Opera Scotland

Philip Brozel Suggest updates

Feodor Brozel.

Born St Petersburg, c1866.

Died Twickenham, 23 December 1927.

Russian, naturalised British, tenor.

Philip Brozel enjoyed a lengthy and versatile operatic career both in Britain and on the continent. He left Russia to avoid the anti-Jewish pogroms of the 1880s. After a period of working in the east end of London, he was able to gain financial support for study at the Royal Academy of Music from 1890. In 1894 he auditioned for Sir Augustus Harris, and made his Covent Garden debut shortly afterwards, as Canio, soon after the British premiere of Pagliacci, in a cast which included Melba as Nedda. Within months, his repertoire expanded in range from Don Ottavio to Siegfried, and included the premiere of Cowen's Harold. When he left Harris's management, he joined Carl Rosa, where he sang parts including Faust, Don José, Roméo, Tannhäuser, and Tristan. He created the title role in MacCunn's Diarmid in 1897.

In 1900 he joined a company for an American tour, making his Met debut as Tannhäuser. In 1902 he appeared at Bayreuth (as the Steersman in Holländer and an Esquire in Parsifal). After a season with Moody-Manners, he returned to the continent, staying for the next four years, working for extended periods in Munich and Mainz, and also singing at Prague, Frankfurt, Berlin, Budapest, Vienna and other major centres. As well as the leading Wagner and Verdi roles, he also sang Eléazar in La Juive and Herod in early performances of Salome.

In 1908 he returned to Britain, spending two seasons on tour with Moody-Manners, with a repertoire including Lohengrin, Walther, Tristan, Radamès, Manrico, Eléazar. and Samson, as well as Canio. After he left that company in 1910 he worked briefly for Beecham, most notably as Herod in a couple of performances during the first run of Salome at Covent Garden. After that, his appearances diminished, perhaps because the voice had deteriorated following so many Wagner performances. He turned to teaching, which he continued until his death.

Source: Charles A Hooey - MusicWeb International.

Roles in Scotland

Araquil a sergeant
Navarraise 1894
Don José a corporal of dragoons
Carmen 1896
Carmen 1910
Canio leader of the players
Pagliacci 1896
Pagliacci 1909
Faust a learned doctor
Faust 1896
Roméo a Montague
Romeo and Juliet 1896
Tannhäuser a knight and minnesinger
Tannhäuser 1897
Manrico a chieftain under the Prince of Biscay
Trovatore 1897
Trovatore 1898
Diarmid a Celtic hero, chief of the Feinne
Diarmid 1897
Siegfried son of Siegmund and Sieglinde
Siegfried 1901
Walther von Stolzing a young knight
Mastersingers of Nuremberg 1908
Mastersingers of Nuremberg 1909
Cola Rienzi Roman Tribune and Papal Notary
Rienzi 1909
Radamès Captain of the Guard
Aïda 1909
Aïda 1910
Lohengrin a knight
Lohengrin 1909
Samson
Samson and Delilah 1910

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