The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Opera

By John Warrack; Ewan West | Go to book overview

R

Raaft, Anton (b Gelsdorf, bapt. 6 May 1714; d Munich, 28 May 1797). German tenor. Studied Munich with Ferrandini, later Bologna with Bernacchi. Début Munich 1736 (in an opera by Ferrandini). Italy 1739; Bonn and Frankfurt 1742; Vienna 1749 (Metastasio commenting that he 'sang like an angel'); Italy 1752; Madrid 1755, singing for Farinelli, with whom he went to Naples 1759. Further successes there and in Florence. In 1770, he entered the service of the Elector Palatine, Carl Theodor, at Mannheim and from 1778 at Munich. In 1777 Mozart was at first dismissive of his singing and wooden acting, but later wrote (and 'tailored' for him) the aria K295 ( 1778), so impressing Raaff that he asked Carl Theodor to commission Idomeneo. Mozart, by now appreciative of the ageing tenor's still considerable artistry (though finding his style 'peculiar'), wrote the titlerole with his qualities in mind. His vocal longevity was remarkable; Kelly notes that he was still in good voice in 1787.

Rabaud, Henri (b Paris, 10 Nov. 1873; d Paris, 11 Sept. 1949). French composer and conductor. Studied Paris with Gédalge and Massenet. His first opera was a historical piece, La fille de Roland ( 1904), but his greatest success came with Mârouf, savetier du Caire ( Mârouf, the Cobbler of Cairo, 1914), an oriental comedy notable for its lightness of touch and its fine orchestration. None of his other works approached its success, though he continued to write works with an expert understanding of the stage and an indifference to fashion. Paris: O, cond. 1908-18, dir. 1914-18; dir. Cons. 1920-40.

Rachel. Élézar's daughter (sop), lover of Léopold the eponymous Jewess of Halévy La Juive.

'Rachel, quand du Seigneur'. Éléazar's (ten) aria in Act IV of Halévy La Juive, in which he struggles with his dilemma between letting Rachel die at the hands of the Christians or saving her life by telling Cardinal Brogni that she is in fact the latter's daughter.

Rachmaninov. Sergey. See RAKHMANINOV, SERGEY.

Radamès. The Captain of the Egyptian Guard (ten), lover of Aida, in Verdi Aida.

Radford, Robert (b Nottingham, 13 May 1874; d London, 3 Mar. 1933). English bass. Studied London with Randegger, Haynes, and King. Début London, CG, 1904 (Commendatore). Sang Hunding and Hagen under Richter in English Ring; subsequently sang with Beecham OC, and with London BNOC, of which he was a founder and director. Admired in Mozart and as Boris. (R) His daughter Winifred (b London, 2 Oct. 1901; d Cheltenham, 15 Apr. 1993), also his pupil, sang as a soprano at Gly. 1934-8. Intimate O 1936; dir. 1956-75. (R)

Raff, Joachim (b Lachen, 27 May 1822; d Frankfurt, 24 or 25 June 1882). German composer. Self-taught; given guidance by Liszt. He left several unproduced operas; the only two to reach the stage were König Alfred ( 1851) and Dame Kobold ( 1870), which even Liszt thought a hotch-potch.

Raimondi, Ruggero (b Bologna, 3 Oct. 1941). Italian bass. Studied Rome with Pediconi, Piervenanzi, and Ghibaudo. Début Spoleto 1964 (Colline). Rome 1964; Venice 1965-7; Gly. 1969; Milan, S, and New York, M, from 1970; London, CG, from 1972; Paris, O, from 1979. A handsome performer, particularly acclaimed for his Verdi roles, e.g. Attila, Philip; also as Almaviva (Mozart), Don Giovanni, Mosè, Boris, Don Quichotte, Don Basilio (Rossini), Méphistophélès. (R)

Raisa, Rosa (b Bialystok, 23 May 1893; d Los Angeles, 28 Sept. 1963). Polish, later US, soprano. Fled from a pogrom in Poland, settling in Naples. Studied there with Marchisio and E. Tetrazzini. Début Parma 1913 (Leonora, Oberto). Chicago 1913-14, 1916-36; London, CQ 1914, 1933; Milan, S. 1924, 1926. Also Paris, O; Buenos Aires, etc. Roles included Donna Anna, Norma, Aida, Tosca; created Asteria (boito's Nerone) and Turandot. With an opulent, well-controlled voice, statuesque beauty, and impressive acting ability, she was one of the leading singers of her time. Opened singing school in Chicago, 1937, with her husband, the baritone Giacomo Rimini ( 1887-1952); he made his Début in 1910 ( Albert, Werther), sang Falstaff

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The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Opera
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Key to Vocal Compasses x
  • Abbreviations xi
  • A 1
  • B 28
  • C 72
  • D 112
  • E 144
  • F 157
  • G 181
  • H 218
  • I 241
  • J 251
  • K 259
  • L 277
  • M 305
  • N 356
  • O 370
  • P 384
  • Q 419
  • R 421
  • S 449
  • T 505
  • U 525
  • V 529
  • W 545
  • X 563
  • Y 564
  • Z 565
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