Lauritz Melchior as Parsifal

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Lauritz Melchior's Repertoire

"Under construction...indefinitely"

This is not a discography, but an ongoing investigation into the works Lauritz Melchior performed on stage in opera and concert (movies here). While it is likely that almost all of the recordings Lauritz Melchior made for record companies are drawn from material that he sang or would sing on a stage, these recordings draw from only a selection of Melchior's total repertoire.

For information about recordings, the bibliography here includes published discographies (which are all both out of print & incomplete it should be noted). For information on a selection of Melchior's more notable studio recordings and the recorded live broadcasts in which he is featured click here

This page, as it develops, will provide a guide to the material Lauritz Melchior is documented to have sung in his public appearances as the data are uncovered. The sources are programs and reviews. The information has not been evenly recovered: the smaller operatic roles Melchior sang before 1921 and his repertoire for non-US recitals remain particularly obscure areas.

The organization of the page is as follows:


Stage Repertoire

I.   Opera:

Leading Tenor Roles, 1918-1950
*Secondary Tenor and Baritone/Bass Roles 1913-192_

II. Light Opera/Operetta/Musical Theater

Danish
American

Concert and Recital Repertoire: (A definition: concerts consisted of operatic excerpts performed with an orchestra, sometimes followed by songs to a piano accompaniment; recitals consisted of operatic excerpts and songs performed to a piano accompaniment, in some circumstances to orchestral accompaniment)

I. Operatic Excerpts (tenor; not currently known to be from stage roles)

II. Operetta/Musical Theatre Excerpts

III. Song
(organized by country of origin;
Melchior's career encompassed a significant number of concert/recital appearances and tours of Denmark (1910s-1930s), England (early 1920s), Germany (1920s) and the United States (1920s-1950s). Scandinavian songs and German lieder comprise the bulk of the songs.  The more "popular" material ("parlor songs," operetta, comedy songs) made appearances at the beginning and end of Melchior's career, and during those situations in which the tenor found himself singing to an audience through mass media. Melchior's appearances on vaudeville and nightclub stages in the 1950s represented more a change in venue than a change in repertoire.) 

Scandinavian (Many of the composers of these songs were active during the years Melchior was living in Denmark (1910s))
English
German
American
Other (none of the above-currently Russian)

IV. Orchestral Works (i.e. oratorio, symphony)

V. Songs from Movie Roles Sung in Concert   (all 1945 and after)


There are some wholescale omissions. Brief mention might be made on the presence of other material in Melchior's repertoire: religious favorites such as "Silent Night" (which he sang on US Radio at Christmastime), as well as the patriotic songs from various countries, that provided the appropriate fervency or reverence at ceremonial functions and "war bond" rallies. These anthems include standards such as the "Star Spangled Banner" or "America the Beautiful", the "Battle Hymn of the Republic," various Danish patriotic songs not limited to Krøyer's "Der er et yndigt Land," and even the Finnish "Suomi" occasioned by the Red Army's occupation of Finland, not to mention now little-remembered World War II rousers, for example, Frank Loesser's "Ballad of Rodger Young" or Martha Wellington's "On to Victory." These songs do not appear in the charts unless they were part of a concert or recital.

This repertoire also omits songs that Melchior "sang" strictly as a joke, i.e., "Dinah" on the Dinah Shore (Radio) Show, or "Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better" on the Ed Sullivan TV Show with Annie Get Your Gun star Ethel Merman. Information about Melchior's appearances on radio and TV can be found in the 1940s and 1950s sections of the chronology.


I. Opera-leading tenor roles



German
ROLE OPERA COMPOSER Inclusive dates and theatres/theatre of debut
Florestan Fidelio BEETHOVEN 1933-1943, Teatro Colón (debut), Covent Garden, San Francisco
Tannhäuser Tannhäuser [German, Danish] WAGNER  
1918-1948, debut at Det kgl. Teater, Copenhagen
Siegmund Die Walküre 1924-1949; debut at Covent Garden
Parsifal Parsifal 1924-1948; debut at Bayreuther Festspiele
Siegfried Siegfried 1925-1948; debut at Magdeburg
Siegfried Götterdämmerung 1927-1948; debut at Bayreuther Festspiele
Lohengrin Lohengrin 1928-1950; debut at Hamburg Staatsoper
Tristan Tristan und Isolde 1929-1950; debut at Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona
Italian
Pagliacci Der Bajazzo [Danish, German] LEONCAVALLO 1919-1930; Det Kgl Teater, Copenhagen (debut), Nuremburg, Hamburg Staatsoper, Berlin Staatsoper,
Turridu Cavelleria Rusticana [German]
MASCAGNI 1924-1927; Nuremburg (debut), Stettin, Hamburg Staatsoper
Radames Aida [German, ?Danish?] VERDI
1928(?)-1930;  Hamburg Staatsoper [Bremen, Hannover], Berlin Staatsoper
Otello Otello [German, Italian] 1928-1939; Hamburg Staatsoper (debut) [Bremerhaven], Berlin Staatoper, Paris Opéra, Covent Garden, San Francisco  
French
Samson Samson & Delilah [Danish] SAINT-SAËNS 1919-1920; Det kgl. Teater, Copenhagen (debut)

John of Leyden Der Prophet [German] MEYERBEER 1928-1930; Hamburg Staatsoper (debut), Berlin Städtische

(Did Lauritz Melchior perform Cavaradossi in Finland in 1920?)

I. Opera-secondary tenor roles, baritone, bass roles (all in Danish, for Royal Danish Opera)

COMPOSER Opera Role Inclusive dates and theatres notes
LEONCAVALLO Pagliacci
Silvio 1913-1919 "Role of professional debut" usu. cast w/baritone
ENNA Komedianten Barkilpedro 1920[Creator] bit part
------
Gloria Arsena Louvet 1917[Creator] bit part
STRAUSS, R.
Der Rosenkavalier Faninal -1919 minor role; usu. cast w/baritone


There are other stage roles that Lauritz Melchior and other authors allege that this author has no personally researched information about. The following is an accounting of these roles, in no particular order. They will be entered into the above chart when the author has more information about the performances of these roles.  The list is more likely to be incomplete than inaccurate. All of the roles were performed for the Royal Danish Opera in Danish, unless marked otherwise:

Role
Opera
Composer/Librettist
Anton Schnappauf, friend of hero, buffo bass  Der Evangelimann Kienzl
Lorenzo (tenor role: lyric or buffo) 
La Muette de Portici Auber
Ottokar (baritone, father of the heroine)
Freischuetz Weber
Arvid Bengtsen Drot og Marsk 
Heise
Brander (buffo bass) La Damnation de Faust (note: not an opera) Berlioz
the elderly suitor, Baron de Merlussac (baritone)
Roi l'a dit Delibes
Ibn Hakia, the doctor who restores the heroine's eyesight (baritone)
Iolanta Tchaikovsky
Jew (comic role) Salome R. Strauss
"Minstrel" (opera about Wieland the Smith)
Vølund Smed Henriques/Drachmann
Fritz Kothner (bass)
Meistersinger von Nurnburg
Wagner
"Grail Knight" Parsifal --
Heinrich der Schreiber (baritone) Tannhäuser --
Morales (baritone)
Carmen
Bizet
Germont père*(baritone, for Danish touring company only); Baron Douphol
La Traviata
Verdi
Antonio* (school performance) (buffo bass)
Nozze di Figaro
Mozart
Conte di Luna* (Danish touring company)
Il Trovatore Verdi



II. Operetta/Musical Comedy

COMPOSER Title of Composition Role Dates and Locations
comments
HARTMANN Liden Kirsten Sverkel KT 1920/1921
Sverkel is the leading tenor part; the work is also sometimes classified as an opera
HEIBERG
En Sondag på Amager
Peer, a man of  Amager
KT (bef. 1918)
a bit part; possibly involving quartet singing
COMPOSER Title of Composition Role Dates and Locations
comments
LOMBARDO Arabian Nights The Sultan 1954-1955; Amphitheatre, Jones Beach, New York 3 solos 

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Concert and Recital Repertoire

   

I. Concert Repertoire, Operatic Excerpts (tenor)

COMPOSER Opera Role
Aria(s)
Language Time & Locations
NOTES
BECHGAARD Frode Erik
"Erik's Aria" Danish all  
BØRRESEN Kaddara

 

Ujarak
"Ujarak's Udfart"
Danish all  
ENNA <unknown opera> <unknown>
<unknown title>
Danish early 1920s  Possibly from a stage role 
GIORDANO Fedora Loris Ipanoff
"Amor ti vieta" Italian 1930s-US  
LANGE-MÜLLER Fru Jeanna
<unknown>
<unknown>



MEYERBEER L'Africaine Vasco da Gama
"O Paradis" German throughout career, 1920s  
PUCCINI     Tosca Cavaradossi
"Recondita Armonia"; "E lucevan le Stelle" Italian, Danish Early 1920s and late 1940s, Early 1920s
Melchior may have sung Cavaradossi in 1920-he learned the role in any case-circumstances under investigation.
La Boheme Rodolfo
"Che Gelida Manina", "O Mimi, tu più non torni" (Rodolfo-Marcello duet)   1920s

 
Turandot Calaf
"Nessun Dorma" German
1920s-Germany  
VERDI Il Trovatore Manrico
final scene and Manrico's farewell ("Miserere") English? Early 1920s  
von FLOTOW Martha Lionel
"M'Appari"
Italian, English Associated with MGM movie This Time for Keeps   
WAGNER/Wagner     Der Fliegende Holländer Steersman
"Steersman's song" German since late 1910s   
Rienzi Rienzi
"Allmacht'ger Vater"
German
 
Die Meistersinger von Nuremburg Walther von Stolzing
"Am Stillen Herd"; "Prize Song"; "Abendlich glühend"  German   Melchior claimed to have studied the role of Walther before making his 1926 US debut, but seems to have never sung the role on stage; however, excerpts of the role played a happy part of his concert repertoire; some excerpts ("Abendlich glühend", the Quintet) he may have performed only for records.

  





























II. Operetta/Musical Theater Excerpts
COMPOSER Work Songs
Language Time & Locations
NOTES
KERN Music in the Air "The Song is You" English   Lawrence Tibbett was one of if not the first to record this
LEHAR Der Land des Lachelns "You are my heart alone [aka 'Dein ist mein ganzes herz']" English late 1940s and 1950s US Richard Tauber
RODGERS South Pacific "Some Enchanted Evening"; "Younger than Springtime" English late 1940s and 1950s US Ezio Pinza
ROMBERG The Student Prince "Deep in my Heart"; "Golden Days";  "Serenade" English late 1940s and 1950s US Bavarian-themed and one of the few operettas whose popularity survived WWII
STRAUSS, J.  Der Zigueunerbaron "Wer uns getraut" German 1930s Concert; Melchior and Lehmann sang this operetta duet as one of their encores in joint recital.
YOUMANS Great Day! "Without a Song" English   Popular quasi-Spiritual which had most recently been popularized by Frank Sinatra, the favorite singer of young America

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III. Songs
 


Scandinavia

COMPOSER Title of Composition Date of composition/Musical Period/Language comments
ALNÆS "Februarmoren ved Golfen" Danish  
ANDERSEN  "Flyver så mange Fugle," Danish  
"Nu brister i alle de Kløfter" Danish  
BACKER-LUNDE "Stig Sol"    
BONNéN/Knudsen "Der Freden drog over Lande"
Danish 1919
GRIEG/(1)H.C. Andersen /(2) Ibsen  /(3)Munch  /(4) Krag
 /(5)Paulsen /(6) Benzon


(1) "Jag Elsker Dig" Norwegian, Danish, Danish/English
 
(2) "En Svane" Norwegian  
"A Dream" Norwegian  
(3) "Solnedgang" Norwegian  
"Jaegerlied"    
(4) "Der Skreg en Fugl"    
(1) "Vandring i Skoven"    
(5) "Med en Primulaveris"    
(6) "Eros"       
(2)"Med en Vandlilje"    
(5) "Til Norge"    
(3) "Udfarten"    
"Ved Moders Grav"


"To the Fatherland"

US; occupation of Norway
HALLEN "Junker Nils Sjunger til Lutan" (aka "A Queen and Her Knight") Swedish  
HANNIKAINEN  "Coulds't thou Know"    
"Stille Mit Hjerte, Stille" (aka "Quiet my heart"    
HARTMANN/Winther   "Flyv, Fugl, Flyv" Danish  
HEISE         "Skovensomhed," Danish  
"Vaagn af din Slummer;" Danish  
"Jonfru du maa ikke Sove," Danish  
"Den var Engang"(??) Danish  
"Dengang jeg var kun saa stor som saa" Danish  
"Husker du i Høst ("Lille Karen")" Danish  
"Vildt flyver Høg," Danish  
"Regnen, den regner hver evige Dag" Danish  
HENNEBERG "Flyg mina Tankar" (aka "Fly, my thoughts") Swedish  
HENRIQUES   "Foraarssang" ("Spring Song") Danish  
"Våren er Kom met" Danish  
JAERNEFELT "Dreamer's Song to Life" Finnish
 
JORDAN    "Drick" Norwegian  
"Flyvende Ørn" Norwegian  
"Hører Du" Norwegian  
KILPINEN/Morgenstern "Evening"    
KÖRLING "Hvita Rosor" Swedish  
LEMBCKE "Majsang"    
LANGE-MÜLLER/Heine     "Die heiligen drei Koenige"                       Danish  
"Den var engang" aka "Serenade of the Renaissance" (aka Serenade from "Renaissance")
Danish  
"I Würzburg ringe die Klokker til Fest" Danish  
"Skin ud du klare Solskin" Danish  
"Kornmodsglansen" Danish  
MERIKANTO, Oskar/(1)Knape  (1)"Hell dig, Lif"                  Swedish  
"Skogduvors Toner" aka "Dove's Voices, Voices of the Wood Doves""
Finnish  
MISKOW/Drachmann
"Den Spillemand spapped Foilen fra Vaeg"
Danish

NIELSEN, Carl/Jørgensen "Sænk kun dit hoved, du blomst" Danish  
PARDJAERVE (spelling?)
     
RUNG/Andersen "Hvor Nilen vander" Danish  
RYGAARD
Danish patriotic songs (WWI)
SIBELIUS "Svarta Rosor" (Schwartzen Rosen; Black Roses) Swedish  
SJÖBERG "Tonerna" Swedish, German  
von Klenau "To My Bride" Danish
 
WENNERBERG GLUNTARNE song cycle Swedish  
WEYSE "Song of Hroar's Saga"    
? (composer not known)
"Den Store, Hvide Flok"    


United Kingdom

COMPOSER Title of Composition comments
BEIGEL "Veilchenduft" song by singing teacher Victor Beigel, early US concert
BRIDGE/(1) M. Coleridge (1)"Love went a-riding"
"Isobel"
CLARK
"Robert Comings"  spelling? a "Boosey Ballad"?
CLARKE "The Blind Ploughman" Radio concert in England during first few months of regular radio broadcasting
COLERIDGE-TAYLOR
"Life and Death"
US radio 1940s
CRAXTON "Come you, Mary" Craxton was accompanist for some early UK recitals
D'HARDELOT
"Sometimes in my Dreams" Radio concert in England during first few months of regular radio broadcasting
"Because"
US late 1940s-1950s
GEEHL
"For You Alone"
Voice of Firestone US TV program
IRELAND/Masefield (1) (1)"Sea Fever"
1920s
"I have twelve oxen" ditto
JAMES "The Sun God" 1920s US recitals
LIDDLE "Oreward"
 probably a "Boosey ballad"
PEEL "Come, Friend" a "Boosey ballad" probably- a few early UK performances (Queens Hall, London)
QUILTER/Shelley "Love's Philosophy" 1940s US
SULLIVAN
"The Lost Chord"
1940s US, poss. radio only

Germany

COMPOSER Title of Composition comments
BACH/GOUNOD
"Ave Maria"
in Latin. US, late 1940s and 1950s
BÖHM "Still wie die Nacht"  
BRAHMS/(1)Liliiencron (2)Daumer  (1) "Auf dem Kirchhofe"  
(2) "Botschaft"  
HILDACH "Der Lenz"
JENSEN/Chamisso Dolorosa
[attempted recording for Brunswick (USA) in 1927]
SCHUBERT                  

"Der Wanderer an den Mond"  
"An die Musik"  
"Am Meer"  
"Der Atlas"  
"Döppelgänger"  
"Ständchen"  
"Dem Unendlichen"  
"Die Allmacht"  
"Erlkönig" Possibly only in US, late 1940s
"Vandring in Skoven"
Jägersang
SCHUMANN               "Die Beiden Grenadiere"  
"Liebhabers Ständchen" possibly a reviewer's mixing up with "Unter'm Fenster"??
 "Er und Sie"  USA; w/Lotte Lehmann
"Ich Denke Dein"  see above
"Unter'm Fenster"  see above
"Familiengemälde"  see above
"So wahr die Sonne"  see above
"Ich Grolle Nicht" [Dichterliebe]  
STRAUSS, R.      "Traume durch die Dämmerung"  
"Zueignung"  
"Heimliche Aufforderung"  
"Ständchen"  
"Cäcilie"  
TRUNK    "Mir Traumte von Einem Koningskind" Trunk was one of Melchior's recital accompanists ca. 1923-1924
"In Meiner Heimat" see above
"Erster Strahl (aka "First Ray") see above
"Als ob ein Toter im Grab" recorded; not certain if performed in concert
WAGNER/Wiesendonk  "Träume"  
"Schmerzen"  
WEINGARTNER/Lenau "Liebesfeier" (aka "Love's Festival")  
WOLF/Heyse   "Er ist's"  
"Ein Ständchen Euch zu Bringen" [Italienisches Liederbuch]
 
"Gesegnet Sei"[Italienisches Liederbuch]
 
"Schön Strecht Ich Aus im Bett" [Italienisches Liederbuch]
 
<traditional> "Minneleid"  

 
United States

COMPOSER/Librettist Title of Composition Comments
BARTLETT "A Dream" US Radio broadcast
BRANSEN   "There Shall Be Music"  
"Music of the Spring"  
DUNGAN "Eternal Life" possibly "Voice of Firestone" TV program only?
GRIFFES/(1)Lenau /(2)Geibel (1)"By a Lonely Forest Pathway ("Auf geheimem Waldespfade")"  
(2) "Time Was When I in Anguish Lay ("Wohl Lag' Ich Einst In Gram Und Schmerz")  
HAGEMANN /(2)Tagore "Christ went up into the hills"  
(2)"Do Not Go, My Love"  
LA FORGE "Into the Light"  
O'HARA "The Song's The Thing" 1950s
NEVIN
"The Rosary"

ROBINSON "The House I Live in" WWII era plea for/tribute to American  tolerance ("all races, all religions, that's America to me") popularized by bobby-soxer idol Sinatra; possibly on the radio only
ROGERS "The Star"  
SAXE "Russian Thanksgiving"  

Other

COMPOSER/Librettist Title of Composition Comments
RACHMANINOV   "O Cease thy Singing, Maiden Fair" [English] [attempted recording, Brunswick (USA) 1927]
"Floods of Spring" [English] US
TSCHAIKOWSKY "None but the lonely heart" [English] possibly on US TV Show "Voice of Firestone" only (1950s)


IV. Orchestral works

COMPOSER/Librettist Title of Composition Comments
ANDERSEN/S. Andersen
[cantata] 1920 [premiere]
SZYMANOWSKI/Rumi 3rd Symphony
"Song of the Night" (version without chorus)
1926-Carnegie Hall [NY Premiere], language not noted

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V. Songs from movies transferred to concert stage

Movie Composer Song Comments
Thrill of A Romance

 Trad. arr. STOLL
"Vive l'Amour"
used for "audience participation"
HUBAY arr STOLL
"Lonely Night"

HERBERT
"I Want What I Want When I Want It"

Two Sisters
from Boston
LISZT arr. C. PREVIN "My Country"  

This Time For Keeps

ANDERSEN
"Danish Children's Song" Danish
BIZET
"Agnus Dei"
Latin
Luxury Liner
DE CURTIS "Torna i Sorriento" (aka "Come Back to Sorrento") Italian
SPIELMANN "Spring Came Back to Vienna"
A waltz meant to evoke optimism for postwar Europe's rebuilding


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Would you please help make this website as complete-and accurate-as possible a resource?

I am avidly seeking information to use on this site, in ANY language. Please also contact me if you ever saw-heard Lauritz Melchior in person!

THANK YOU SO MUCH!


Information to share? Questions? Suggestions? Write me at ringedwithfire@heroictenor.com using Melchior's name in the subject line of the email
Copyright © 2005, 2006, 2007 Victoria Boutilier, All Rights Reserved
Last updated December 28, 2007