John Forsell


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Set Svanholm (1904—1964)

Jussi Björling (1911—1960)


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(b Stockholm, 6 Nov 1868; d Stockholm, 30 May 1941). Swedish baritone. He made his début as Gioachino Rossini's Figaro at the Stockholm Opera in 1896 and sang there regularly until 1911, and as a guest until 1938. In 1909–10 he appeared with success at Covent Garden as Don Giovanni, and at the Metropolitan in numerous roles including Telramund, Amfortas, Germont, Tonio and Prince Yeletsky. He was notable, especially as Don Giovanni, not only for the beauty and skill of his singing, but for the vivacity and zest of his whole dramatic performance – qualities which were still evident as late as 1930, when his fiery and elegant Don Giovanni, in Italian at Salzburg, provided a marked contrast to the sedateness of an otherwise German-speaking cast. From 1924 to 1939 Forsell was director of the Stockholm Opera; from 1924 to 1931 he taught at the Stockholm Conservatory, where his pupils included Jussi Björling and Set Svanholm. He made numerous recordings, all in Swedish, between 1903 and 1925.

From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Opera.

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