Singer Biographies S - Z
Paul Sandoz, baritone. Born 1906 La Chaux-de-Fonds (Switzerland). He studied at the conservatories in Neuchâtel and Basel. He performed in Strasbourg (1932-34), Lucerne (1934-41) and Basel (1941-47). He sang in concerts and oratorios, appearing in Switzerland, Milan, Paris and Bologna. In 1938 he sang in the world premiere of Honeggers “Jeanne d'Arc au bûcher”. He was a stylish interpreter of many styles of music from baroque to modern. From 1947-50 he taught at the academy of music in Lausanne and from 1949 was professor at the academy of music in Basel.
Franca Sacchi, soprano/mezzosoprano. Born 1922 (?). Sacchi made an impression in 1947-48 when she sang Tosca and Donna Elvira at the Cambridge Theatre in London. She enjoyed success at La Scala as Mimi and Margherita in Mefistofele. In the 1948-49 season she sang Leonora in Milan. She appeared in Rome as Amelia, Leonora, Maddalena and Tosca. She sang Minnie at Verona and Sieglinde in 1949-50. Sacchi made guest appearances in Paris (1947), Bordeaux (1949) and Lisbon. In 1951 illness forced her to take a break for some months but in October of that year she was heard at the Verdi Festival in Rome. In 1953 she took up mezzosoprano roles and sang Azucena in San Sebastian, Laura in La Gioconda and Leonora in La Favorita. In 1954 she sang Dalila in Turin and then Amneris in Cairo in 1959. Other roles included Charlotte and Carmen.
Antonio Salvarezza, tenor, born 1906. He made his debut in 1935. He sang Arturo at La Scala in 1939. During World War II he sang in leading Italian houses in heroic tenor roles. He made a guest appearance in London at the Cambridge Theatre in 1948 and also sang in France, Holland, Belgium and Austria in both opera and concert.
Lina Scavizzi, soprano. Born 1898 (?). She appeared in 1920 as Tosca in Trento. In the same year she sang Francesca Rimini at the Teatro Massimo in Palermo and again in 1928 at Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa with Giulio Crimi and Carmelo Maugeri. Scavizzi sang in Switzerland with an opera troupe and also travelled to Australia in 1930 on tour. Her career lasted for nearly 30 years and she specialized in verismo roles – Francesca, Adriana Lecouvreur, Tosca and Santuzza.
Paolo Silveri, baritone. Born 1913 in Ofano, Italy. He studied singing with Perugini in Milan but was called up into the army in 1940. He resumed his studies in 1942 at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome. He made his debut as a bass in 1943 but in the following years changed to a baritone. During those early years he sang at the San Carlo in Naples and appeared with that company as a guest at Covent Garden in 1946. From 1949 he sang regularly at La Scala and Rome and made appearances in Paris, Vienna and the Edinburgh, Florence and Verona festivals. He was engaged by the Met in 1951-52. He later managed and led an Italian opera company.
Henry Skjær, baritone. Born 04/07/1899 in Copenhagen, died in 1991. After studying political science and economics, he worked from 1916-19 in a large bank in Copenhagen. However, he aspired to the profession of a singer and studied from 1920-24 at the Copenhagen Conservatory. He made his debut in 1924 in Copenhagen as Pizarro in "Fidelio". From 1930 he was a committed member of the Royal Opera Copenhagen. He sang a great number of roles including the Count in "The Marriage of Figaro", Rigoletto, the Count di Luna in "Il Trovatore," the title character in "Giulio Cesare" by Handel and Scarpia in "Tosca". In the memorable Copenhagen premiere of Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess" in the middle of the German occupation in 1943 he sang Crown. He was also a concert singer and teacher.
Wilhelm Strienz, bass. Born Stuttgart in 1900. He began to study singing in 1919 with Theodor Scheidl and Oscar Schroter in Stuttgart. He made his debut in 1922 as the Hermit in Die Freischutz at the Berlin Opera. After further study in Berlin he sang in Wiesbaden (1923-24) and Bremen (1925-26). He was engaged as a soloist by West German radio in Cologne (1926-33). After 1933 he lived in Berlin and made many guest appearances on stage including Covent Garden, Holland, Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and concerts in Austria, Switzerland and Germany. After 1945 he lived in Frankfurt and had great success as a concert singer.
Willy Tubiana, bass-baritone. Born in 1891 in Algiers, died 1980 in Paris. He began his musical training in 1910 at the Paris Conservatoire. In 1912 he started his military service and fought on the front line from 1914-18. In 1919 he took up his studies again and made his debut in 1920 at the Opéra-Comique. For the next thirty years he became a popular member of this house, where he sang bass and baritone roles. In total he appeared in 2100 performances, in 66 roles, 20 of which were in important premieres and first French productions. From 1926 he sang in French radio broadcasts. From 1950-51 he was a professor in the academy of music in Algiers. His last performance at the Opéra-Comique was in 1950 after which he taught in Paris.
Elvino Ventura, tenor, born 1878, died 1952. He began his career in 1900 as a lyric tenor but also took on buffo roles. He sang in Paris and London and was engaged by the Chicago Opera from 1910-17. He occasionally sang leading roles here such as Turiddu, Edgardo and Pinkerton. In 1911 he replaced Angelo Bada as Cassio and Spoletta in New York. In 1921 he went to La Scala where he sang comprimario roles until 1948. He appeared in a number of world premieres - Turandot (1926), Nerone (1924), La Cena Delle Beffe (1924), I Cavaliere di Ekebu (1925) and Sly (1927).
Frans Vroons, tenor. Born 1911 in Amsterdam, died 1983 in s’Hertogenbosch. He studied in Amsterdam and later in Paris. In 1938 he appeared in Amsterdam as Don Curzio in “The Marriage of Figaro” under the baton of Bruno Walter and in 1939 at Scheveningen as Don Basilio under Carl Schuricht. He was engaged in 1941 as first tenor in Amsterdam where his roles included Pelleas, Alfredo, Cavaradossi, Don José, Tamino, Florestan, Riccardo, Laça, Gonzalve, Ägisth, Sellem and the title role in “Oedipus Rex”. After the second world war he became internationally known, singing in Paris, London, New York City (De Grieux, Hoffmann). In 1951 he sang in San Francisco as partner to Bidu Sayão in “Manon”. He performed many times at the Netherlands Festival and created the title role in Benjamin Britten’s “Peter Grimes” there in 1955. He became Artistic Co-director of the Dutch opera and from1956-71 director of the opera school. He taught in Utrecht, s'Hertogenbosch and the Hague.