Adolf Robinson. He made his debut in 1896 in Brno (Brünn) and proceeded to sing leading roles in Bohemia and Germany, appearing at Breslau and, in 1898-99, at Berlin. From 1901 onwards he was a permanent member of the Vienna State Opera's roster of artists, achieving star status.
 
 

Leo Slezak
  International career
Slezak's international career commenced in London at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, where he sang Siegfried (a punishing role that he would soon drop from his repertoire) and Lohengrin in 1900. (He would return to Covent Garden in 1909 after undertaking further vocal studies in Paris the previous year with a great tenor of a previous era, Jean de Reszke.)

Slezak secured a three-year contract with the New York Metropolitan Opera in 1909. Met audiences acclaimed him in performances of works by Wagner and Verdi.

Along with Italy's Giovanni Zenatello, he became the most famous Otello of his generation, famously performing the role at the Met with Arturo Toscanini conducting.

He was a convivial person, and many anecdotes reveal his amiable sense of humour. The best-known example is as follows: during a performance of Wagner's Lohengrin, a stage hand sent the swan out too early, before the tenor could hop aboard. Seeing his feathered transportation disappear into the wings, Slezak ad-libbed to the audience: "Wann fährt der nächste Schwan?" ("When does the next swan leave?").

Slezak had a versatile repertory which embraced 66 roles. They included notably Rossini's Guillaume Tell, Manrico, Radames, Walter, Tannhäuser, Hermann and, as we have seen, Otello and Lohengrin.
He sang 44 roles in Vienna alone, where he chalked up 936 appearances in 1901-12 and 1917–27 and became an idol of audiences.

 
 
Vocal characteristics
A tall barrel-chested man, Slezak possessed a large and attractive lyric-dramatic voice which enabled him to undertake all but the very heaviest Wagnerian parts such as Siegfried or Tristan. He had a distinctive tonal quality, too, which became markedly darker after his studies with de Reszke in 1908. Slezak was a master of mezza-voce singing and he could also deliver haunting head notes. Unfortunately, with time and hard use, his top register developed a strained and unsteady quality when used at full volume, as can be heard on some of his recordings.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 

Frances Alda as Desdemona and Slezak in the title
role of Verdi's Otello at the Metropolitan Opera in 1909.
 
 
Leo Slezak: "Wenn ich vergnügt bin"  1932
 
 
 
 
 
 
Greatest Singers: GIUSEPPE DI STEFANO
 
Giuseppe di Stefano, Tenor (1921-2008)

Giacomo Puccini - Tosca
Recondita armonia (Recorded 1953)

 
 
 
 
 
Greatest Singers: CONCHITA SUPERVIA
 
Conchita Supervia, Mezzosoprano (1895-1936)

Giacomo Puccini - La Bohème
Musettas Waltz - sung in French - (Recorded 1931)

 
 
 
 
 
Greatest Singers: JOAN SUTHERLAND
 
Joan Sutherland, Soprano (1926-2010)

Giuseppe Verdi - Rigoletto
Caro nome
With Riccardo Cassinelli, Tenor
Christian du Plessis, Baritone
(Recorded 1971)

 
 
 
 
 
Greatest Singers: FERRUCCIO TAGLIAVINI
 
Ferruccio Tagliavini, Tenor (1913-1995)

Ambroise Thomas - Mignon
Based on a novel by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Adieu, Mignon, courage - sung in italian -
(Recorded around 1943)

 
 
 
 
 
Greatest Singers: Renata Tebaldi
 
Renata Tebaldi (pronounced [reˈnaːta teˈbaldi]; 1 February 1922 – 19 December 2004) was an Italian lirico-spinto soprano popular in the post-war period. Among the most beloved opera singers, she has been said to have possessed one of the most beautiful voices of the 20th century which was focused primarily on the verismo roles of the lyric and dramatic repertoires.
 
"Un bel di vedremo" from Madama Butterfly (G. Puccini)

Telecast of February 2, 1959

Renata Tebaldi, soprano
Erich Leinsdorf, conductor

 
 
 
Renata Tebaldi - O mio Babbino caro

Concert 1965.

Renata Tebaldi sings O mio babbino caro.

From a concert with Renata Tebaldi and Louis Quilico. Narrated by Dr. Boyd Neel. Conducted by Ernesto Barbini.

 
 
 
 
 
Greatest Singers: GEORGES THILL
 
Georges Thill, Tenor (1897-1984)

Charles Gounod - Faust
Salut, demeure chaste et pure
(Recorded 1930)

 
 
 
 
 
Greatest Singers: RICHARD TUCKER
 
Richard Tucker, Tenor (1913-1975)

Giuseppe Verdi La Traviata
Lunge da lei´ De´ miei bollenti spiriti
(Recorded 1960)

 
 
 
 
 
Greatest Singers: RICHARD TAUBER
 
Richard Tauber, Tenor (1891-1948)

Wenzel Müller - Frohe Botschaft (Folksong)
"Kommt ein Vogel geflogen" - sung in german -
(Rcorded 1926)

 
 
 
 
 
Greatest Singers: RENATA TEBALDI
 
Renata Tebaldi, Soprano (1922-2004)

Giuseppe Verdi - La Forza del Destino
Pace, pace mio dio
(Recorded live 1953)

 
 
 
 
 
Greatest Singers: Kiri Te Kanawa
 
Dame Kiri Janette Te Kanawa ONZ DBE AC (born 6 March 1944) is a New Zealand soprano who has had a successful international opera career since 1968. She possesses a warm full lyric soprano voice, which has been described as "mellow yet vibrant, warm, ample and unforced".

Te Kanawa has received accolades in many countries abroad, singing a wide array of works in multiple languages from the 17th to the 20th centuries. She is particularly associated with the works of Mozart, Strauss, Verdi, Handel and Puccini, and has found particular success in portraying princesses, noble countesses and other similar characters on stage.

Although she now only rarely sings in operas, Te Kanawa still frequently performs in concert and recital, while giving masterclasses and supporting young opera singers in launching their careers.

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa sings "I Dreamed a Dream" from the musical "Les Misérables" by Claude-Michel Schönberg (1944- ) on a libretto by Alain Boublil. With Australian Pops Orchestra, John Hopkins / conductor. Recorded at State Theatre Victorian Arts Centre Melbourne, Australia, 1993.

 
 
 
 
 
Greatest Singers: LUISA TETRAZZINI
 
Luisa Tetrazzini, Soprano (1971-1940)

Gioacchino Rossini - Il Barbiere di Siviglia
Una voce poco fa
(Recorded 1911)

 
 
 
 
 
Greatest Singers: NINON VALLIN
 
Ninon Vallin, Soprano (1886-1961)

Georges Bizet - Carmen
Près des remparts de Sèville (Seguidille)
(Recorded 1928)

 
 
 
 
 
Greatest Singers: Galina Vishnevskaya
 
Galina Pavlovna Vishnevskaya (née Ivanova, Russian: Гали́на Па́вловна Вишне́вская; 25 October 1926 – 11 December 2012) was a Russian soprano opera singer.

Tatyana's Letter
This is the last appearance of Galina Vishnevskaya as Tatiana. She is surrounded by a solid cast. Benjamin Luxon is a very good Onegin while Neil Shicoff is a Lensky of anthology. At last but not the least, the conductor is Rostropovich. Paris Opera, 1982
 
 
 
 
 
Greatest Singers: Jon Vickers
 
Jonathan Stewart Vickers, CC (October 29, 1926 – July 10, 2015), known professionally as Jon Vickers, was a Canadian heldentenor.

Born in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, he was the sixth in a family of eight children. In 1950, he was awarded a scholarship to study opera at The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. In 1957 Vickers joined London’s Royal Opera House, Covent Garden company. In 1960 he joined the Metropolitan Opera. He became world famous for a wide range of German, French and Italian roles. Vickers' huge, powerful voice and solid technique met the demands of many French, German and Italian roles. He was also highly regarded for his powerful stage presence and thoughtful characterizations.

In 1968 he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada. Vickers received the Governor General's Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement, Canada's highest honour in the performing arts, in 1998.

Jon Vickers - Recondita Armonia
Jon Vickers sings Cavaradossi's first act aria from Puccini's Tosca.
From Vickers' much underrated Italian Opera Arias CD with the Rome Opera Orchestra and Tullio Serafin.

 
 
 
 
 
Greatest Singers: LEONARD WARREN
 
Leonard Warren, Baritone (1911-1960)
 
 
 
 
 
Greatest Singers: LJUBA WELITSCH
 
Ljuba Welitsch, Soprano (1913-1996)

Richard Strauss - Salome
Final scene (from "... und das Geheimnis der Liebe ist größer als das Geheimnis des Todes")
(Recorded 1944)

 
 
 
 
 
Greatest Singers: FRITZ WUNDERLICH
 
Fritz Wunderlich, Tenor (1930-1966)

Augustin Lara - Granada - sung in german - (Recorded 1965)

 
 
 
 
 
Greatest Singers: VIRGINIA ZEANI
 
Virginia Zeani, Soprano (born 1925)

Giuseppe Verdi - La Traviata
Ah, fors´ è lui che l´anima... Sempre libera
(Recorded 1956)

 
 
 
 
 
     
Classical Music Timeline

Classical Music History

Instruments Through the Ages

Composers and Masterworks
     
 
 
 
 
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