Friday, January 14, 2011

Happy Birthday: Jean de Reszke

The Polish tenor was born on January 14, 1850. After briefly studying law, he began a serious music education in Milan. Singing first as a baritone (La Favorite, Venice, 1874) he switched to tenor repertoire (Robert le Diable, Madrid, 1879). A favorite of Queen Victoria, and often performing for galas held at Windsor Castle, he sang every season at Covent Garden from 1888 to 1900. He duplicated much of the French and German repertoire for his appearances at the Metropolitan Opera (1893-1899) mostly with friend Nellie Melba as his leading soprano. His siblings, Edouard de Reszke (bass) and Josephine de Reszke (soprano) were also opera singers. Upon retirement he began breeding racehorses in Poland as well as teaching singing lessons in Paris and Nice to such luminaries as Bidù Sayão, Maggie Teyte and Leo Slezak. [Source]

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