Alfredo Kraus

Alfredo Kraus

Birth
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Provincia de Las Palmas, Islas Canarias, Spain
Death 10 Sep 1999 (aged 71)
Boadilla del Monte, Provincia de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Burial Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Provincia de Las Palmas, Islas Canarias, Spain
Memorial ID 59410121 · View Source
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Opera Singer. A lyric tenor of the type called in Italian "tenore de grazia" ("tenor of grace"), he had a career of more than four decades in the world's leading venues. Born to wealth and position in a mixed Austrian and Spanish family, he studied piano from age four and, accompanied by his older brother, began vocal lessons at eight under tutelage of Maria Suarez Fiol. Choosing to divide his time between music and his family business, he made his operatic bow at the rather late age of 29 as the Duke in a 1956 Cairo performance of Giuseppe Verdi's "Rigoletto". Kraus joined Maria Callas in 1958 for a much-praised Lisbon production of Verdi's "La Traviata" that has been preserved, made his Covent Garden, London, debut in 1959 as the rather sad Edgardo Ravenswood of Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor", and was first heard at La Scala Milano in 1960 as Elvino in Vincenzo Bellini's "La Sonnambula". His American bow came in 1962 at Lyric Opera of Chicago as the Duke, then he used the same role in 1966 as the vehicle for his first appearance at New York's Metropolitan Opera. Aware that his vocal strength was that of a lyric tenor, and freed by his wealth from the necessity of overusing his voice, Kraus limited his singing to around 50 performances per year of his favorite operatic parts and of the Spanish Zarzuela of which he was his generation's foremost exponent. In addition to those mentioned above, his noted roles included two of Massenet's characters, the title lead of "Werther" and the Chevalier des Grieux from "Manon". He also earned much praise as Charles Gounod's "Faust", as Arturo from Bellini's "I Puritani", and as Tonio in Donizetti's tenor show-off piece "The Daughter of the Regiment". Possessed of a superb technique that he was able to impart to others, Kraus was gradually to add teaching and master classes to his performing; he left the Metropolitan in 1994 and temporarily retired following his wife's 1997 death. Returning within a few months, he did not stop singing until his terminal illness. He died of pancreatic carcinoma leaving a massive recorded legacy. In November 2009 he was reburied in his native Canary Islands, beneath a monument inscribed "Be silent, here lies a tenor".

Bio by: Bob Hufford


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Akaymu
  • Added: 29 Sep 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 59410121
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Alfredo Kraus (24 Nov 1927–10 Sep 1999), Find A Grave Memorial no. 59410121, citing Cementerio de Vegueta, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Provincia de Las Palmas, Islas Canarias, Spain ; Maintained by Find A Grave .