Bust-length portrait. Dated 1910. New York and Germany, Breitkopf & Härtel. Ca. 136 x 85 mm.
Slightly worn and bumped; minor annotations in gray and blue pencil to verso.
Bispham, an American baritone, "made his operatic début in 1891 as Longueville in Messager’s La basoche at the English Opera House, where his comic acting ability and singing brought him immediate success. He sang Kurwenal (Tristan und Isolde) the following year at Drury Lane, and later sang at Covent Garden as well. He made his début at the Metropolitan Opera as Beckmesser in 1896 and remained with the company until 1903. Much in demand in England and the USA in opera and oratorio and on the recital stage for several decades, he excelled in the Wagnerian roles, of which he considered Kurwenal and Beckmesser to be his best. He sang at the première of Walter Damrosch’s The Scarlet Letter (1896, Boston), and his repertory also included Masetto, Pizarro, Escamillo, Alfio, Peter (Hänsel und Gretel), Iago, Falstaff and Urok in Paderewski’s Manru. His voice was powerful and of fine quality... Bispham was ardently in favour of using the English language in operas and songs, and to this end helped to form the Society of American Singers in 1917, which presented comic operas in English using American casts... He also developed lecture-recital programmes, in which he promoted the works of English and American composers... A highly skilled actor, Bispham appeared as Beethoven in Hugo Müller’s play Adelaide (1898) in both England and America. In his later years he developed a repertory of monologues of poetry and prose which he performed to musical accompaniment, often provided by famous groups of the day." Richard Aldrich and Dee Baily in Grove Music Online. Item #24025
Price: $75.00 other currencies