A - F
Lina Aimaro, soprano, born 1914 Turin. She studied at the academy of music in Milan with Mario Pieraccini. She made her debut in 1934 in Turin as Lucia. In the following years she sang in Parma, Palermo, Genoa, Florence, Rimini, Brescia Rome and Milan. In the 1938-39 season Aimaro appeared at the Metropolitan Opera as Lucia with Gigli as her partner. Her roles included Amina, Adina, Oscar, Violetta, Philine (Mignon), Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi). She sang at La Scala, Rome, Turin and the major Italian houses. In 1950 she sang in the world premiere of the opera L'Orso by L. Ferrari-Trecate and in 1953 in the world premiere of Orff’s Trionfo d'Afrodite. Aimaro was engaged to sing at the Met in 1940-41 but had to stay in Italy during the war. She made guest appearances in Lisbon, Cairo, the Netherlands, Budapest, Antwerp, Stockholm, Switzerland and Rome. She became a teacher in Milan after she retired from the stage.
Gitta Alpar, soprano. Born 1903 in Budapest, died 1991 in Palm Springs. Her father was a Cantor at a synagogue. She studied with Laura Hilgermann in Budapest. Alpar began her opera career in 1923 in Budapest as Gilda. In 1925 she made a guest performance at the National Opera in Munich again as Gilda and in 1927 and 1928 at the Viennese National Opera. In 1927 she sang the Queen of the Night and Rosina in Berlin. In 1928 she performed in the first night of the Ägyptischen Helena in the role of Aithra. After she left the Berlin National Opera she appeared in 1930 at the Berlin Metropol Theatre in Millöckers Bettelstudent and then in the first night of the Lehár operetta Schön ist die Welt. In 1931 Alpar sang the title role in the world premiere of The Dubarry at the Admiralspalast. She became well-known for her roles in operetta during the years in Berlin. In 1933 she had to leave Germany. She went first to Vienna and then to North America where she continued in operetta and film. Operatic roles included Cherubino, Janthe, Lakmé, Nedda and Oscar. She married first the Danish dancer Niels Bagge, and then the film actor Gustav Fröhlich.
Jean Aquistapace, bass-baritone. Born 1888. His debut was in 1911. He then appeared in Lyons in 1913 as Boris Godunov. He spent most of his career in French provincial theatres but also appeared as guest at the Opera-Comique and Paris Opera. In 1922 he appeared as Papageno in a performance of Die Zauberflote under Reynaldo Hahn. He later became director of Nice Opera.
Amadeo Bassi, tenor. Born 1874 near Florence. He made his debut in 1897 in Castelfiorentino in Marchetti's Ruy Blas. He sang in Venice, Trento and Genoa and made annual guest appearances ay Teatro Colon. He sang in the world premiere of Gloria at La Scala in 1907. He came to the Manhattan Opera Co in 1906, the Metropolitan 1910-1911 and then Chicago from 1910 to 1912. He appeared in concerts until 1940 and then became a singing teacher in Florence. He died in 1949.
Célys Beralta, soprano, born 1890 (?). From Belgium, this soprano was active in Spain and Italy in the years to 1920. In the autumn of 1920 she appeared at the Teatro Liceo in Barcelona as Gilda opposite Hippolíto Lázaro and also as Olga in Giordano’s Fedora. Further details of her career are little known, however one may assume that she also sang in Belgium and France.
Gertrud Bindernagel, soprano, born Magdeburg 1894, died in Berlin 1932. She studied first at the Magdeburg Conservatory and then the Berlin Music High School (1913-17). She sang at the Breslau Opera (1917-19) and Regensburg (1919-20). In 1920 she was engaged by the Berlin State Opera and remained there until 1927. She had great successes there, especially in the Wagner roles. She made guest appearances in Barcelona, Munich, Vienna, Mannheim and Hamburg. She died after an attempt on her life by her husband as she was leaving a performance in Berlin.
Hans Braun, baritone, born Vienna 1917. As a child he belonged to the Wiener Sangerknaben and studied voice with Gallos and Duhan. He made his debut in Konigsberg (1938) as Count Almaviva in Nozze. He was engaged in Berlin, Saarbrucken, Bremerhaven and from 1945 in Vienna, where he stayed. He made guest appearances in Milan, London, Naples, Florence, Berlin, Munich, Hamburg and Salzburg. In 1953 he sang at Bayreuth in Lohengrin.
Cornelis Bronsgeest, baritone. Born 1878 in Leiden (Netherlands), died 1957 in Berlin. He first studied architecture but then turned to singing and studied with Richard Schulz-Dornburg in Berlin and with Julius Stockhausen in Frankfurt. His debut was in 1902 in Magdeburg. From 1903-08 he was engaged in Hamburg. He made a guest appearance in 1906 at the Berlin Hofoper as Amonasro and was offered a contract there from 1908-1919 and again from 1921-23. Before the first world war he made guest appearances in the Netherlands, Belgium and France. In 1914 he appeared at Drury Lane Theatre in London as Papageno under Sir Thomas Beecham. In the 1919-20 season he undertook a tour of North America. In 1920 he appeared at the Viennese National Opera. From 1924-33 he sang in opera on German radio broadcasts. He sang at Berlin National Opera until 1935 and his repertoire was extensive and included leading roles in Verdi, Wagner and Mozart. From 1935-1944 he became director of the Berlin Youth Theatre and later taught in the city.
Charles Cambon, baritone. Born 1892 in Florensac, France. He studied first at the Toulouse Academy and then the Paris Conservatoire. He started as a chorus member at the Paris Opera in 1923. From 1930 to 1953 he sang the major baritone roles in this house such as Rigoletto, Amonasro, the Dutchman, Valentin, Iago and Samson. He appeared in the premiere of Enescu's Oedipe in 1936. He sang at the Opera-Comique and made guest appearances in Barcelona and London. He died in Paris in 1965.
Giuseppe Costa, tenor, born 1895, died 1982. He studied singing with Giuseppe Longo and Gino Golisciani. His debut was in 1920 at Teatro Mastroiano in Messina as Turiddu. He also sang Arturo in I Puritani there. In 1923 he appeared at Bologna as the duke in Rigoletto. He made guest appearances in Antwerp, Germany, Austria and Hungary. He appeared in the USA in 1932 and 1934 with Teatro dei Piccoli and in Hollywood as partner to Lilian Harvey in the sound film Susanna. In the years 1927-32 he performed on Italian radio with RAI and regularly in the foremost Italian houses. He sang for the last time in opera in 1940 and spent his last years at the Casa di Riposo in Milan.
Egidio Cunego, tenor, born 1882, died1956 in Milan. He began his career in the provincial Italian theatres singing with a repertoire that included Radames, Andrea Chénier, Turiddu and Cavaradossi. In 1911-12 he sang Canio in London and in the world premiere of I Zingari under Leoncavallo. In 1914 he appeared at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome, in 1916 at Teatro Liceo in Barcelona and in 1920 at Cairo. He spent his last years at the Casa di Riposo in Milan.
Luigi Cilla, tenor. Born 1885 in Rimini. He began his career in the provincial Italian theatres. From 1910 - 1940 he appeared in the leading houses including Milan and Rome. He performed in the Italain premiere of La Fanciulla del West. In 1912 he appeared in Falstaff (Dr Caius) at la Scala. In 1910 he made a guest appearance in Boston. Cilla appeared regularly at Covent Garden from 1925-34. He toured Australia in 1923-24 and sang in the world premiere of the opera Il Gobbo del Califfo in Rome in 1929.
Florencio Constantino, tenor. Born 1869 in Bilbao, died 1920 in Mexico City. He was at first a machinist then a ship's engineer before studying singing. He made his debut in 1892 at the Montevideo opera in La Dolores. After great success on South American stages he was also well-recived on a European tour in 1903-04, especially in Germany and Spain. In 1906 he appeared at New Orleans Opera and in 1908 at Manhattan Opera. In 1909 he sang Enzo in La Gioconda with Louise Homer and Lillian Nordica at the gala opening of the new Boston Opera House. He sang at the Met in 1910-11 and Buenos Aires 1909-12. In 1915 he appeared for the last time on stage in Los Angeles. Constantino lived in poverty in Mexico City and died in a charity hospital there.
Roberto d’Alessio, tenor, born 1893, died 1975. He made his debut in 1921 in Teatro Casino, Lugano, as Wilhelm Meister in Mignon. In 1922 he sang Elvino in Teatro Massimo, Palermo, with Toti Dal Monte. In 1924 he appeared in Turin as the duke in Rigoletto, in 1927 at Teatro Fenice as Des Grieux and in 1927 as the duke of Mantua under Toscanini with Toti Dal Monte, Luisa Bertana and Carlo Galeffi. He made guest appearances at Teatro Colón (1926) , Teatro Carlo Genoa (1926), Germany (1929), Copenhagen (1929) and Rome. In 1937 he sang Don Ottavio at Teatro Regio Turin with Eva Turner and Carlo Galeffi. Other roles included Ernesto, Rodolfo, the title role in L'Amico Fritz, Maurizio in Adriana Lecouvreur, Cavaradossi and Werther. He was married to the Spanish contralto Aurora Buades-d'Alessio (1897-1965), who had an important career as an opera and concert singer in Italy, Spain and South America. From 1952 d'Alessio taught in Florence.
Giuseppe Danise, baritone. Born 1883 in Naples, died 1963 in New York. He studied with Colonnesi and Perillo in Naples and made his debut there at the Teatro Bellini in 1906. After singing for some time in small italian houses he had his first great success at the Teatro Massimo in 1913. He was also successful at La Scala (1915-17). He was engaged at the Met in 1920 and remained there until 1932. He returned to Italy and La Scala but after World War II settled in the US. In 1947 he married the Brazilian soprano, Bidu Sayao.
Gaston Demarcy, baritone. Born 1884 in Marcinelle, Belgium. He studied with Culot and Desire Demest in Brussels and then with Jean Martapoura in Paris. He was engaged at La Monnaie, Brussels from 1911-14 and 1918-20. His roles included Valentin, Rigoletto, Amonasro and Scarpia. There is little information on the rest of his career except that he appeared with Georges Thill in I Pagliacci in Perpignan (1944).
Jolanda di Maria Petris, soprano. Born 1916 in Pola. She studied at Bologna academy of music with Arrigoni. In the 1935-36 season she made her debut in Rome as Margherita in Mefistofele. She had a good career in Italian provincial theatres. In 1939 she made a concert debut in Ravel’s Scheherazade in Rome. From then on appeared on the concert platform. In 1946 she toured Scandinavia and in 1948 North America. At the end of her career she visited East Germany.
Ugo Donarelli, baritone, born ? 1890. He had an important career in Italian provincial theatres. In 1920 he made a guest appearance in Monte Carlo as Manfredo in L'Amore dei Tre Re with Lucrezia Bori, Benjamino Gigli and Vanni-Marcoux and also as Marcello and Silvio. He sang at Teatro Colón in Manon and Madame Butterfly with Juanita Carracciolo and Ferdinando Ciniselli. In 1920 he appeared in Rio de Janeiro and in 1924 sang with an Italian opera group in London.
Edoardo Faticanti, baritone, born 1880 , died March 1955 in Rome. From 1906 he was singing roles in Italian houses. In 1910 came he appeared at Teatro Comunale, Bologna, in the world premiere of the opera Semirama by Respighi. In 1914 he performed the Teatro Costanzi world premiere of Canossa by Malipiero. His roles, at the important Italian houses, included Amonasro, Escamillo, Amfortas, Osaka and Telramund. In 1912 and 1913 he sang in Rio de Janeiro, in 1912 Teatro San Carlo Naples as Jack Rance, in 1915 Teatro Regio Parma as Amonasro, Alfonso and Gérard. In 1915 he made his first appearance at La Scala. In 1927-28 he sang there under Arturo Toscanini as Alfio and Simon Mago in Boito’s Nerone. In 1928 he sang Klingsor in Rome. On 9.2.1929 he performed in the world premiere of Le Preziose by Lattuada with Mafalda Favero, Jan Kiepura, Ebe Stignani and Salvatore Baccaloni. On 5.3.1931 he sang in the La Scala world premiere of Bacco in Toscana by Castelnuovo-Tedesco. He made guest appearances in France at Nice and Lyons. From 1930 he specialized in buffo roles such as Dulcamara and Fra Melitone. He became a teacher in Rome.
Giuseppina Finzi-Magrini, soprano, born 1878 Mantua, died 1944 Desio She made her debut in 1895 at Teatro Magnifico in Brescia. In 1900 she made a guest appearance at the Teatro Verdi in Padua as Sophie in Werther and as Philine in Mignon. In 1903 she toured Chile -her first international success and followed this with performances in Odessa, Moscow, Alexandria and St Petersburg. In 1910 she sang Ophélie at the Teatro Real, Madrid, in 1911 at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in 1911, the Teatro Costanzi, Rome (1915-16) as Gilda and Violetta, at Teatro Regio Turin (1915) as Marguerite de Valois, in Brescia, Bergamo and Verona, in Teatro Carcano Milan (1922) as Rosina, in Bologna (1923) as Elvira in I Puritani and in Teatro Politeama Genoa. She also appeared in Brescia, Bergamo and Verona. During the 1914-15 season she sang at La Scala as Gilda. She became a teacher in Turin. However, as a Jew, she was forced to hide during World War II near Desio. Here she was taken ill and died in hospital at the end of 1944. Finzi-Magrini was admired for her coloratura technique.
Lucien Fugere, bass. Born Paris, 1848. At the age of 14 he was apprenticed to a sculptor. Because he was unable to enter the Paris Conservatoire he took evening classes with Raguneau and Batiste. He made his first public appearance in 1871 at the cafe-concert Ba-ta-clan in Paris. In 1874 he joined the Bouffes Parisiens, an operetta theatre, and then on to the Opera-Comique in 1877 where he made his debut as Jean in Les Noces de Jeanette. He was the best loved artiste at this house for 55 years! He appeared in many world premieres there. Fugere made few guest appearances - he appeared at Covent Garden in 1897 and Nice and Marseilles (1906-1910). During World War I he gave many concerts for French soldiers. He died in Paris in 1935.
Biographies taken from A Concise Biographical Dictionary of Singers and Grosses Sangerlexikon, both by K J Kutsch and Leo Riemens
(my apologies for any inaccuracies)
(my apologies for any inaccuracies)