Ken Querns Langley
Like the Garcia - Marchesi tradition. That of the Lamperti is equally illustrious.
Antonio Bernacchi (1685-1756) was an Italian castrato, composer, and teacher of singing. He studied with Francesco Antonio Pistocchi. His pupils included Farinelli, for a brief period during 1727, and the tenor Anton Raaff. Nowadays Bernacchi is best remembered for his association with the composer George Frideric Handel, in six of whose operas he sang.
Francesco Lamperti (1813-1892): A native of Savona, Lamperti attended the Milan Conservatory where, beginning in 1850, he taught for a quarter of a century. He was director at the Teatro Filodrammatico in Lodi. In 1875 he left the school and began to teach as a private tutor. Among his pupils were Emma G. B. Lamperti (his son), Albani, Gottardo Aldighieri, Désirée Artôt, Sona Aslanova, David Bispham, Italo Campanini, Virgilio Collini, Franz Ferenczy, Friederike Grün, Teresa Stolz, Marie van Zandt, Maria Waldmann, and Herbert Witherspoon. His methods were very similar to older Italian methods, and he wrote a number of treatises on the subject.
Giovanni Battista Lamperti (1839-1910) was an Italian singing teacher and son of the singing teacher Francesco Lamperti. He is the author of The Technics of Bel Canto (1905) and source for Vocal Wisdom: Maxims of Giovanni Battista Lamperti (1931). G. B. Lamperti was born in 1839 in Milan to Italian singing teacher Francesco Lamperti. He was a chorister at the great cathedral and studied voice and piano at the conservatory. A student and later accompanist for his father at the conservatory, Giovanni knew better than anyone else the method his father taught (which he claimed descended from the great castrato-teacher Antonio Bernacchi). Appropriating it for teaching his own students, Giovanni also began teaching voice at the Milan conservatory and then for 20 years in Dresden, followed by Berlin. His preferred teaching arrangement was having three or four students present at each lesson: each would get their turn while the others observed and learned thereby. He was said to be a strict, exacting instructor not given to flattery, but who enthusiastically praised his students upon exceptional achievement. Many of Giovanni’s students became international opera stars including Irene Abendroth, Marcella Sembrich, Ernestine Schumann-Heink, Paul Bulss, Roberto Stagno, David Bispham and Franz Nachbaur.
Maecella Sembrich (1858-1939) was born at Wisniewczyk, in then Austrian Galicia, now part of the Ukraine. She first studied violin and piano with her father. Later, she entered the Lemberg Conservatory and studied piano with her future husband Wilhelm Stengel and violin with Sigismond Bruckmann. She entered the Vienna Conservatory in Autumn 1875. It was only then that her remarkable voice was discovered. She studied violin with Joseph Hellmesberger, Sr., piano with Julius Epstein, and voice with Viktor Rokitansky. After a year it was decided to give up study of the violin and piano and fully devote the young student to voice lessons. She arrived in Milan in September 1876 to study with one of the best vocal teachers on the continent, namely, Giovanni Battista Lamperti, son of the eminent teacher Francesco Lamperti, with whom she would later study in 1885. After less than a year of study with the younger of the
two Lampertis, Sembrich made her debut in opera at Athens as Elvira in Bellini's I Puritani on June 3, 1877. She not only sang Puritani, but also Dinorah, Lucia di Lammermoor, Robert le Diable and La Sonnambula! It is a testament to her proper early training and intelligence that a 19-year-old soprano could learn so many roles in a foreign language so quickly. In 1883, Marcella Sembrich went to the United States to sing in the newly founded Metropolitan Opera company. She made her Met debut as Lucia in the company premiere of Lucia di Lammermoor on October 24, 1883, she was also the Met's first Elvira in I Puritani, Violetta in La Traviata, Amina in La Sonnambula, Gilda in Rigoletto, Marguerite in Les Huguenots and Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia. Sembrich returned to the Met in 1898. In total, she sang more than 450 Met performances in her 11 seasons there, and remained associated with the company until 1909, when the silver jubilee of her Met debut was celebrated with a farewell gala. She gave recitals until 1917. After this date, she taught students from the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia and at the Juilliard School of Music. Her students included Alma Gluck, Hulda Lashanska, Queena Mario, Dusolina Giannini, Josephine Antoine, Natalie Bodanya, Polyna Stoska, Jane Pickens. Additionally, some of her students in turn became important vocal teachers around the country. Among them were Anna Hamlin (teacher of Judith Raskin) at Smith College, Edith Piper and Florence Page Kimball (teacher of Leontyne Price) at Juilliard, Eufemia Gregory (teacher of Anna Moffo, Judith Blegen, Georgyn Geetlein, Suan Munzer and Frank Guarrera) at the Curtis Institute.
Queena Mario née Marion Tillotson from Akron, Ohio (1896 - 19 51) studied at the request of Enrico Caruso with Oscar Saenger and Marcella Sembrich. She made her debut in 1918 with the San Carlo Opera. Antonio Scotti hired her for his company in 1921 and the following year, she landed at the Metropolitan Opera. She was the Gretel in the first MET radio broadcast in 1931. (Hansel und Gretel) Mario also sang at the San Francisco Opera. However, in 1938, her teacher Marcella Sembrich encouraged her to teach at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Her two best known pupils were Helen Jepson and Rose Bampton.
Rose Bampton (1907-2007) Ms. Bampton was a celebrated American opera singer who had an active international career during the 1930s and 1940s. She Studied at The Curtis Institute of Music under Queena Mario (a student of Sembrich), Horatio Connell (student of J. Stockhausen) and subsequently with Frances Alda (Mathilde Marchesi) and Lo0tte Lehmann. She began her professional career performing mostly minor roles from the mezzo-soprano repertoire in 1929 but later switched to singing primarily leading soprano roles in 1937 until her retirement from the opera stage in 1963. She notably had a lengthy and fruitful partnership with the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, singing there for eighteen consecutive seasons between 1932 and 1950. Her greatest successes were from the dramatic soprano repertoire, particularly in
operas by Richard Wagner. Not a stranger to the concert repertoire, Bampton was particularly known for her performances of works by Alban Berg, Arnold Schoenberg, and her friend Samuel Barber, notably having performed their compositions with the composers accompanying her in concert. After her opera career ended, Bampton embarked on a second career as a voice teacher, serving for lengthy periods on the voice faculties of Manhattan School of Music and the Juilliard School (1974–1991). She also had shorter stints on the faculties at University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Drake University and Adelphi University. She also frequently served as a vocal competition judge. At the time of her death, Bampton was a member of the boards of the Metropolitan Opera and the William Matheus Sullivan Foundation. She was also an honorary chairman of the Bagby Foundation for the Musical Arts.
Eufemia Giannini-Gregory (Mme. Gregory) was also a student of Marcella Sembrich at The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and was a respected voice teacher in her own right at the Curtis Institute of Music where her students included Frank Guarrera, Anna Moffo, and both of K E Querns Langley's teachers from 1993 to 2008: Suzan Munzer and Georgyn Geetlein.
(Pictured: Dusolina Giannini, the famed sister of Mme. Gregory)