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Forsell, John (actually, Carl Johan Jacob)

Forsell, John (actually, Carl Johan Jacob)

Forsell, John (actually, Carl Johan Jacob),

famous Swedish baritone and pedagogue; b. Stockholm, Nov. 6, 1868; d. there, May 30, 1941. He served as an officer in the Swedish Army before pursuing vocal training in Stockholm. On Feb. 26, 1896, he made his operatic debut as Figaro in // Barbiere di Siviglia at the Royal Opera in Stockholm, where he was a member until 1901, and again from 1903 to 1909. On June 26, 1909, he made his debut at London’s Covent Garden as Don Giovanni, his most celebrated role. He made his Metropolitan Opera debut in N.Y. on Nov. 20, 1909, as Telramund, but remained on its roster for only that season before pursuing his career in Europe. He made guest appearances in Berlin, Vienna, Bayreuth, and other music centers. In 1938 he appeared as Don Giovanni for the last time in Copenhagen. From 1923 to 1939 he was director of the Royal Opera in Stockholm, and he also was prof. of voice at the Stockholm Cons, from 1924 to 1931. His notable students included Jussi Bjorling, Set Svanholm, and Aksel Schiøtz. The beauty of his voice was ably seconded by his assured vocal technique. Among his other roles were Hans Sachs, Beckmesser, Amfortas, Eugene Onegin, Germont, and Scarpia.

Bibliography

E. Ljungberger, /. F. (Stockholm, 1916); Boken om J. F. (Stockholm, 1938); K. Liliedahl, /. F.: A Discogmphy (Trelleborg, 1972).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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