May 17, 2003
BIRTHDAY - SINGER
*Bacquier, Gabriel (b) Fr. b Beziers, May 17, 1924. He studied with the
National Academy of Music. He sang at Nice,(1950); Brussels (1953-6);
Paris (1956); Aix-en-Provence, Don Giovanni. From 1963, he sang
regularly at the Vienna Staatsoper, CG, and Scala.
MET: Début Oct. 17, 1964 [High Priest] Samson et Dalila, 13 seasons (1964-
72, 1974-75, 1977-79, 1981-83) 123 perf. 15 roles, 12 works.
Franklin, David (bs) (1906-1973) Eng. b. London, May 17, 1908; d.
Worchester, Oct. 22, 1973: Studied in Vienna. Début, Gly. 1936, and sang
there until 1939. CG, 1947-50. Retired in 1951.
Leisinger, Elisabeth (s) (1864-1974) Gr. b. May 17, 1864; d. Oct. 16,
1974. Début: Paris Opéra [Marguerite] Faust (Sep. 7, 1887).
Lorenz, Max (t) (1901-1975) Gr. (73) b. Düsseldorf, May 17, 1901; d.
Vienna, Jan. 12, 1975: Studied in Berlin, and he became a principal tenor
at Dresden (1928). From 1933, he was at the Berlin Staatsoper. Bayreuth
from 1933, and again in 1952, Covent Garden (1934 & 37) and in many other
houses in Europe and the USA. For almost three decades he was a prominent
Wagnerian tenor. Late in his career he sang a number of smaller and less
characteristic roles. MET: Début: Nov. 12, 1931 [Walther] Die
Meistersinger von Nürnberg, 5 seasons (1931-32, 33-34, 47-50) 53 perf. 11
*Nilsson, Birgit (s) Swed. b. West Karup, Swenen, May 17, 1918; Entered
the Stockholm Academy at age twenty-four (1941). Her début came shortly
after she joined the Swedish Opera School [Agathe] Der Freischütz (1946).
Nilsson sang [Lady Macbeth] with the Royal Opera in Stockholm (1947).
Reportedly, when preparing her taxes Miss Nilsson was asked if she had any
dependents. "Yes," she said, "Rudolf Bing." She retired from opera in 1984.
MET: Début: Dec. 18, 1959 [Isolde] Tristan und Isolde, 20 seasons (1959-
75, 79-82, 83-84) 222 perf., 16 roles, 14 works..
Oestvig, Karl Åagard (t) (1889-1968) Norwegian. b. Oslo, May 17, 1889;
d. July 1968: Created [Giovanni] Mona Lisa by Schillings (Stuttgart,
1915), and the Emperor in Die Frau ohne Schatten (Vienna, 1919. Retired
in 1932. .
Ohms, Elisabeth (s) (1888-1974) Dutch. (86) b. Arnhem, Netherlands, May
17, 1888; d. Marquardstein, Dec. 1974: She made her first appearance at
Mannheim and then went on to Munich, and there she remained until 1939.
Her career was relatively short. She sang at La Scala, CG, and the Met.
MET: Début: Jan. 17, 1930 [Brünnhilde] Götterdämmerung, 3 seasons (1929-
32) 8 roles, 9 works.
*Milanov, Zinka [Born Zinka Kunç in Zagreb] (s) (1906-1989) Croatian. b.
Zagreb, May 17, 1906; d. Manhattan, May 30, 1989: Made her debut at
Zagreb. [Leonora] Il Trovatore (1927). While performing at Zagreb and
Liubiana, she sang all her roles in Croatian. She also sang at Dresden
and Prague, and Vienna. She changed her name to Milanov when she sang at
the Met. Her brother was the pianist and composer Bozidar Kunc.
MET: Début: Dec. 17, 1937 [Leonora] Il Trovatore, 25 seasons (1937-41,
42-47, 50-66) 447 perf., 14 works.
Milanov chose as her best recording: The complete Il Trovatore, for RCA,
w/Björling and Warren
BIRTHDAY - COMPOSER
Satie, Erik (Alfred-Leslie) (com/opera) (1866-1925) Fr. b. Honfleur, May
17, 1866; d. Paris, July 1, 1925: Opera: "Geneviève de Brabant"
(marionette opera 1899); "Le Piège de Méduse" (lyric comedy (1913).
BIRTHDAY - CONDUCTOR
Bolton, Ivor (con/opera) Eng. b. May 17, 1958; Studied at Clare College
and the Royal College of Music, followed by a year at the National Opera
Studio. Ivor Bolton is established as one of Britain's most active and
versatile conductors, both in opera and concert.
Cleva, Fausto (con/opera) (1902-1971) It. / U.S. b. Trieste, May 17,
1902; d. Athens, Aug. 6, 1971: Died at the podium of the 1800-year-old
Herod Atticus Theater while conducting an open-air performance of Gluck’s
MET: Dec. 4, 1938, Rhapsody in Blue, 25 seasons (1938-42, 50-71) 958
perf., 33 works.
Egk, (real name Mayer) Werner (con/com/opera) (1901-1983) Gr. b.
Auchsesheim, nr Donauwörth, May 17 1901; d. Munich, July 10, 1983; The
apparent favor he enjoyed during the Nazi reign, made it necessary for him
to stand trial before the Allied Committee for the de-Nazification
proceedings (1947); the committee absolved him of political taint.
Opera: “Die Verlobung in San Domingo” (Munich, 1963).
Met. Ugo Benelli (t) It. Mozart: [Basilio] Le Nozze di Figaro (1986).
Her Majesty's Theatre, London: Emma Nevada (s) (1859-1940) U.S. Bellini:
[Amina] La Sonnambula (1880).
Paris: Opéra-Comique. Emma Nevada (s) (1859-1940) U.S. David: [Zora] Perle
du Brésil (1883).
Melbourne: 1st public appearance as a singer; Nellie Melba (s) (1861-
1931) Ausy. (1884).
Balfe: "Diadeste, or The Vieled Lady" in English, London (1838).
Deshevov: "Ice and Steel" Leningrad (1930).
Graffigna: "Il Barbiere di Siviglia" Padua (1879).
Hoiby: "Something new for the Zoo" (1982).
Mascagni: "Cavalleria Rusticana" w/husband & wife; Gemma Bellincioni (s)
(1864-1950) It. [Santuza]; Roberto Stagno (t) (1836-1897) It. [Turiddu];
ANSWER TO YESTERDAY’S QUESTION
Who is one of the virgins in the Temple of Esus?
ANSWER: In Bellini’s opera Norma, Adalgisa, is a virgin of the temple of