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Johnson, Edward

Johnson, Edward (b Guelph, Ontario, 1878; d Guelph, 1959). Can.-born tenor and opera administrator (Amer. cit. 1922). Début NY 1907 in O. Straus's Waltz Dream. It. début Padua 1912 (under name Edoardo di Giovanni). Sang first It. Parsifal at La Scala under Toscanini 1914. Prin. ten. roles in Milan, Rome, Buenos Aires, Rio, and Madrid 1914–19; Chicago Opera 1919–21; NY Met 1922–34. Gen. man. NY Met 1935–50. Hon. CBE 1935.

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Johnson, Edward

Edward Johnson, 1881–1959, Canadian tenor and operatic manager, b. Guelph, Ont. As Eduardo di Giovanni, he sang in Italian opera houses (1912–19). In 1920 he joined the Chicago Opera Company and in 1922, the Metropolitan. In 1935 he became general manager of the Metropolitan Opera, retiring in 1950. He was succeeded by Rudolf Bing.

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Johnson, Edward

Johnson, Edward (fl. 1570–1602). Eng. composer of madrigals, virginals pieces (3 in Fitzwilliam Virginal Book) and psalm-tunes. Contrib. 6-part madrigal Come, blessed byrd, to The Triumphs of Oriana. Employed as musician by Kitson family at Hengrave Hall, Suffolk, in 1570s. Cambridge MusB 1594.

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Johnson, Edward

Johnson, Edward

Johnson, Edward, distinguished Canadian-born American tenor and operatic administrator; b. Guelph, Ontario, Aug. 22, 1878; d. there, April 20, 1959. He sang in concert and oratorio performances before going to N.Y. in 1899 to study with Mme. von Feilitsch. After appearing in the U.S. premiere of Oscar Straus’s A Waltz Dream in 1907, he continued his studies with Richard Barthélémy in Paris (1908) and Vincenzo Lombardi in Florence (1909).He made his operatic debut as Andrea Chénier at the Teatro Verdi in Padua on Jan. 10, 1912, using the stage name of Edoardo Di Giovanni. He subsequently appeared in Milan at La Scala, where he sang the title role in Parsifal at its first complete stage production in Italy, on Jan. 4, 1914. He made his U.S. debut as Loris in Fedora at the Chicago Grand Opera on Nov. 20, 1919, remaining on its roster until 1922. He then made his Metropolitan Opera debut in N.Y. as Avito in Vamore dei tre Re on Nov. 16, 1922, continuing to sing there until 1935, when he became its general manager, guiding its fortunes through the difficult years of World War II and the postwar era. He retired in 1950. Although he became a naturalized American citizen in 1922, he maintained a close connection with Canada, returning there after his retirement. He was particularly esteemed for such roles as Romeo, Tannhäuser, Don José, Siegfried, Canio, and Pelléas. He also created leading roles in Deems Taylor’s TheKing’s Henchman (1927) and Peter Ibbetson (1931) at the Metropolitan.

Bibliography

R. Mercer, The Tenor of His Time: E. J. of the Met (Toronto, 1976).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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