Melchior, Lauritz lou´rĭts mĕl´kēôr [key], 1890–1973, Danish heroic tenor. He made his debut in Copenhagen in 1913, singing a baritone role in I Pagliacci, and sang regularly at the Bayreuth Festivals from 1925 to 1931. In addition to possessing a great voice, Melchior was an exciting actor. He was the leading Wagnerian tenor at the Metropolitan Opera, New York City, from 1926 to 1950, singing over 1,000 performances. Although he confined his career at the Metropolitan to Wagnerian roles, he did appear successfully in Europe as the leading tenor in Verdi's Otello and Aïda.
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