Ticho Parly

Last updated

Ticho Parly (né Frederick Christiansen) (16 July 1928 – 21 June 1993) was a Danish-born Heldentenor who sang leading roles in most of the major opera houses of Europe as well as the United States, including the Metropolitan Opera, where he debuted in 1966 as Tristan opposite Birgit Nilsson in Tristan und Isolde . [1]

Metropolitan Opera opera company in Manhattan, New York City

The Metropolitan Opera is an opera company based in New York City, resident at the Metropolitan Opera House at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. The company is operated by the non-profit Metropolitan Opera Association, with Peter Gelb as general manager. As of 2018, the company's current music director is Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

Birgit Nilsson Swedish opera singer

Märta Birgit Nilsson was a celebrated Swedish dramatic soprano. Although she sang a wide repertory of operatic and vocal works, Nilsson was best known for her performances in the operas of Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss. Her voice was noted for its overwhelming force, bountiful reserves of power, and the gleaming brilliance and clarity in the upper register.

<i>Tristan und Isolde</i> opera by Richard Wagner

Tristan und Isolde is an opera, or music drama, in three acts by Richard Wagner to a German libretto by the composer, based largely on the 12th-century romance Tristan by Gottfried von Strassburg. It was composed between 1857 and 1859 and premiered at the Königliches Hof- und Nationaltheater in Munich on 10 June 1865 with Hans von Bülow conducting. Wagner referred to the work not as an opera, but called it "eine Handlung", which was the equivalent of the term used by the Spanish playwright Calderón for his dramas.



Parly was born in Copenhagen on 16 July 1928. He began singing as a treble in his homeland, and grew into a bass-baritone. After studying in Denmark, France, Italy and Switzerland, as well as Indiana University, he went to New Orleans, where he resided from 1957 to 1960. In the Crescent City, he studied with Charles Paddock (also the teacher of Thaïs St Julien, Anthony Laciura and Greer Grimsley) who "insisted" he become a tenor. In 1958 he made his operatic debut with the New Orleans Opera Association, in the secondary role of Pong in the local premiere of Turandot, conducted by Renato Cellini. The next year, he sang Flavio in Norma, as well as in Eine Nacht in Venedig, this last for The Experimental Opera Theatre of America.

Copenhagen Capital of Denmark

Copenhagen is the capital and most populous city of Denmark. As of July 2018, the city has a population of 777,218. It forms the core of the wider urban area of Copenhagen and the Copenhagen metropolitan area. Copenhagen is situated on the eastern coast of the island of Zealand; another small portion of the city is located on Amager, and is separated from Malmö, Sweden, by the strait of Øresund. The Øresund Bridge connects the two cities by rail and road.

A boy soprano or boy treble is a young male singer with an unchanged voice in the soprano range, a range that is often still called the treble voice range when talking about children.

Indiana University university system, Indiana, U.S.

Indiana University (IU) is a multi-campus public university system in the state of Indiana, United States. Indiana University has a combined student body of more than 110,000 students, which includes approximately 46,000 students enrolled at the Indiana University Bloomington campus.

Within a few months, however, Parly was starring in Continental theatres, including Aachen where he sang Radamès in Aïda. In the next few seasons, he would become acclaimed as one of the world's leading Heldentenors, appearing at Brussels (Les contes d'Hoffmann staged by Maurice Béjart, 1961), Wuppertal (as Mephisto in Busoni's Doktor Faust and in Peter Grimes, 1962), Lisbon (the Kaiser in Die Frau ohne Schatten, 1962; and Herodes in Salome, 1975), Kassel (Die Frau ohne Schatten and Siegfried, 1962; and Tannhäuser conducted by Christoph von Dohnányi, 1964), Amsterdam (Doktor Faust, 1962; and as Prince Chouïsky in Boris Godunov, 1989), and Vienna (Ariadne auf Naxos, 1965; Der fliegende Holländer, 1967; and Einem's Der Besuch der alten Dame, 1973).

Maurice Béjart French-born Swiss ballet dancer and choreographer

Maurice Béjart was a French-born dancer, choreographer and opera director who ran the Béjart Ballet Lausanne in Switzerland. He was awarded Swiss citizenship posthumously.

Christoph von Dohnányi is a German conductor.

In the summer of 1963, the Heldentenor made his debut at the Bayreuth Festival as Kunz Vogelgesang in Wieland Wagner's new production of Die Meistersinger, with Anja Silja as Eva. In 1966 Parly returned to the Green Hill for the leading role of Siegmund in Die Walküre and, two years later, portrayed Siegfried in Siegfried (which he also sang at the Salzburg Festival, under Herbert von Karajan) and Götterdämmerung. These were his last appearances at Bayreuth.

Bayreuth Festival music festival

The Bayreuth Festival is a music festival held annually in Bayreuth, Germany, at which performances of operas by the 19th-century German composer Richard Wagner are presented. Wagner himself conceived and promoted the idea of a special festival to showcase his own works, in particular his monumental cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen and Parsifal.

Wieland Wagner was a German opera director.

Anja Silja Operatic soprano

Anja Silja Regina Langwagen is a German soprano who is known for her great abilities as a singing-actress and for the vastness of her repertoire.

For the San Francisco Opera, he was seen in Die Frau ohne Schatten, in 1960. In his native Copenhagen, Parly sang in Fidelio (as Florestan, 1963), Der fliegende Holländer (as Erik, 1963), Tannhäuser (1964), Elektra (as Ägisth, 1966) and Boris Godunov (directed by Harry Kupfer, 1988).

San Francisco Opera opera company based in San Francisco, United States, performing in the War Memorial Opera House

San Francisco Opera (SFO) is an American opera company, based in San Francisco, California.

Harry Kupfer is a German opera director and academic. A long-time director at the Komische Oper Berlin, he has worked at major opera houses and at festivals internationally. Trained by Walter Felsenstein, he has worked in the tradition of realistic directing. At the Bayreuth Festival, he staged Wagner's Der fliegende Holländer in 1978, and Der Ring des Nibelungen in 1988. At the Salzburg Festival, he directed the premiere of Penderecki's Die schwarze Maske in 1986, and Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss in 2014.

In 1965 Parly returned to New Orleans, for Tannhäuser, in Tito Capobianco's production. The same year found him in Mexico City for the same opera, now with Montserrat Caballé. In 1966, he recorded a disc of Wagnerian excerpts for Deutsche Grammophon conducted by Peter Maag (published on Compact Disc in 2017, with previously-unpublished recordings of excerpts from Fidelio and Der Freischütz), and made his Covent Garden debut in Siegfried (with Hans Hotter and Sir Georg Solti) and returned for Tristan in Tristan und Isolde in 1973. In 1966, he performed in Fidelio at the Teatro Colón; the next year he sang Tristan there.

Tito Capobianco Argentine opera director and impresario

Tito Capobianco was an Argentine American stage director of opera.

Montserrat Caballé Spanish operatic soprano

María de Montserrat Viviana Concepción Caballé i FolchOIC OAXS OMFRG LH OMIR was a Spanish operatic soprano. She sang a wide variety of roles, but is best known as an exponent of the works of Verdi and of the bel canto repertoire, notably the works of Rossini, Bellini, and Donizetti. She was noticed internationally when she stepped in for a performance of Donizetti's Lucrezia Borgia at Carnegie Hall in 1965, and then appeared at leading opera houses. Her voice was described as pure but powerful, with superb control of vocal shadings and exquisite pianissimo.

Deutsche Grammophon record label

Deutsche Grammophon (DGG) is a German classical music record label that was the precursor of the corporation PolyGram. Headquarted in Berlin Friedrichshain, it is now part of Universal Music Group (UMG) since its merger with the UMG family of labels in 1999. It is the oldest surviving established record company.

In the summer of 1968 he made his debut at Bayerische Staatsoper in Tristan und Isolde, but the conductor, Joseph Keilberth, died conducting the second act and the performance was cancelled.

On 3 April 1966 Ticho Parly's wife Azilda gave birth to a daughter, Tina. In November the same year, he made his first appearance at the Metropolitan Opera, as Tristan opposite the Isolde of Birgit Nilsson. Two years later he sang there in Der fliegende Holländer (with Cornell MacNeil) and Elektra (with Nilsson and Jean Madeira). In 1967, Parly made his debut at the Teatro alla Scala in Salome, followed by Tannhäuser (1967), and returned to the "holy of holies" in 1971 for the Tambourmajor in Berg's masterpiece, Wozzeck, conducted by Claudio Abbado.

In 1967 he also appeared at the Paris Opéra as Tannhäuser, and the next year as Siegmund. In 1970 he sang in concert performances of the first and third acts of Parsifal in Washington DC and New York City, with the Washington National Symphony. In 1971, he was in Der Besuch der alten Dame with Astrid Varnay, at Zurich. The same year the tenor sang Siegfried at the Scottish Opera, following that with Peter Grimes in 1973. Returning to the States in 1974, he portrayed Loge in Das Rheingold at the San Diego Opera conducted by Walter Herbert. Over the next few summers, he sang the same part for the Seattle Opera's production of Der Ring des Nibelungen. In 1981 he sang Loge at the Cincinnati Opera, and the following year was found singing Herodes in Salome there, with Marisa Galvany in her first assumption of the title role. The year 1983 had him in Siegfried again, for the Boston Lyric Opera.

As late as 1988, the artist appeared in Denmark in the eponymous role of Otello. In his later years, Ticho Parly taught voice in Seattle, where he died on 21 June 1993, at the age of 64. The following 7 July, in a sad coincidence, Parly's daughter, Tina, died in a rafting accident on the Yuba River in Northern California. At the time of his death, Parly was married to his second wife, the soprano Patricia Schlosstein.

Related Research Articles

Leonie Rysanek singer

Leopoldine "Leonie" Rysanek was an Austrian dramatic soprano.

René Kollo German opera singer

René Kollo is a German tenor, especially known for his Wagnerian parts. In addition to Heldentenor roles, he performed in a wide variety of operas and operettas during his career. Kollo also made several operatic recordings.

Gwyneth Jones (soprano) Welsh operatic soprano

Dame Gwyneth Jones, is a Welsh operatic dramatic soprano.

Helga Dernesch is an Austrian soprano and mezzo-soprano. Her career has taken her through four successive phases: from mezzo-soprano to lyric soprano to dramatic soprano, and after about 1980 back to mezzo again. "Her voice had great richness and power, and her strikingly handsome stage appearance and intense acting made her a compelling performer."

Wolfgang Windgassen was a heldentenor internationally known for his performances in Wagner operas.

Günther Treptow German opera singer

Günther Treptow was a German operatic tenor, best known for Wagner roles.

Bernd Aldenhoff Wagnerian opera singer

Bernd Aldenhoff was a German Heldentenor.

Janice Baird is an American dramatic soprano, best known for her interpretation of Wagner and Strauss. Baird was born in New York City.

A dramatic soprano is a type of operatic soprano with a powerful, rich, emotive voice that can sing over, or cut through, a full orchestra. Thicker vocal folds in dramatic voices usually (but not always) mean less agility than lighter voices but a sustained, fuller sound. Usually this voice has a lower tessitura than other sopranos, and a darker timbre. They are often used for heroic, often long-suffering, tragic women of opera. Dramatic sopranos have a range from approximately low A (A3) to "high C" (C6). Some dramatic sopranos, known as Wagnerian sopranos, have an exceptionally big voice that can assert itself over a large orchestra (of more than 80 or even 100 pieces). These voices are substantial, often denser in tone, extremely powerful and, ideally, evenly balanced throughout the vocal registers. Wagnerian sopranos usually play mythic heroines. Successful Wagnerian sopranos are rare and often Wagnerian roles are performed by Italianate dramatic sopranos.

Susan Owen singer

Susan Owen is an American operatic soprano. Born in Salisbury, North Carolina, she earned a Bachelor of Music degree from East Carolina University in 1980 and a Master of Music degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 1983. In 1990 she won the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. From 1995-1999 she was a member of the Staatstheater Kassel, Intendant Michael Leinert. From 1999 - 2002 she was a member of the Staatstheater Darmstadt with Mark Albrecht.

Robert Dean Smith is an American operatic tenor.

Gary Lakes is an American opera heldentenor.

Wolfgang Neumann is an Austrian internationally known operatic heldentenor, who specialized in the operas of Richard Wagner.

Gladys Kuchta was an American operatic soprano who sang leading roles in opera houses worldwide including the Vienna State Opera, Royal Opera House, Bayreuth Festival, San Francisco Opera, and the Teatro Colón.

Ursula Schröder-Feinen was a German operatic soprano who performed at the Metropolitan Opera and the Bayreuth Festival.

Gerd Brenneis was a German operatic tenor who had an active international career from the late 1950s through the 1990s. Known for his interpretations of the works of Richard Wagner, he worked as a principal artist at many of the world's great opera houses, including the Deutsche Oper Berlin, La Scala, the Metropolitan Opera, and the Vienna State Opera.

Ronald Hamilton is an American tenor who was born in Hamilton, Ohio, to a musical family. He began studying medicine first, but then opted for singing.

Marianne Schech German singer and opera singer

Marianne Schech was a German operatic soprano and academic who appeared internationally. She was a member of the Bavarian State Opera from 1946 to 1970. She is known for leading roles in works by Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss, playing, for example, the Dyer's Wife in the U.S. premiere of Die Frau ohne Schatten by Richard Strauss at the San Francisco Opera in 1959. She made several recordings, including in 1951 the role of Elisabeth in Wagner's Tannhäuser, conducted by Robert Heger, in 1960 the role of Chrysothemis in Elektra by Richard Strauss, conducted by Karl Böhm, and Senta in Wagner's Der fliegende Holländer, conducted by Franz Konwitschny.

Robert Schunk is a German operatic tenor who appeared in leading roles such as Florestan in Fidelio, Siegmund in Wagner's Die Walküre and the Emperor in Die Frau ohne Schatten by Richard Strauss, at international opera houses and festivals.


  1. Bargreen (1 July 1993 )