Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Victorian Vocalists: my magnum opus

This is how its stands, after an ongoing seven years work. Even if Wikipedia doesn't believe it.
673 articles, from 1 page to 30,  either completed or nearly completed. Another few years to go!



Abbott, Emma
Abercrombie, Charles
Abrek, Haydée
Adams Charles R
Adelmann, Giovanni
Albertazzi, Emma
Albertini, Augusta
Albu, Annie
Alessandri, Adele and Enrichetta
Allen, Henry R
Alleyne, Grace
Allitsen, Emma and Frances
Amadei, Isabella
Ambre, Emilie
Angele, Elena
Angyalfi, Alexander
Anichini, Giulietta
Anyon, Annie
Armstrong, Eleanor
Armytage, Fanny
Arnim, Helen
Arthurson, Mr
Atkins, J O
Austin, Giovanna
Avigliana, Giovannina
Ayton, Fanny

Badia, Carlotta and Antonietta
Balfe, Amelia
Banks, Ann
Barclay, Ursula
Barker, George
Barnby family
Barrett, Mrs Raby
Barth, Alice
Bartkowska, Claudia
Bartleman, Thomas
Bassano, Louisa
Bauermeister, Mathilde
Baur, Jenny
Baxter, Laura
Baylis, Alfred
Beale, Thurley
Beasley, Emma
Beaumont, Henry
Bedford, Paul John
Begrez, Ignace
Behrens, Elvira and Conrad
Bell, Rose
Bellamy, Constance
Bellchambers, Juliet
Belval, Mary
Bennett, James
Benson, George
Bentham, George
Berry Greening, Emily
Betjemann, Stanley
Betts, Abigail
Beverley, Louise
Binckes, Mary Ann
Binge John
Birch, Charlott Ann and Eliza
Biscaccianti, Eliza
Blandford, Percy
Bleaden, Julia
Bochkoltz-Falconi, Nanny
Bodda, Frank
Bolton, Walter
Bond, Herbert
Bond, Jessie
Borrani, Conrad
Bowler, J Brookhouse  and Kemp, Annie
Boyle, Frank
Braham, Augustus
Braham, Charles
Braham, Hamilton
Braham, Rose
Brandon, Thomas
Brandt, Julius Gustav
Bridson, John
Briggs, W Thorpe
Brignoli, Pasquale
Brizzi, Scipione
Brocolini, Signor
Brooke, Frances
Brougham, Misses
Bruce, Susan
Buckland, George, Henry and Annie
Bull, Eliza
Bundsen, Viktoria
Burdini, Dominique
Burleigh, Tesseman
Burnett, Henry and Fanny
Burrington, Mary
Butterworth, Annie
Byers, Susannah and Elizabeth
Byfeld, Mary
Byron, Arthur
Bywater, H T

Cafferata, Louisa
Calkin, George and J T
Campobello, Enrico
Candidus, William
Caradori Allan, Rosalbina
Caradori, Anna
Caravoglia, Giuseppe
Carola, Natalie
Carrodus, Maria Louisa
Carter, George Titus
Castellan, Jeanne-Anais
Castle, William
Cave-Ashton, Gertrude
Cawse, Harriet and Mary
Cesarini, Adelaide
Chambers, Mary
Chamerovzow, Annie
Champion, W Suchet and Jane
Charlier, Emma
Chatfield, Mrs Henry
Cherer, Mrs Talbot
Chiomi, Emilia
Christian, Orlando
Ciabatta, Giovanni Battista
Ciampi, Giuseppe
Clarke, Payne
Clelland, Carina
Clifford, Walter
Coates, William
Cobham, Trelawny
Coker, Richard
Cole, Belle
Cole, Blanche
Cole, Emmeline
Cole, Susanna
Collett, Sophia
Collins, Medora
Colombo, Amalia
Comte Borchardt, Maria
Condell, Helen
Connell, Edward
Cook, T Aynsley and Harriet
Cooper, Adeline
Cooper, J Wilbye
Corani, Elena
Corani, Ida
Corelli, Lucrezia
Corri family
Costantini, Augusta
Cotte, Edward
Cotton, Charles
Cottrell, Adeline
Courtney, William
Coventry, Gerard
Coward, Hilda
Cox, Annie
Crichton, Catharine
Croft, Alban and Mrs
Croft,Henry
Crosland, Elizabeth
Crosmond, Helene
Crouch, Frederick and Pearson, Lydia
Cruise, Fanny, Julia et al
Csillag, Roza
Cubitt, Charlotte
Cummings, Mary

D’alquen, Frank
D’alton, Helen
Damian, Grace
Dario, Nina
Deck, Richard
D‘Erina, Rosa
D’Este, Emmie
de Courcy, Florence
de Fontanier, Dulcide
De Solla family
de Villar, Maria
de Wilhorst, Cora
Delcy, Miss
Delevanti, Prosper
Depret, Edmond
Derby, Julia
Diaz de Soria, Jules
Dickerson, Jennie
Distin, Theodore
Dixon, Mrs William
Dobson, Sara
Dolby, Charlotte Helen
Dolby-Boetti, Dove
Dones, Emily
Dorus-Gras, Julie
Dotti, M-L
Dowland, Sophia
Drasdil, Anna
Drayton, Henri and Lowe, Susannah
Dumville, Nathaniel
Durand, Charles
Durand, Marie Louise
Durlacher, Elizabeth
Duruset, John
Duval, Miss (Mrs Noble)
Duval, Marie (Mme Worrell)
Dwyer, Michael
Dyson, Thomas

Edmonds, Annie
Edwin, Mary S
Elmore Frank
Elton, Julia
Enderssohn, Marian
Enequist, Mathilde
Enriquez, Eliza
Eos Morlais
Escott, Lucy
Eyles, Miss
Eyre, Anna

Fabbri, Inez
Fairman, Alice
Fanchita, Mlle
Farquharson, Robert
Farrar, Mary Ann                                    
Favanti, Rita
Federici, Frederick
Fedor, William
Fernandez, Cecile
Ferrari, Adolfo & Joanna
Fielding, W J
Finoli, Giuseppina
Fiorentini Claudina
Florentine, Carlos
Flower, Sara
Foote, Barrington                                     
Forde, Sally
Fortuna, Pietro
Fosbroke, Lucy
Fox, George
Francis, Beata
Franklein, Lucy
Fraser, Clari
Frazer, John
Friedländer, Thekla
Fryer, A Lawrence

Gaetano, Nita
Galbreath, Louisa (Mrs Arthur Stone)
Galer, Elliot and Reeves, Fanny
Galton, Mrs Pyne
Galton, Susan and Kelleher, Alfred                     
Garcia, Evelina                                         
Gardener, Frederick
Gassier, Edouard and Josefa
Gaylord, Julia
Gaynar, Francis
Gear, Henry Handel
Geary, Gustavus
Genge, George
Georgi, Emilie and Constance
Ghilberti and de Fonblanque
Gilardoni, Clara
Gill, Sarah
Gilliess, Ida
Giubilei, Theodore and August
Glenn, Hope
Glover, Ferdinand
Goldberg, Joseph P
Gomes, Alice
Goodall, Annie
Gordon, Harriet
Gordosa, Fanny
Gould, Julia
Graham, Selwyn
Grant, Emily
Greenfield, Teresa
Gregg, John
Gregorio, Signor
Griffiths, Bertha
Grisi, Ernesta
Guilmette, Charles                                               
Guy, Henry

Haigh, Henry
Haigh, Joseph
Haldane, Fanny
Hale, Jeannie M
Hall, Edna
Hancock, Margaret
Hardman, Ann
Harland, Julia
Harley, Orlando
Harris, Laura
Harrison, Fanny
Harrison, William
Hawes, Maria B
Hawkins, Enoch
Healy, Fanny
Hedmondt, E C
Hemming, Alfred
Henderson, Robertine
Hennelle, Claire
Henrie, Madame
Henry, Chaplin
Hensler, Eliza
Hepworth, Mrs Clare
Herbert, Henry
Herberte, John
Hersee, Rose                                                        
Heywood, Emma
Hiles, Anna
Hill, Amelia
Hilton, Robert
Hime, Edward Lawrence
Hobbs, John William
Hobbs, Susan
Hodson, Mme Frances
Hohler, Tom                                                        
Holland, Fanny
Hollins, Redfern
Hölzel, Gustav
Homer, Mahlah
Horncastle, J Henry and George
Horne, Ellen
Horton, Priscilla
Huddart, Fanny
Hutchinson, Cecilia Mary

Illingworth, Matilda Florella
Inkersall, George
Inman, Mrs E F
Inverarity, Eliza
Irving, George Allan
Isaacs, Rebecca                                        
Jackson, Ada
Jacobs, Esther
Jefferys.Theresa
Jewell, Anna and Rebecca
Jolly, Elizabeth and Cecilia
Jones, Mrs C
Jones, Jessie

Karl, Tom
Kearton, J Harper
Kelly, Thomas Grattan
Kemble, Adelaide
Kenneth Elena and Susan
Kenningham, Alfred and Charles
Kent, Ellen
Kerr Gedge, John
King, Donald and Mrs
Kirby, Francis Norman
Kirk, Helen
Kneale, Joseph Campbell
Knyvett, Deborah
Kroff, Josef

Lacy, Angelica
Lambert David
Lancia, Florence
Lander, Joseph
Lane, Bernard
Lansmere, Richard
Lanza, Rosalia
Larkcom, Agnes
Lascelles, Annie
Latter, Richard
Laurence, Alberto
Lawler, Thomas
Leach, Mary
Leach, Stephen
Lee, Harriette
Lee, Leoni
Leffler, Adam
Leffler, Lucy                                                        
Lefort, Jules
Lemaire, Josephine
Lemmens-Sherrington, Helen and Sherrington, Jose
Leng, Annie and Fanny
Lesca, Julie
Liebhart, Luise                                         
Lindo, Grace
Litta, Marie
Little, Lena                                                           
Lockey, Charles
Locksley, Arthur
Lorini, Virginia Whting
Löwe, Sophie
Lozano, Sabine
Lucette, Catherine
Lucombe, Emma
Ludwig, William
Lyall, Charles                                                       
Lyon, Ellen

Maas, Joseph
Macfarren, Clarina
Machin, William
Madigan, Fanny
Magner, Therese
Manetti, Fannie
Manley, Henry and John
Manning, Augusta
Manvers, Mr
Mariani, Sophy
Marimon, Marie
Marler, George
Marras, Giacinto
Marriott, Annie
Martorelle, Linas & Gustave Garcia
Mascall, Eizabeth and Mary
Mason, Robert
Masson, Elizabeth
Mattacks, Alfred
Matthison, Arthur
May, Juliana
Maybrick, Michael
McAlpine, Margaret and Julia
McGuckin, Barton
Mears, Annette
Mecarri, Ercole
Mehlhorn, Augusta
Mengis, Josef
Merei, Auguste
Merivale, Clara
Messent, Sophia
Millar, Thomas Francis
Millard, Harrison
Miran, Mira
Miranda, David
Monari-Rocca, Francesco Federico
Montelli, T J                                            
Morgan, Wilford
Moss, Marion
Mott, Emily
Mudie-Bolingbroke, Anne
Murray, Edward

Nau, Dolores
Newbound, Mary
Newton, Adelaide and Denbigh
Newton, Mrs Alexander
Nikita
Noble, Catherine
Nordblom, Henry
Normanni, Emma
Nott, Cicely
Nouver, Madame
Novara, Franco
Nunn, Alicia

Oldershaw, Christopher
Orridge, Nellie
Osborne Williams, Charlotte
Osgood, Emma
Otto-Alvslaben, Melitta

Packard, Frederic C
Palmer Lisle, Jane
Palmieri, Maria
Paltoni, Giuseppe
Parepa, Euphrosyne
Parigiani, Clotilde
Parisotti, Luigi and Saidie Singleton
Parkinson, William
Parry, John                                                          
Paton, Mary Ann (Wood, Mrs)
Paul, Mrs Howard                                               
Pearsall, Samuel
Pearson, J H
Pede, Thorpe
Pelham, Misses                                        
Penna, Frederic & Catherine
Percy, Mrs Helen
Perren, George
Perring, J Ernest
Petrelli, Emilie
Phillips, Henry
Philp, Elizabeth
Piercy, Henry
Pischek, Johann Baptist
Poma, Eliza                                              
Poole, Elizabeth
Poole, Fanny
Poole, Mina
Pope, Henry & Collins, Ella
Porter Mrs Billinie
Power, George                                                     
Poyntz, Katherine
Pratt, Jenny
Purday Charles Henry
Purdy, Elizabeth
Puzzi, Giacinta
Pyatt, Henry
Pyne, Louisa                                                        

Rafter, John and Halkett                          
Rainforth, Elizabeth
Ramsden, Archibald and Richard
Ranoe, Kate
Ransford, Edwin
Ransford, Mary
Raynham, Robert
Redeker, Auguste
Redfearn, William
Regaldi, Henry
Reichardt, Alexander
Reives, Blanche
Renwick, George
Renzi, Anna
Rice Knox, Florence
Richings, Caroline
Rieder-Schlumberger, Marie
Rigby, Vernon\
Riseam, Lizzie
Rita, Pauline
Robertson, Sophie and Fanny
Roche, Augusta
Roden, Constance
Roe, J W
Rolfe, Fourness
Romer, Emma                                                      
Roosevelt, Blanche                                              
Roselli, Alice
Rosenthal, Edmund
Ross, Agnes
Rosse, Jeannie
Rousbey, Arthur
Rovedino, Tomasso
Rowland, Fanny
Rowland, Henry
Royd, Jessie
Roze, Marie
Rubini, Fanny
Rudersdorff, Erminia                                           
Runcio, Francesco
Ryalls, William
Ryse, Ellis

Sala, Henrietta
Salvini, Arthur and Delaporte, Agnes
Samuell, Clara
Sapio, Lewis & Antonio
Sauerbrey, Louisa Jane
Saunders, Daniel and Eliza
Sauvage, James
Scasi, Annetta
Schirmer,Laura
Scott, Matilda
Scott-Fennell, Elizabeth
Scovel, Chevalier
Sedlatzek, Mary
Seguin, [Arthur] Edward and Ann                       
Severn, Marion
Seymour, Richard
Shaw, Mrs Alfred
Shaw, J A
Shrivall, R and F R
Shouubridge, James
Siedle, Philippine and Julia
Sinclair, Annie                                          
Sinico, Clarice                                                      
Smith, Alfred Montem                            
Smith, Catherine & Julia
Smith, Mrs Aveling
Smith, Mrs Sidney
Smith, Valentine
Smythe, Arabella
Snazelle, G H
Sola, Carlo Michele and Alfred
Somerville, Isabella
Spiller, Emily
Sporle, Nathan J
Squires, Henry
St Albyn, Alfred and Bella          
St Casse, Clara
St Just, Hilton and Vandalle, Louise                    
Stabbach, Georgina
Stansbury, Geo Fdk
Stanton, Charles
States, Agatha
Stedman, John
Steele, Mary
Stepan, Carl
Sterling, Antoinette
Stocken, Marie
Stott, Harriet
Street, Bertha
Stretton, George Edward Mortimer
Stuart, Lizzie
Summers, Oliver
Sunderland, Susan
Suter, Clara
Sutton, Mrs Emily
Swift, Joseph

Taccani, Elisa
Talbo, Ugo
Taylor, John Bianchi
Tedder, George
Tempest, James
Temple, Richard
Temple, Mrs
Templeton, John
Tennant, William and Harriet
Ternan, Fanny and Maria
Terrott, William                                       
Thalberg, Zare                                                      
Thillon, Anna                                                       
Thirlwall, Annie
Thorndike, Herbert
Thornton, Ann
Tilla, William H                                       
Tonnellier, Annie                                     
Topham, William
Torriani, Ostava                                       
Trafford, Anna
Traverner, G W
Travers, Tom
Tremaine, Annie (Mme Amadi)
Tremelli, Wilhelmine
Trotter, Isabella
Turner, Miss Coyte
Turner, James
Turner, James William & Charles

Urio, Michele

Vadini, Emily
Valda, Giulia
Vaneri, Pauline                                         
Van Noorden, Louisa
Van Zandt, Jennie                                    
Varley, [John] Nelson                                          
Vaughan, Thomas
Vera, Sofia
Vinning, Louisa
Vinta, Sofia
Von Hoff, Henry

Wadmore, J L
Wakefield, Mary
Walker, Helena
Wallace, Eilza
Wallworth, Thomas Adlington
Walsham, Henry and Telma, Ellen
Walton, Elisha
Walton, Lisa
Walton, Thomas
Ware, Irene
Warwick, Giulia
Watts, Megan
Weale, Isabel
Weiss, Willoughby and Georgina             
Welch, John Bacon
Wells, Jane and Mary
Wells, Mrs Thaddeus
Wells, Wallace
Wemyss, Helen and Sarah
Werrenrath, Georg
Wharton, Henri
Whiffen, Thomas
Whinery, Abbie
White, Clement
Whitehead, Daniel
Whitehouse, Henry                      
Whitham, Belina Catherine                      
Whitnall, Mary (Mrs Scarisbrick)
Whitney, Myron
Whitty, Anna
Whitworth, Henry                                               
Wigan, Julia
Wilkinson, Eleonora
Wilkinson, Ralph
Williams, Anne, Martha & Thomas
Williams, Miss E L                                              
Wilson, Hilda
Wilson, John
Wilson, Leigh
Winch, William
Winn, William
Winter, Melchor
Winterbottom, Eliza
Wood, Mrs George
Woodham, Fanny
Woodyatt, Emily
Wyndham, Fanny
Wynne, Edith

Yorke, Josephine
Young, Thomas

Zeiss, Caroline
Zimeri, Mathilde
Zuliani, Annetta


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

When is an opera not an opera?

.
Answer: when it was never intended to be.

The Faust legend has provided the material for a good number of theatrical pieces, the most successful operatic ones being, firstly, Spohr’s 1816/1851 Singspiel-opera, and then, of course, Gounod’s celebrated work. But that didn’t stop other composers having their go at the subject, from Schumann’s Szenen aus Goethe’s Faust (1853) to Berlioz’s ‘dramatic legend’ La Damnation de Faust (1846), written in something like cantata form, for four soloists and choir.
After a sticky start, the piece found regular performances, especially in England, where in the 1890s, operatic manager T H Friend got his hands on it, ‘adapted’ it for the stage, and produced and directed the result ‘for the first time on any stage’, with Barton McGuckin and Zelie de Lussan, at Liverpool. It actually wasn’t the first time, Monaco had got there first the previous year: two people had seemingly had the same idea. To turn La Damnation, a quarter of a century after its composer’s death, into something other than what it had been written to be. Was it a good idea? I went to the Deutsche Oper last night to have my mind made up for me.

Well, it didn’t take me long. I don’t think it was a good idea. The piece is not written and composed in a theatrical style, and no amount of skilled direction can make it – in spite of its subject – ‘dramatic’. It is exactly what it was written to be: a series of solos, choral pieces and interludes which suit perfectly the cantata or secular oratorio format. Berlioz did know what he was about!

However, given the inherent failings of the piece as a stage work, last night’s production did all it could to make it work. It provided some delightful visuals to go with the various movements. The first one actually came before the curtain: the overflowing orchestra pit featured four – yes four (it’s only scored for two) – harps, perched up above the glittering brass section, and serried rows of woodwind … a great sight!  Sadly, the harps were little used, but they had their moment in the apotheosis. The woodwind had an even greater moment.



I always shudder a touch when I see a choreographer billed as a director. Its usually signals a too-dancy production. Well, that was just what was needed here, and Christian Spuck provided it in silver spades, healthily aided by a really atmospheric and highly practical set. In fact, the set (designer: Emma Ryott) was one of my favourite things of the night … set, costumes and direction combined to provide a sort of masque-like accompaniment to the musical sections. Something to watch and entertain while listening to the movements of the cantata.
The fair scene, with its thronging soldiers, was a particular delight to the eye. Faust’s descent into Hell was not: it looked as if the producer had run out of money towards the end. They should have borrowed the barque from Phantom of the Opéra.



Of the four soloists, Matthew Potenzani as Faust was the standout. It helps that he’s got way the best part. He sang in the best French style .. I would have picked him as French ... lyrical and clear, lilting or dramatic. Will I ever again have a season like this one for super tenors?


Clémentine Margaine was the capable mezzo Marguerite (well, Spohr had a baritone Faust) who doesn’t even show up till half time. When she does, she has a couple of good duets: one big sing with Faust, and one with a magnificent cor anglais, played here by Iveta Hylasova Bachmannova which stole the show. ‘Hirt am Felsen’ time. Great concert piece.
Mephistopheles’ role is not very exciting, and his stand-up solo ‘Song of the Flea’ not really stand-out. Samuel Youn played him like a naughty Puck, rather than the conventional Devil, which was rather fun.
Tobias Kehrer, last week’s splendid Sarastro, sang Brander’s ’Song of the Rat’ in his big basso voice, as the only other ‘character’ of the piece.

The oratorical choruses make up a significant part of the score, and they were splendidly sung: the women’s chorale of the finale was, for me, the best number of the night. And not just because of the harps!

So production was fine, staging was fine, singing was pretty fine to very fine, orchestra (cond: Runnicles) was bulgingly fine as were the skilfully-marshalled choruses … but I came to the end of the evening (two hours ten, with NO INTERVAL) not really satisfied. In fact, a bit bored. The piece just doesn’t stand up as a theatrical whole. And would it be sacrilegious to say that the score doesn’t either?

I’m glad to have seen it, heard it (especially the cor anglais) but -- for all the trimmings -- I don’t think I’d repeat the experience.