Throwback Thursday: Lauritz Melchior (#tbt)

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Throwback Thursday (#tbt) is a weekly opportunity to remember musical legends from the past that ignite our passion for opera. Every Thursday on the Operavore stream we feature a #tbt artist throughout the day. This week we throw it back to Danish tenor Lauritz Melchior. 

Melchior, known especially for his interpretation of Tristan in Tristan und Isolde, is considered one of the most significant Wagnerian tenors in history. However, he didn't always know that he had a talent for performing Wagner, or tenor roles for that matter.

At 25, Melchior made his debut performance as a baritone in Ruggero Leoncavallo's Pagliacci at the Royal Danish Opera. On the advice of a colleague he took a five year sabbatical and retrained as a tenor, debuting a second time at the Royal Danish Opera in the title role of Tannhäuser. It wasn't long after that he became a world renown figure in opera, at one point leaving Denmark for New York City's Metropolitan Opera.  

Beyond the stage, Melchior is remembered for his recordings and film career. He made a total of five films and was a regular guest on television and radio programs. Below see a video of Melchior singing "Because" composed by Guy d'Hardelot. 

 

Playlist Highlights:

Richard Wagner: Die Meistersinger Von Nurnberg

Giacomo Meyerbeer: L'Africana

Wagner: Gotterdammerung

Giuseppe Verdi: Otello

Wagner: Lohengrin