José Mardones


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(b Fontecha, nr León, 14 Aug 1868; d Madrid, 4 May 1932). Spanish bass. He studied in Madrid, where he made his début in zarzuelas. In 1908 he joined the Lisbon S Carlos Opera and in 1909 made his North American début in Aida with the new Boston Opera. His best role in the most flourishing years of his career was Arrigo Boito's Mefistofele, which he repeated at the Metropolitan in 1920. He had become leading bass there in 1917, remaining until 1926 and singing in the first performances there of La forza del destino, Luisa Miller, Le roi de Lahore and Gaspare Spontini's La vestale. Returning to Spain, he resumed singing after an illness and made some fine recordings when nearly 60. His reputation was that of an indifferent actor with one of the most magnificent voices of the age. The voice is mightily impressive on recordings, which are also by no means wooden or characterless as interpretations.

From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Opera.

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