Scaria, Emil, outstanding Austrian bass; b. Graz, Sept. 18, 1838; d. Blasewitz, near Dresden, July 22, 1886. He studied with Netzer in Graz and Lewy in Vienna, making his debut as St. Bris in Les Huguenots in Pest (1860); following additional training with García in London, he sang in Dessau (1862–63), Leipzig (1863–65), and Dresden (from 1865), where he won notable distinction by singing both bass and baritone roles. After appearing as a guest artist at the Vienna Court Opera (1872–73), he sang there regularly as one of its leading artists until his death. He also sang with Angelo Neumann’s company; while appearing in Die Walküre with the company in London in May 1882, he suffered a mental breakdown; however, he appeared in public 2 days later in Siegfried, and then sang Gurnemanz in the first mounting of Parsifal at the Bayreuth Festival on July 26, 1882. He continued to make tours with Neumann’s company, returned to Bayreuth in 1883, and made a concert tour of the U.S. in 1884. In early 1886 he suffered a relapse and shortly thereafter died insane. He was hailed as one of the greatest Wagnerians of his time.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire