B0094. TRISTANISSIMO - The Authorized Biography of Heroic Tenor Lauritz Melchior [Foreword by Birgit Nilsson], (Shirlee Emmons).[Foreword by Birgit Nilsson]. New York, Schirmer, 1990. 462pp. Index; Bibliography; Definitive Hansen Discography; List of Melchior's Roles; Photos; DJ. Very long out-of-print, final New copies! - 28730607
“Ms. Emmons' biography of Lauritz Melchior is breathtaking in its scope (data retrieved from hundreds of living sources, thousands of written and recorded sources, and her own experiences with legendary singer) and impressive in that the author presented her subject as he lived and breathed instead of writing an idealized hagiography or vindictive hit piece.
It turns out that, along with having the voice of an electified deity, Lauritz Melchior was a human being. Emmons' masterful biography reveals all of his faults in a way that, while never excusing or forgiving them, manages to still love the man who was THE tenor of Wagner operas and love him for being that man and not because he was an unparalleled possessor of a superhuman voice.
TRISTANISSIMO is masterfully written and has the reader feeling floods of emotions whether celebrating the subject's triumphs or wanting to strike him with a cast iron skillet for his failures. I recommend it to all fans of Wagner, opera, and Melchior.”
- Thomas N. Brogan
"The great Heldentenor (1890-1973) reigned at the Metropolitan Opera from 1926 through 1950 and received added fame (and criticism) for his popular appearances on radio and in movies. Emmons' biography will interest scholars and fans alike; it includes some 70 photographs (from Melchior's own scrapbooks) , a complete list of his operatic roles, and a discography. The Melchior collaborations with great sopranos Leider, Lehmann, Flagstad, and Traubel are celebrated here, along with the tenor's generosity to his colleagues and to tenors who might develop into Wagner tenors and his eagerness to use recordings, radio, TV, and films to spread his love for life and music. This is an excellently drawn portrait of the great man."
- Z. D. Akron