- Also check our best rated Biography reviews
Tristanissimo: Authorized Biography of Heroic Tenor Lauritz Melchior Hardcover – 1 Jun 1990
Customers who bought this item also bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Throughout his 24-year tenure at the Metropolitan Opera, Lauritz Melchior reigned supreme as the heroic tenor of his time. He was acclaimed by many critics as the last great "Heldentenor" and his performances in "Tristan und Isolde", "Siegfried", "Goetterdaemmerung" "Lohengrin", "Tannhauser" and "Parsifal" remain well-known. His portrayal of Isolde's beloved inspired Toscanini's appellation "Tristanissimo". He later became a popular star, appearing on the Fred Allen show and starring in several movies. The author had access to unpublished papers and interviewed dozens of his friends and colleagues.
Top Customer Reviews
Lauritz Lebrecht Hommel Melchior was born in Copenhagen on 20 March 1890, coincidentally the same day as Beniamino Gigli was born. From initially singing as a boy soprano in church, Melchior went on to train at the Royal Opera School in his native city, making his debut as Silvio in Pagliacci at the Royal Danish Opera in 1913. However, the American mezzo-contralto, Mme Charles Cahier (Sarah Jane Lyston Walker, 1870-1951) heard Melchior in Il Travatore and was first to realise his potential as a tenor and even wrote to the Royal Opera requesting that he be given time and opportunity to discover his true voice.
The period of 1917-18 when the singer studied with Vilhelm Herold can be seen, in retrospect, as a crucial period in his life. Even so, despite singing the title role in Tannhauser in 1918 he was subsequently given the roles as Canio and as Samson. Melchior travelled to England, was heard by Marconi who invited him to take part in the first international radio transmission. This led to a meeting with the novelist, Hugh Walpole, who encouraged and financed his studies, culminating in lessons with the dramatic soprano, Anna Bahr-Mildenburg.
Melchior was invited to sing the roles of Siegmund and Parsifal at Bayreuth in 1924 and, soon after, appeared in the former role at Covent Garden.Read more ›
Most strongly recommended book about perhaps the greatest Wagner tenors of all time.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
It turns out that, along with having the voice of an electified deity, Lauritz Melchior was a human being. Emmons' masterful biography reveals all of his faults in a way that; while never excusing or forgiving them; manages to still love the man who was THE tenor of Wagner operas and love him for being that man and not because he was an unparalleled possessor of a superhuman voice.
Tristanissimo is masterfully written and has the reader feeling floods of emotions whether celebrating the subject's triumphs or wanting to strike him with a cast iron skillet for his failures. I recommend it to all fans of Wagner, opera, and Melchior.