Alfredo Kraus

Alfredo Kraus Trujillo (Spanish pronunciation: [alˈfɾeðo kɾaus tɾuˈxiʎo]; 24 November 1927 – 10 September 1999) was a distinguished Spanish tenor from the Canary islands (known professionally as Alfredo Kraus), particularly known for the artistry he brought to opera's bel canto roles.[1] He was also considered an outstanding interpreter of the title role in Massenet's opera Werther, and especially of its famous aria, "Pourquoi me réveiller?"[2]

AlfredoKraus
Alfredo Kraus as the Duke in Rigoletto at his Metropolitan Opera debut.
GC Las Palmas Memorial Tablet Alfredo Kraus R01
Memorial tablet on the birthplace of Alfredo Kraus in the Calle de Colón in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria

Early years

Kraus was born in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. His father was Austrian and his mother was Canarian. He began his musical career with piano lessons at the age of four, and he sang in the school choir by age eight. His older brother, Francisco Kraus Trujillo, a baritone, studied music and opera alongside him.

Career

After refining his technique singing Spanish zarzuela on stage in Madrid and Barcelona, Kraus made his professional opera debut in Cairo during 1956 as the Duke in Rigoletto, which became one of his signature roles. In 1958, he sang Alfredo at the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos in Lisbon in a production of La traviata with Maria Callas, a live recording of which was later released.

Kraus made his Covent Garden debut as Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor in 1959 and his La Scala debut as Elvino in La sonnambula in 1960. He made his American debut with Lyric Opera of Chicago in 1962, and his Metropolitan Opera debut in 1966 in Rigoletto, the role of his last performance there in 1994.

In subsequent decades, Kraus extended his repertoire to include more Italian operas such as Lucrezia Borgia, La fille du régiment, Linda di Chamounix, Don Pasquale and La favorita by Donizetti; and French operas such as Roméo et Juliette, Les contes d'Hoffmann, Faust and Lakmé, while continuing to sing his hallmark roles of Werther and of Des Grieux in Manon. He also recorded a number of rarely performed French operas including La jolie fille de Perth and Les pêcheurs de perles, both by Georges Bizet, and La muette de Portici by Daniel Auber. He also performed in some very well known works, such as Don Giovanni and Faust.

Kraus came to be virtually synonymous with such lyric tenor roles as Werther, Faust, Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni), Nemorino, and Arturo. He was also known for his performances of Spanish music, notably many classics from the zarzuela repertoire, which he continued to perform live on stage in Spain until the end of his career, and many of which he recorded complete for EMI Spain as well as for his own label, Carillon.

Technique

Thanks to his superlative technique and careful husbanding of his vocal resources, Kraus sang onstage until his early 70s. He studied voice technique in Milan with Mercedes Llopart.

Kraus was also noted for extremely refined musicianship, accompanied by a seemingly effortless high register. As a result, many opera connoisseurs consider him to be one of the best tenors of the end of the 20th century. He was admired for his cultivated musical education and his complete respect for his chosen profession. His first priority was the integrity of his artistic interpretation of a piece, rather than his formidable range and excellent technique.

He performed all over the world, including the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Teatro Municipal in Caracas, Teatro Municipal in Santiago, Chile, Teatro Municipal in Rio de Janeiro, and the Liceu in Barcelona.

In 1991, Kraus was awarded the Prince of Asturias Award. In 1997, his home city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria opened The Alfredo Kraus Auditorium in his honor.

Later years

The loss of his wife in 1997 affected Kraus so deeply that he stopped performing for eight months. A proud and strong-willed man, he eventually returned to the stage and to teaching. He said, "I don't have the will for singing but I must do it, because, in a sense, it is a sign that I have overcome the tragedy. Singing is a form of admitting that I'm alive."

Kraus died on 10 September 1999 in Madrid, at the age of 71, after a long illness.

Gallery

Alfredo Kraus auditorium D81 5089 (25727538068)

Alfredo Kraus auditorium

Alfredo Kraus auditorium D81 5108 (38889644124)

Alfredo Kraus auditorium

Alfredo Kraus auditorium EM1B8988 (25727372108)

Alfredo Kraus auditorium

Alfredo Kraus D81 5092 (39597907491)

Statue of Alfredo Kraus outside the auditorium

References

  1. ^ Kozinn, Allan (September 11, 1999). "Obituary: Alfredo Kraus". The New York Times.
  2. ^ Matheopoulos, Helena (1989). Bravo – The World's Great Male Singers Discuss Their Roles. Victor Gollancz Ltd. pp. 111–116.

External links

1992 Summer Olympics opening ceremony

The opening ceremony of the 1992 Summer Olympics took place in the evening on Saturday 25 July in the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys, Barcelona, Spain. As mandated by the Olympic Charter, the proceedings combined the formal and ceremonial opening of this international sporting event, including welcoming speeches, hoisting of the flags and the parade of athletes, with an artistic spectacle to showcase the host nation’s culture and history.

Greek mezzo-soprano, Agnes Baltsa, sang "Romiossini" as the Olympic flag was taken around the stadium. Alfredo Kraus later sang the Olympic Hymn in both Catalan and Spanish as the flag was hoisted. The Olympic flame cauldron was lit by a flaming arrow, shot by Paralympic archer Antonio Rebollo. The arrow had been lit by the flame of the Olympic Torch. Rebollo overshot the cauldron as this was the original design of the lighting scheme.There were two main musical themes for the 1992 Games. One was "Barcelona", composed five years earlier by Freddie Mercury and sung as a duet with Montserrat Caballé. Due to Mercury's death eight months earlier, the duo was unable to perform the song during the opening ceremony. A recording of the song instead played over a travelogue of the city at the start of the opening ceremony.

Alfredo

Alfredo is a cognate of the Germanic name Alfred and a common Italian, Galician, Portuguese and Spanish language personal name that may refer to:

Aldo Sambrell, a European actor also known as Alfredo Sanchez Brell

Alfredo Armas Alfonzo (1921–1990), Venezuelan writer

Alfredo Alonso, Cuban-born media executive with Clear Channel Radio

Alfredo Azancot (1872-?), Chilean-based Portuguese architect

Alfredo Baldomir (1884–1948), President of Uruguay, soldier and architect

Alfredo Baquerizo (1859–1951), President of Ecuador

Alfredo Binda (1902–1986), Italian world champion cyclist

Alfredo Bryce (born 1939), Peruvian writer

Alfredo Casella (1883–1947), Italian composer, pianist and conductor

Alfredo Casero (born 1962), Argentine musician, actor and comedian

Alfredo Catalani (1854–1893), Italian operatic composer

Alfredo Cristiani (born 1947), President of El Salvador (1989-1994)

Alfredo Di Stéfano (1926–2014), Argentine footballer and coach

Alfredo Gonzalez (disambiguation)

Alfredo Jahn (1867–1940), Venezuelan civil engineer, botanist and geographer

Alfredo Kraus (1927–1999), Spanish operatic tenor

Alfredo Lucero (born 1979), Argentine cyclist

Alfred Molina (born 1953), English-American actor born Alfredo Molina

Alfredo Mostarda Filho (born 1946), Brazilian footballer

Alfredo Ovando Candía (1918–1982), Bolivian president and dictator and general

Al Pacino (born 1940), American actor

Alfredo Palacio (born 1939), President of Ecuador (2005–2007)

Alfredo Palacios (1880–1965), Argentine politician

Alfredo Pérez (boxer) (born 1952), Venezuelan retired boxer

Alfredo Ramos (1924–2012), Brazilian footballer

Alfredo Oscar Saint-Jean (1926–1987), Argentine Army major general and politician, President of Argentina in 1982

Alfredo dos Santos (1920–1997), Brazilian footballer

Alfredo Shahanga (born 1965), Tanzanian retired long-distance runner

Alfredo Stroessner (1912–2006), President of Paraguay (1954-1989) and general

Alfredo Torero (1930–2004), Peruvian anthropologist

Alfredo Toro Hardy (born 1950), Venezuelan author, diplomat and public intellectual

Alfredo Zayas y Alfonso (1861–1934), Cuban lawyer, poet and President of Cuba (1921-1925)

Alfredo Kraus discography

This is a list of recordings by the Spanish tenor Alfredo Kraus.

Braulio García

Braulio Antonio García Bautista (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈbɾauljo ɣaɾˈθi.a]; born 1946 in Santa María de Guía de Gran Canaria, Canary Islands), better known as Braulio, is a Spanish singer-songwriter.

He began his career in 1971, debuting in a local festival with a song called "Mi amigo el pastor". He represented Spain in the Eurovision Song Contest 1976 with the song "Sobran las palabras" ("Words are unnecessary"). He placed 16th in a field of 18. Over the years he also participated in some other song festivals: three times at the Benidorm International Song Festival (1973, 1975 and 1981); at the Viña del Mar International Song Festival in 1979, where he got the main prize; or at the Yamaha Music Festival in 1982.

In 1979, the Viña del Mar-winning song "A tu regreso a casa" became his breakthrough to become a star in the Latin music scene. During the 1970s he recorded albums that were mostly released in Spain. After signing up with CBS, Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Braulio recorded his first major album, entitled En la Carcel de Tu Piel, followed by Lo Bello y lo Prohibido, which peaked at number-one in the Billboard Latin Pop Albums chart, received a Grammy nomination for Best Latin Pop Performance and yielded the single "En Bancarrota", a number-one single for six weeks at the Hot Latin Tracks chart.Braulio has written songs for Alfredo Kraus, Añoranza, Cheo Feliciano, Dyango, Garoé, José José, José Vélez, Lissette, Los Gofiones, Los Granjeros, Los Sabandeños, Lourdes Robles, Manoella Torres, Massiel, Mestisay, Tony Vega, and Yolandita Monge.

El día que me quieras (song)

El día que me quieras (English: The day that you love me) is a tango with music by Carlos Gardel and lyrics by Alfredo Le Pera. Originally featured in the 1935 film of the same name, sung by Gardel himself, it became a heavily recorded tango standard, even by artists outside of the realm of tango. It has subsequently been covered by various artists such as Luis Miguel, Julio Iglesias, Michael Bolton Roberto Carlos and Raphael de España. The song was inducted into the Latin Grammy Hall of Fame in 2001. It was among the tango standards selected by Plácido Domingo for his 1981 album Plácido Domingo Sings Tangos. In addition to Domingo, the song has been covered by operatic tenors including José Carreras, Juan Diego Florez, Christian Ketter, and Alfredo Kraus.

Laura Polverelli

Laura Polverelli (born 1967) is an Italian operatic mezzo-soprano who has sung leading roles in the opera houses of Europe and North America and has recorded on the Decca, Naïve, and Opera Rara labels amongst others.

Polverelli was born in Siena where she received her initial training under Anastasia Tomaszewski Schepis and went on to further training with Carlo Bergonzi and Alfredo Kraus at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana followed by two years with Rita Hirner-Lill at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich. She made her debut at the Teatro Comunale in Treviso as Alisa in Lucia di Lammermoor. After winning second prize in the 1993 Neue Stimmen (New Voices) competition, she began an international career, appearing in Germany, France, Austria and Italy. She made her North American debut in 1996 at Seattle Opera in the title role of Rossini's La Cenerentola. Later that year she sang the title role in Cesti's L'Argia in its first performance in modern times.

Lucia Aliberti

Lucia Aliberti (born 12 June 1957 in Messina) is a Sicilian soprano opera singer. She performed the bel canto roles of Bellini, Rossini, Donizetti, Verdi, Puccini, Vivaldi, Mercadante, etc.

A dramatic soprano, Aliberti was awarded a diploma with full marks from the Conservatory while still very young. She then completed her studies in Rome with Maestro Luigi Ricci and continued the study with Alfredo Kraus. Musician and composer, while studying singing, she was also studying the piano and other musical instruments (guitar, accordion, violin, mandolin). She has composed many pieces for piano, clarinet, flute and singing.

Lucia di Lammermoor discography

This is a partial discography of Lucia di Lammermoor, an opera by Gaetano Donizetti. It premiered on September 26, 1835 at the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples.

Lucrezia Borgia (opera)

Lucrezia Borgia is a melodramatic opera in a prologue and two acts by Gaetano Donizetti. Felice Romani wrote the Italian libretto after the play Lucrezia Borgia by Victor Hugo, in its turn after the legend of Lucrezia Borgia. Lucrezia Borgia was first performed on 26 December 1833 at La Scala, Milan.

No estás solo

"No estás solo" (Spanish pronunciation: [no esˈtas ˈsolo], "You Aren't Alone") was the Spanish entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 1987, performed in Spanish by Patricia Kraus, the daughter of Spanish tenor Alfredo Kraus.

The song was composed by Rafael Martínez and Rafael Trabucchelli; the latter had written the runner up song in the Eurovision Song Contest 1971, "En un mundo nuevo". The lyrics were by Kraus herself.

The song is a soothing ode to friendship in which Kraus sings to an unnamed loved one: "Hear me, you're not alone/Hear me, you are loved". Kraus also recorded an English language version of the song, entitled "With Love".

The song was performed eighth on the night, following Portugal's Nevada with "Neste barco à vela" and preceding Turkey's Seyyal Taner & Locomotif with "Şarkım Sevgi Üstüne". At the close of voting, it had received 10 points, placing 19th in a field of 22.

It was succeeded as Spanish representative at the 1988 Contest by La Década Prodigiosa with "La chica que yo quiero (Made in Spain)".

No puede ser

"No puede ser" (It cannot be) is an aria sung by Leandro (tenor) in the second act of the zarzuela, La tabernera del puerto, composed by Pablo Sorozábal to a libretto by Federico Romero and Guillermo Fernández-Shaw. La tabernera del puerto premiered in Barcelona in 1936. One of the most famous arias in the Spanish language, No puede ser has been part of the concert repertoire of many Spanish tenors, including Alfredo Kraus, José Carreras and Plácido Domingo who sang it in the 1990 Three Tenors concert.

Opéra de Marseille

L’Opéra de Marseille, known today as the Opéra Municipal, is an opera company located in Marseille, France. In 1685, the city was the second in France after Bordeaux to have an opera house which was erected on a tennis court.

However, the first real theatre, the Grand-Théâtre or Salle Bauveau was constructed in 1787. During its period of great opulence following the Revolution, it was the site of many major opera presentations, including Verdi’s Rigoletto and Il Trovatore in 1860 and performances in 1866 of Lucia di Lammermoor and Il Barbiere di Siviglia by the famous soprano, Adelina Patti. Also, French premieres of major operatic works were given in the theatre: these include Aida (1877), La Fanciulla del West (1912), and an historic performance by Dame Nellie Melba in Ambroise Thomas’ Hamlet in 1890. Some years following the installation of electricity, in November 1919 a fire destroyed the 18th century theatre, leaving only its shell and an exterior stone colonnade.

The present day opera house, the Opéra Municipal de Marseille, dates from its opening on 4 December 1924. It seats 1,800. It features a classic urn-shaped auditorium, three rings of boxes, two balconies and a gallery. A large sculpted frieze by sculptor Antoine Bourdelle frames the stage.

Designed by the three architects Ebrard, Castel, and Raymond, the theatre preserved the stone colonnade and, located the surviving original box office in the centre of the entrance hall, up from which led two staircases to the elegant main foyer. Beauvert describes it as "an Art Deco temple", the "soul mate" of the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris.

Many well-known contemporary singers made their French debuts in this opera house. Among them are Alfredo Kraus, Plácido Domingo, and Renata Scotto. The house has a reputation for its very critical audience, especially those members seated in the top gallery, "the gods". Past music directors of the company have included János Fürst.After World War II the Marseille opera house staged Sigurd by Ernest Reyer in 1963 and 1995.

Patricia Kraus

Patricia Kraus (Spanish pronunciation: [paˈtɾiθja kɾaus]; born 4 January 1964, Milan, Italy) is a Spanish singer, best known for her participation in the 1987 Eurovision Song Contest.

Kraus, daughter of Spanish tenor Alfredo Kraus, was born in Milan, where her father was based at the time. As a youngster she trained as a classical vocalist, but later opted for pop-rock music in preference.

In 1987, Kraus was chosen internally by TVE as the Spanish representative for that year's Eurovision Song Contest with the song "No estás solo" ("You're Not Alone"). It was not seen by commentators as a Eurovision-friendly song, and at the 1987 Eurovision, held on 9 May in Brussels, could only place 19th out of the 22 entries. The performance is nowadays remembered more for the strange heavy make-up Kraus wore than for the song itself.Kraus released her first self-titled album shortly after her Eurovision appearance. Further albums followed, including two of experimental electronica in collaboration with Daniel Assante, which were critically well-received although modest sellers. In 1999 she formed the group Waxbeat with Juan Belda and Juan Gómez Acebo, and two albums were released. In 2006, she took part as a singing trainer in the television series Operación Triunfo, and released a solo album, Alma, in 2007. Kraus, along with Assante and Italian musicians Enrico Barbaro and Gherardo Catanzaro, is currently working under the name of Vintage Club Band.

Philadelphia Lyric Opera Company

The Philadelphia Lyric Opera Company was an American opera company located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that was active between 1958 and 1974. The company was led by a number of Artistic Directors during its history, beginning with Aurelio Fabiani. Other notable Artistic Directors include Julius Rudel and Anton Guadagno (1966–1972). The company produced between four and six of their own operas every year in addition to sponsoring numerous traveling productions from the New York City Opera. In 1975 the company merged with the Philadelphia Grand Opera Company but retained its original name. With the combined resources of both companies, the Philadelphia Lyric Opera Company began producing higher quality productions with name artists such as Luciano Pavarotti, Joan Sutherland, Roberta Peters, Montserrat Caballé, and others. For the bicentennial year 1976, the company commissioned famed opera composer Gian Carlo Menotti to create a new opera. The work, The Hero, premiered on June 1, 1976. In 1980, the company artistically reorganized to form the Opera Company of Philadelphia.The company's first production, Giacomo Puccini's La bohème, was held on February 10, 1958 at the Academy of Music. The production starred Elaine Malbin as Mimì and John Alexander as Rodolfo. Although the company performed works from a variety of composers and musical periods, for the most part the company concentrated on Italian grand opera and verismo opera; particularly operas by Giuseppe Verdi and Puccini. The company notably presented the United States premiere of Renzo Rossellini's Uno sguardo dal ponte on October 17, 1967 with Nicola Rossi-Lemeni as Eddie Carbone and Gloria Lane as Beatrice.Many notable singers performed leading roles with the company including Luigi Alva, Carlo Bergonzi, Grace Bumbry, Montserrat Caballé, José Carreras, Elisabeth Carron, Richard Cassilly, Franco Corelli, Phyllis Curtin, Plácido Domingo, Simon Estes, Eileen Farrell, Mirella Freni, Nicolai Gedda, Peter Glossop, Marilyn Horne, Alfredo Kraus, James King, Albert Lance, Leon Lishner, Catherine Malfitano, Robert Merrill, Sherrill Milnes, Anna Moffo, Birgit Nilsson, Luciano Pavarotti, Roberta Peters, Leontyne Price, Louis Quilico, Samuel Ramey, Judith Raskin, Regina Resnik, Seymour Schwartzman, Renata Scotto, Cesare Siepi, Beverly Sills, Eleanor Steber, John Stewart, Joan Sutherland, Renata Tebaldi, Richard Tucker, Theodor Uppman, Cesare Valletti, Shirley Verrett, Camilla Williams, and Frances Yeend to name just a few. The final opera performance by the company was held on November 22, 1974. Another staging of La bohème, it starred Jean Fenn as Mimì and Luciano Rampaso as Rodolfo.

Rigoletto discography

This is a list of recordings of Rigoletto, an opera by Giuseppe Verdi with an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave based on the play Le roi s'amuse by Victor Hugo. It was first performed at La Fenice in Venice on 11 March 1851.

Squillo

Squillo is a technical term for the resonant, trumpet-like sound in the voices of opera singers. It is also commonly called "singer's formant", "ring", "ping", "core", and other terms. Squillo enables an essentially lyric tone to be heard over thick orchestrations, e.g. in late Verdi, Puccini and Strauss operas. Achieving a proper amount of squillo in any performing context is imperative: too much and the tone veers towards the shrill; too little and the purpose of the squillo cannot be achieved.Squillo is easily recognizable by a distinctive brilliant, ringing quality in the timbre of the voice. This perception is caused by the presence of a peak in the 2 - 5 kHz frequency range, to which the human ear is particularly sensitive. The amplification of these particular harmonics is believed to be a result of a narrowing of the Aryepiglottic fold just above the larynx. Voices with naturally acquired squillo, i.e. having naturally strong higher formants, are especially prized in opera because they allow a singer to maintain certain lyric qualities e.g. limpid high notes, and consistency of tone throughout the range etc. even in dramatic singing. Voices with squillo are also easier to record.Uses of the squillo includes:

projecting a small timbre e.g. Alfredo Kraus, Juan Diego Flórez

underscoring a dramatically important passage e.g. No, non voglio morir in Sola, perduta abbandonata from Puccini's Manon Lescaut

singing through a thickly textured orchestration, e.g. the final bars of Libera me from Verdi's Requiem, in which a soprano has to compete against a tutti orchestra and full chorus

supporting a pianissimo note floated over an orchestra (which also demands a secure breath control) e.g. Montserrat Caballé

supporting a long trill

simulating a scream without compromising the timbre, especially in a verismic opera; however it is not unheard that a bona fide scream be used in operatic setting, e.g. Tosca's final jump in Tosca

giving an impression of 'youth' to an aged voice, mainly via a cultivation of the head register, ref. Section IX Meine Gesangskunst, by Lilli Lehmann; best exemplified vocally by Mirella FreniFamous singers who personify this technique include Leontyne Price, Mariella Devia, Renata Tebaldi, Giuseppe di Stefano, Jussi Björling and Luciano Pavarotti. Certain dramatic singers may also employ squillo as opposed to volume over the course of a performance, for example Birgit Nilsson.

Squillo may also refer, in current Italian:

when the grammatical gender is masculine (uno squillo) word for "ring" (as in "telephone ring"), currently a slang term for missed call

to form a verb a word "squillare" which means "to ring" or "to blare"

Tre giorni son che Nina

"Tre giorni son che Nina in letto senesta" (often called "Nina" or the "Siciliana") is an 18th Century song traditionally attributed to Pergolesi, but now more often to Vincenzo Legrenzo Ciampi (1719–1762). The song was one of the "Arie antiche" favourites of 19th Century salons associated with Alessandro Parisotti, and in the 20th Century was recorded by Enrico Caruso, Richard Tucker as well as more recently, attributed to Ciampi, by Alfredo Kraus and Ramon Vargas. The attribution to Pergolesi may have come from the mistaken assumption that the song is based on an aria sung about Nina in Pergolesi's Lo frate 'nnamorato.

Uno sguardo dal ponte

Uno sguardo dal ponte is an opera in two acts by composer Renzo Rossellini. The work uses an Italian language libretto by Gerardo Guerrieri which is based on Arthur Miller's play A View from the Bridge. The opera premiered at the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma on March 11, 1961 using a staging by Franco Rossellini, the composer's son. The premiere cast included Clara Petrella, Gianna Galli, Alfredo Kraus, Giuseppe Valdengo, and Nicola Rossi-Lemeni. The Philadelphia Lyric Opera Company presented the United States premiere of the opera on October 17, 1967 with Rossi-Lemeni as Eddie Carbone and Gloria Lane as Beatrice.

Ymarxa

Ymarxa is an orchestral piece of classical music by the Spanish composer and pianist Gustavo Díaz-Jerez. Ymarxa is a guanche word meaning 'new', 'brilliant', 'splendid'. It also referred to a place in Tenerife in what today is La Esperanza forest. Together with Ayssuragan, Aranfaybo, Chigaday, Azaenegue, Erbane and Guanapay, Ymarxa is part of a cycle of seven orchestral works inspired in different places of each of the Canary Islands. Ymarxa was commissioned by the XXVII Festival de Música de Canarias and given its first performance on February 12, 2011 at the Alfredo Kraus Auditorium in Gran Canaria by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under maestro Charles Dutoit. It was well received by audience and critics alike. Ymarxa is a one-movement work lasting about 20 minutes, merging elements from spectralism and algorithmic procedures.

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