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Adam Didur

(1874—1946)


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(b Wola Sekowa, nr Sanok, 24 Dec 1874; d Katowice, 7 Jan 1946). Polish bass. He studied in Lemberg with Valery Wysocki and in Milan with Franz Emmerich. He made his début in 1894 in Rio de Janeiro, and sang at the Warsaw Opera, 1899–1903, taking such leading roles as the title part in Mefistofele, always a favourite of his. After appearances in Spain he sang at La Scala (1904–6) and in Russia (1909). In 1905 he made his Covent Garden début as Colline in La bohème, returning in 1914 to sing Baron Archibaldo in the British première of Italo Montemezzi's L'amore dei tre re and, among other roles, Charles Gounod's Méphistophélès. Having made his American début in 1907 at the Manhattan Opera House as Alvise (La Gioconda), he joined the Metropolitan Opera, where he was engaged for 25 seasons; he made his début there in 1908 as Ramfis, and created Ashby in La fanciulla del West, the Woodcutter in Königskinder (both 1910), Talpa in Il tabarro and Simone in Gianni Schicchi (both 1918). He also sang Boris Godunov (1913), Baron Archibaldo (1915), Galitsky and Konchak in Prince Igor (1915), all American premières. He was again praised for his portrayals of Gounod's and Arrigo Boito's devils and sang such baritone roles as Tonio and Count Almaviva. From 1945 until his death in 1946 he directed the Katowice Opera. Didur's voice had a black timbre of a certain biting quality, and he was a splendid actor. On a number of early recordings the strength and character of his singing more than compensate for some technical infelicities.

From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Opera.


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