Opera Scotland

Victor Maurel Suggest updates

Born Marseilles, 17 June 1848.

Died New York, 22 October 1923.

French baritone.

Victor Maurel was never noted for the beauty of his voice nor the perfection of his technique, but he was, perhaps to an extent unusual in his day, a great singing actor. This made him the ideal choice for Verdi when he was revising Simon Boccanegra then composing Iago in Otello and the title role in Falstaff.

He studied in Paris, making his début at the Opéra in 1868 as De Nevers in Les Huguenots, This seems to have made little impression, but once his career was established elsewhere he began to return regularly until 1894. From 1868 to 1870 He spent a period touring in St Petersburg, Cairo and Venice . At La Scala in 1870 he was in the premiere of Il Guarany by Carlos Gomes, later returning to create the revised version of Simon Boccanegra (1881), then Iago (1887) and Falstaff (1893), all at Verdi’s request.

In Britain, his London debut came at Covent Garden in 1873, and he continued to visit the house from time to time until 1904. Notable roles there included the British premieres of Lohengrin and Tannhäuser, as Telramund (1875), and Wolfram (1876), and the first Covent Garden Dutchman (1877). He also visited other major British cities when the company went on tour.

His American debut, also in 1873, was at the New York Academy of Music, and he was the first Met Falstaff, singing there from 1894-99. From 1909 until his death he taught in New York. He was also an accomplished artist, designing sets for a production of Gounod's Mireille at the Met in 1919. The author of several books on singing and direction, as well as an autobiography, his recordings include, most importantly, an extract from Falstaff.

Roles in Scotland

Friedrich von Telramund Count of Brabant
Lohengrin 1875

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