René Maison


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Ramón Vinay (1912—1996)


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(b Frameries, 24 Nov 1895; d Mont d’Or, Haut Doubs, 11 July 1962). Belgian tenor. He studied in Brussels and Paris, and made his début in 1920 at Geneva, as Rodolfo (La bohème). His reputation grew with three successive seasons, beginning in 1925, at Monte Carlo, where his roles included Faust, Hoffmann and Huon in Oberon. From 1928 to 1931 he was a member of the company at Chicago, undertaking heavier roles such as Lohengrin, Florestan and Parsifal. In Paris he sang at the Opéra-Comique and at the Opéra, where in 1934 he created the role of Eumolpus in Igor Stravinsky's Perséphone. From 1934 to 1937 he was principal dramatic tenor at the Colón; he also had a career at the Metropolitan from 1935 to 1943. One of his greatest successes there was as Julien in Louise, which he also sang at Covent Garden in 1935. His only other London role was Lohengrin in 1931, when his acting and physical presence (he was 6 feet 4 inches in height) impressed, though his singing was criticized for roughness in the loud passages and ‘a rather falsetto character of voice’ in the soft (Ernest Newman in the Sunday Times). On retirement he taught in New York and Boston, his pupils including Ramón Vinay. Recordings show an expressive style and a strong voice, well heard in ‘live’ performances from the Metropolitan.

From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Opera.

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