royal opera house

royal opera house

Baritone Dinh Gilly & Soprano Emmy Destinn ~ Uz mou milou (1914)

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Baritone Dinh Gilly (1877-1940) / Soprano Emmy Destinn (1878-1930) / Uz mou milou (The Wedding) / Czech folk song / Recorded: April 23, 1914 -- Dinh Gilly (July 19, 1877 -- May 19, 1940) was a French-Algerian operatic baritone and teacher. He studied in Toulouse, Rome and at the Paris Conservatoire, where he won a premier prix in 1902. That same year he made his debut at the Paris Opera as Silvio in Leoncavallo's Pagliacci. In 1908 he left the Paris Opera and from 1909 to 1914 he performed at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. He also sang at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and later taught in London. His students there included Dennis Noble. Gilly, a stylish and intelligent singer, made about 40 recordings. Emmy Destinn (Ema Destinnová) February 26, 1878 -- January 28, 1930) Czech operatic soprano with a strong and soaring lyric-dramatic voice. She had a career both in Europe and at the New York Metropolitan Opera. Destinn was born Emílie Pavlína Věnceslava Kittlová in Prague, in what was then the Austro-Hungarian Empire. At first Destinn devoted herself to studying the violin, and intended to shine as a virtuoso on that instrument. When she was well on in her teens, however, her voice was so rich and full that she changed her mind and determined upon an operatic career. Her voice teacher since age 13 had been Marie Maria von Dreger Loewe-Destinn, and the young singer began using her teacher's surname as a tribute. She was let go after the short engagement at the Dresden Opera and declined by Prague National Theatre in 1897. Destinn debuted on July 19, 1898 at the Berlin Court Opera as Santuzza in Cavalleria rusticana. She made such progress that the intendant of the Berlin Court Opera engaged her at once when she was brought to her notice. She was merely nineteen at the time, but her voice and her genius for acting soon won the Berlin public. Her engagement in Berlin lasted till October 27, 1909. She sang in 54 operas, including 12 premieres, the most famous of which was Salome by Richard Strauss (December 5, 1906). Her fame became international in 1901 when she was invited to sing the part of Senta in Der Fliegende Holländer at Germany's Bayreuth Festspielhaus. She returned to sing the same role the next year. Destinn made her London debut at Covent Garden's Royal Opera House on 2 May 1904, as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni. She appeared there in several operas for the next two seasons, including the London premiere of Madama Butterfly with Caruso. Her Metropolitan Opera debut came in 1908 with an acclaimed performance of Aida, after she was released from her contract with the Berlin Court Opera. Two years later at the Met, she created the role of Minnie in the premiere of Puccini's La fanciulla del West, again opposite Caruso, and under the direction of Arturo Toscanini. While she was highly successful in the lighter roles of Wagner's operas, her spinto voice—although large in size, with a ringing top register—was better suited to German music of a less declamatory type. She also excelled in the French part of Carmen, in which she was said to rival Calvé, and in the Italian roles of Aida, Madama Butterfly and Leonora (in Il trovatore). Destin's career suffered a fatal blow in World War I. She returned to her homeland after the start of the war in 1914, but her links with the patriotic Czech resistance caused her passport to be revoked. She was interned at her chateau for the remainder of the conflict. By the time that she returned to the Met in 1919, her voice had become rusty and she had been replaced in the hearts of New York audiences by a new generation of singers, though she did still continue to sing with the company until 1920. Destinn returned to Czechoslovakia, where she married Joseph Halsbach, a Czech air-force officer, in 1923. She retired from the stage in 1926 and died from a stroke in České Budějovice, Czechoslovakia. She is interred in the Vyšehrad cemetery in Prague. Destinn was a versatil...