9 Fun Facts About Tenor Alfredo Kraus’ Legendary Discography

Tenor Alfredo Kraus is undeniably one of the greatest artists in the history of opera. Born 90 years ago on Nov. 24, 1927, the tenor had a superlative technique that allowed him to become one of the prolific tenors of his era. He excelled in the bel canto repertoire and took on the French masters, but he also specialized in Spanish repertoire, singing and recording a wide range of zarzuela and Spanish songs.

The result is that his discography is one of the most varied of any artist of the 20th century. Here are nine fun facts about the tenor’s discography.

1. He recorded 43 different operas throughout his career.

2. His discography features the works of seven different Spanish composers including Arrieta, Bretón, Chapí, Guerrero, Simeón, Sorozábal, and Vives.

3. The composer that features most prominently in his recorded legacy is Donizetti. The tenor recorded such operas as “Don Pasquale,” “Lucia di Lammermoor (14 times!),” “La Favorite,” “Lucrezia Borgia,” “L’Elisir d’Amore,” “Linda di Chamounix,” and “La Fille du Régiment.”

4. The tenor recorded “La Bohème” in 1979 with James Levine at the helm.

5. Despite his status as a bel canto tenor, Kraus only has one Rossini opera in his discography – “Il Barbiere di Siviglia.” And he only has two recordings of that work.

6. The tenor’s vocal longevity has always been lauded. The last recording (on record) of his career dates to 1999 – a performance of Arrieta’s “Marina” from 1998, one year before he died. Kraus was 70 at the time of the recording.

7. Speaking of last, let’s look at the first recording noted from the tenor’s illustrious career. That is “Doña Francisquita” from 1956 under conductor Daniel Montorio. He has four recordings of the work from 1972, 1988, and 1993.

8. A look at his discography would reveal multiple recordings of the same opera, but there are some works that he only left one account of. They include “La muette de Portici,” “La Sonnambula,” “Le jolie Fille de Perth,” “La Verbena de la Paloma,” “La Tempestad,” “La Bruja,” “La Revoltosa,” “Ali Baba, ou Les Quarante Voleurs,” “Lakmé,” “La Huésped del Sevillano,” “Eva,” “Così fan Tutte,” “La Bohème,” “L’Heure Espagnole,” “Los de Aragón,” “La Dolorosa,” “Katiuska,” “Black, El Payaso,” “La Tabernera del Puerto,” “Falstaff,” “La Generala,” and “Bohemios.”

9. 15 recordings exist of both “Werther” and “Rigoletto” featuring the Spanish superstar. His first Rigoletto dates from 1960 with his last one coming in 1989. For “Werther,” the tenor’s first recording is from 1966 and the final one is from 1991.

 

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About the Author

David Salazar

Prior to creating OperaWire, DAVID SALAZAR, (Editor-in-Chief) worked as a reporter for Latin Post where he interviewed major opera stars including Placido Domingo, Anna Netrebko, Vittorio Grigolo, Diana Damrau and Rolando Villazon among others. His 2014 interview with opera star Kristine Opolais was cited in a New York Times Review.

He also had the opportunity of interviewing numerous Oscar nominees, Golden Globe winners and film industry giants such as Guillermo del Toro, Oscar Isaac and John Leguizamo among others.

David holds a Masters in Media Management from Fordham University. During his time at Fordham, he studied abroad at the Jagiellonian University in Poland. He also holds a dual bachelor’s from Hofstra University in Film Production and Journalism.

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