December 31, 2014

Mme. Schoen-René Travels to Europe


TThere she is smiling at the camera on the deck of the S. S. Bremen in 1935, on her way to Europe with Edward Johnson, the general manager of the Metropolitan Opera; Carl Friedberg, the German pianist and teacher; and Keith Falkner—the English bass-baritone who studied with Albert García, the grandson of Manuel García. 

Of course, Mme. Schoen-René probably worked with Falkner, who had much success as a concert artist in America during the 1930's. Like Schoen-René's other students, Risé Stevens and Kitty Carlisle Hart, Falkner starred in several movies during the late 30's. However, those films are now considered lost, which is most unfortunate, since it would be great to see as well as hear him sing (click here to listen to Falkner sing two Purcell songs which were recorded in 1935). 

Mme. Schoen-René would have been 71 when this photo was taken, which survives as a glimpse into the world of a great teacher, who, during her lifetime, was considered the leading exponent of Pauline Viardot-García and Manuel García. 

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