Adamo Didur

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Adam Didur

Adamo Didur (24 December 1873 – 7 January 1946) was a top-class Polish operatic bass singer.[1] He sang extensively in opera in Europe and appeared at New York's Metropolitan Opera from 1908 to 1932.


He was born on 23 December 1873 or 1874 in Sanok, Poland.[1][2][3][4] Didur studied in Lwów with Valery Wysocki.[1] He was later working with Franz Emmerich in Milan.[2] His concert debut came in Milan in a performance of Ludwig van Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.[1] In 1894, he made his operatic debut in Rio de Janeiro, after which he appeared in Russia. He sang at La Scala, Milan, in 1903–1906, and at London's Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in 1905. He also appeared with the Warsaw Opera from 1899 to 1903. Later, he travelled to Argentina, singing in Buenos Aires in the 1905–1908 operatic seasons. Didur's North American debut came at the Manhattan Opera House in 1907.[2]

Didur made his Metropolitan Opera debut on 14 November 1908, singing Ramfis in Giuseppe Verdi's Aida.[2] He remained with the company for a quarter of a century and became one of its principal bass singers. It was at the Met in 1913 that he appeared in the title role in Boris Godunov in the American premiere of Mussorgsky's opera.[5][6][7] He also created roles in three operas by Giacomo Puccini at the Met, namely, La fanciulla del West and the Il tabarro and Gianni Schicchi segments of Il Trittico.[2] He also appeared in the world premiere of Die Königskinder.[2] His last appearance at the Met was in The Tales of Hoffmann on 11 February 1932.[2] His voice had been on the wane for some time and he returned to Europe to live.[2]

Two months before the outbreak of World War II, Didur was appointed director of the opera company in Lwów, but the conflict made work impossible.[2] He was appointed the first director of the Silesian Opera in 1945.[1]

He died on 7 January 1946 in Katowice.[6]


Didur was twice married; with his first wife, the Mexican singer Angela Aranda Arellano (1874–1928), he had five children, two of whom later became singers themselves.[2] After her death he married the French dancer Marguerite Vignon in 1928.[8]


Didur's large, sonorous and magnificently rich-toned voice was in its prime between the late 1890s and the World War I period. It was particularly suited to the performance of Italian operas. He made many memorable recordings of operatic arias which are available on CD transfers.


  1. ^ a b c d e "Adam Didur". The Polish biographical dictionary. p. 95. An operatic bass, Adam Didur was born in Sanok. At the age of sixteen, he began his singing career. His first teacher was Walerian Wysocki, who taught at the Lvov Conservatory of Music. ... 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Adamo Didur". Retrieved 22 July 2010. 
  3. ^ Most reference works list him as born in 1874, but in 1918 in the World War I draft registration, he listed himself as born in 1873.
  4. ^ "Adamo Didur in the 10 September 1918 draft registration". Selective Service System. December 23, 1873 
  5. ^ "American Premiere of 'Boris Godounoff' Wednesday". New York Times. 12 March 1913. Retrieved 9 March 2011. Boris Godounoff, the Russian opera by Moussorgsky, will be the feature of next week's repertoire at the Metropolitan Opera House, where it will have its first American hearing on Wednesday evening. It will be conducted by Mr. Toscanini, and the cast will include Madames Homer, Case, Sparkes, Maubourg, and Duchene, and Messrs. Didur, Althouse, Rothier, Reiss, Bada, De Segurola, Rossi, Audisi, Reschiglian, and Kreidler. 
  6. ^ a b "Adamo Didur Dies. Operatic Basso, 71. Creator of Title Role In 'Boris Godunoff' at Metropolitan Noted Also As An Actor. Delighted World Audiences". Associated Press in the New York Times. 11 January 1946. Retrieved 22 July 2010. Adamo Didur, formerly a basso with the Metropolitan Opera Company in New York for many years, died Monday at his home in Katowice, it was announced today. ... 
  7. ^ "'Boris Godunow' Given in Italian. Didur Ably Sings Title Role in Moussorgsky's Russian Opera Of "the People." Striking Stage Pictures But Many Stretches of Gloom in a Performance That Dragged Woefully at Times.". New York Times. 26 November 1918. Retrieved 22 July 2010. Moussorgsky's "Boris Godunow" was sung last night for the first time this season at the Metropolitan Opera House. The artists who participated in the performance were Adamo Didur, in the title role; Raymonde Delaunois, as Teodoro; Mary Mellish, (debut,) as Xenia; Flora Perini, Nurse, Angeld Bada, Schouisky; Mario Laurenti, Tcheikaloff; ... 
  8. ^ "Adamo Didur Marries. Metropolitan Opera Basso Weds Marguerite Vignon, Dancer". New York Times. 21 December 1928. Retrieved 22 July 2010. Adamo Didur, basso or the Metropolitan Opera Company, and Miss Vignon, a ballet dancer, were married yesterday by General Sessions Judge Francis ... 

Further reading[edit]

  • David Ewen, Encyclopedia of the Opera: New Enlarged Edition. New York; Hill and Wang, 1963.
  • Harold Rosenthal and John Warrack (editors), The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Opera (corrected second edition). London; Oxford University Press, 1980.