Norman Treigle

Biography

Born: March 6, 1927; New Orleans, LA   Died: February 16, 1975; New Orleans, LA  
Norman Treigle was one of America's most remarkable bass-baritones in the two decades following World War II. He was particularly known for roles of villainy and supernatural evil. He had a strong stage presence and a theatrical manner of singing. Divorced from the visual element, a pinched quality in his voice and a habit of taking on a rasping tone to express evil became somewhat too evident on recordings.

He graduated from high school
Read more in 1943 and even though underage joined the U.S. Navy to serve in World War II. After the war ended in 1945, he was discharged from service and returned to New Orleans, where he marred Loraine Siegel in 1946 and in the same year began studying voice with Elisabeth Wood of Loyola University of New Orleans.

He sang with the local symphony and in 1947 formally debuted in opera at the New Orleans Opera. That season, he sang the parts of the Duke of Verona in Gounod's Roméo et Juliette and as Lodovico in Verdi's Otello. He continued his studies at Loyola and lessons with Wood until 1951.

He joined the New York City Opera, debuting there in 1953 as Colline in La Bohème. He quickly became known as an outstanding opera singer-actor and was, with Beverly Sills, one of the major pillars of that company. Both artists shared the misfortune of getting on the bad side of Rudolf Bing, director of the Met, and were not able to make Metropolitan Opera debuts for an unseemly long time. In Treigel's case, he would not be invited to sing there until 1972, after Bing's retirement, when the Company suddenly found it could use him in a variety of roles.

By then, Treigle had gained great fame, a process that began in 1956 when he triumphed in a new opera, Susannah by Carlisle Floyd, as the villainous Reverend Olin Blitch. He so impressed the composer that he was cast in the premieres of three of his subsequent operas, The Passion of Janathan Wade (1962), The Sojourner and Mollie Sinclair (1963) and Markheim (1966). He was also a notable Figaro in Mozart's opera and one of the darker and more evil incarnations of the same composer's Don Giovanni, and had a notable success as Handel's Julius Caesar. He also sang the grandfather in Copland's The Tender Land and the title role in Luigi Dallapiccola's The Prisoner.

But his most vivid characterizations were in personifications of evil: The four baritone nemeses in Offenbach's Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Mephistophélès in Gounod's Faust, the same character in Boito's Mefistofele, and Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov.

After his Metropolitan Opera success in 1972, he enlarged his international activities, appearing in Hamburg, Milan, and London (debuting at Covent Garden in 1974). Following his London appearance in Faust, La Scala of Milan invited him to sing Mefistofele with them, and a strong international career seemed inevitable.

However, it was not to be. He died unexpectedly in New Orleans in 1975 of a possibly accidental overdose of sleeping pills. He left only three professional studio recordings, plus several "dall vivo" recordings (authorized and unauthorized), and one videotaped scene from Susannah.

He also left a worthy successor, his daughter Phyllis Treigle, who likewise studied at Loyola, became an exceptional singing actress and joined the New York City Opera, debuting as a supernatural incarnations of evil, the predatory ghost Miss Jessel in Britten's The Turn of the Screw. Among other roles of evil, she has taken the part of Médée and, in yet another parallel with her father's career, has had success in the title role of Floyd's Susannah. Read less

There are 13 Norman Treigle recordings available.

Select a specific Composer or Label or browse recordings by Formats & Featured below

or

Labels

Formats & Featured

Biography

Born: March 6, 1927; New Orleans, LA   Died: February 16, 1975; New Orleans, LA  
Norman Treigle was one of America's most remarkable bass-baritones in the two decades following World War II. He was particularly known for roles of villainy and supernatural evil. He had a strong stage presence and a theatrical manner of singing. Divorced from the visual element, a pinched quality in his voice and a habit of taking on a rasping tone to express evil became somewhat too evident on recordings.

He graduated from high school
Read more
WORKS ALBUMS
TITLE/COMPOSER
LABEL
Prélude
"Glou! glou! glou! glou!" with monologue by la Muse
Le conseiller Lindorf, morbleu!
Dans les rôles d'amoureux langoureux
"Deux heures devant moi!"
"Drig, drig, drig, maître Luther"
"Vive Dieu! mes amis, la belle créature!"
"Il était une fois à la cour d'Eisenach" (La légende de Kleinzach)
"Peuh! cette bière est détestable!"
Simple échange de politesses!
Entr'acte
Là! dors en paix
"Allons! courage et confiance!"
Par Dieu! j'étais bien sur
"C'est moi, Coppélius"
J'ai des yeux, de vrais yeux
Hein! Vous?
"Non, aucun hôte vraiment"
"Les oiseaux dans la charmille"
"Ah! mon ami, quel accent!"
"Ils se sont éloignés, enfin!"
"Tu me fuis?"
"Voici les valseurs!"
Barcarolle "Belle nuit, ô nuit d'amour"
Et moi, ce n'est pas là
Amis, l'amour tendre et rêveur, erreur!
Je vois qu'on est en fête
Scintille, diamant
Cher ange
Malheureux, tu ne comprends donc pas
Schlémil!
Hélas, mon coeur s'égare encore
Ecoutez, messieurs
Entr'acte
Elle a fui, la tourtelle
Malheureuse enfant
Jour et nuit je me mets en quatre
Frantz!... C'est ici!
C'est une chanson d'amour qui s'envole
J'ai le bonheur dans l'âme!
Qu'as-tu donc?
Pour conjurer le danger
Ne plus chanter!
Tu ne chanteras plus?
Chère enfant! que j'appelle
Mon enfant! ma fille!
Entr'acte
Voilà quelle fut l'histoire de mes amours
Vidons les tonneaux!
Et moi? Moi la fidèle amie
Non, ivre mort
The Tender Land (Opera in Three Acts): Act One: The day before graduation (late afternoon). Gently flowing (Abridged)
Moderate tempo (Abridged)
Moderately fast (Abridged)
Somewhat faster (Abridged)
With motion (Abridged)
Moderately (Abridged)
Trifle slower (Abridged)
Act Two: That evening. Lively and rough (Abridged)
Quite slow (Abridged)
Very broadly (Abridged)
I. Nature, the gentlest mother
II. There came a wind like a bugle
III. Why do they shut me out of Heaven?
IV. The world feels dusty
V. Heart, we will forget him
VI. Dear March, come in!
VII. Sleep is supposed to be
Mefistofele (1997 Digital Remaster), Prologue: Preludio (Orchestra)
Mefistofele (1997 Digital Remaster), Prologue: Ave, Signor degli angeli e dei santi (La falangi celesti)
Mefistofele (1997 Digital Remaster), Prologue: Ave, Signor (Mefistofele)
Mefistofele (1997 Digital Remaster), Prologue: I' noto Faust?... Il pi bizzarro pazzo ch'io mi conosca (Coro mysticus/Mefistofele) Sanctus! Sanctus! (La falangi celesti)
Mefistofele (1997 Digital Remaster), Prologue: Siam nimbi volanti dai limbi (Cherubini/Mefistofele)
Mefistofele (1997 Digital Remaster), Prologue: Salve, Regina! (Le penitenti/Falangi celesti/Cherubini)
Mefistofele (1997 Digital Remaster), Act 1, Scene 1: Perch di l? (Coro)
Mefistofele (1997 Digital Remaster), Act 1, Scene 1: Al soave raggiar di primavera (Faust/Wagner)
Mefistofele (1997 Digital Remaster), Act 1, Scene 1: Juhé! Juhé! Juheisa! Juhé! (Coro)
Mefistofele (1997 Digital Remaster), Act 1, Scene 1: Sediam sovra quel sasso (Faust/Wagner/Coro)
Mefistofele (1997 Digital Remaster), Act 1, Scene 2: Dai campi, dai prati (Faust/Mefistofele)
Mefistofele (1997 Digital Remaster), Act 1, Scene 2: Son lo Spirito che nega (Mefistofele)
Mefistofele (1997 Digital Remaster), Act 1, Scene 2: Strano figlio del Caos (Faust/Mefistofele)
Mefistofele (1997 Digital Remaster), Act 1, Scene 2: Se tu mi doni un'ora di riposo (Faust/Mefistofele)
Mefistofele (1997 Digital Remaster), Act 1, Scene 2: Fin da stanotte (Mefistofele/Faust)
Mefistofele (1997 Digital Remaster), Act 2, Scene 1: Cavaliero illustre e saggio (Margherita/Faust/Mefistofele/Marta)
Mefistofele (1997 Digital Remaster), Act 2, Scene 1: Dimmi, se credi, Enrico, nella religione...Non vo'turber le fedi delle coscienze buone (Margherita/Faust)
Mefistofele (1997 Digital Remaster), Act 2, Scene 1: Dio clemente, nuova, ignara son del mondo...E l'analito superno...Ah! Davver? n in trappola cadeste ancor?..No so, credetelo, che sia l'amore (Margherita/Faust/Marta/Mefistofele)
Mefistofele (1997 Digital Remaster), Act 2, Scene 2: Su, cammina, cammina, cammina (Mefistofele)
Mefistofele (1997 Digital Remaster), Act 2, Scene 2: Folletto (Faust/Mefistofele/Coro/Streghe/Stregoni)
Mefistofele (1997 Digital Remaster), Act 2, Scene 2: Popoli! E scettro e clamide non date al Re sovrano? (Mefistofele/Streghe/Stregoni)
Mefistofele (1997 Digital Remaster), Act 2, Scene 2: Ecco il mondo? (Mefistofele/Streghe/Stregoni)
Mefistofele (1997 Digital Remaster), Act 2, Scene 2: Stupor! Stupor! (Faust/Mefistofele/Streghe/Stregoni)
Mefistofele (1997 Digital Remaster), Act 3: L'altra notte in fondo al mane (Margherita/Faust/Mefistofele)
Mefistofele (1997 Digital Remaster), Act 3: Dio di piet! (Margherita/Faust)
Mefistofele (1997 Digital Remaster), Act 3: Lontano, lontano, lontano (Margherita/Faust)
Mefistofele (1997 Digital Remaster), Act 3: Sorge il d (Mefistofele/Margherita/Faust)
Mefistofele (1997 Digital Remaster), Act 3: Spunta...l'aurora pallida (Margherita/Faust/Mefistofele/Falangi celesti)
Mefistofele (1997 Digital Remaster), Act 4: La luna immobile innonda (Elena/Pantalis/Faust)
Mefistofele (1997 Digital Remaster), Act 4: Ecco la notte del classico Sabba (Mefistofele/Faust)
Mefistofele (1997 Digital Remaster), Act 4: Ah! Trionfi ad Elena (Coretidi)
Mefistofele (1997 Digital Remaster), Act 4: Notte cupa, truce, senza fine, funbrei (Elena/Coretidi)
Mefistofele (1997 Digital Remaster), Act 4: Forma ideal purissima della bellezza eternal (Faust/Elena/Mefistofele/Pantalis/Nereo/Coretidi)
Mefistofele (1997 Digital Remaster), Epilogue: Cammina, cammina...superbo pensier...O rimembranza! (Mefistofele/Faust)
Mefistofele (1997 Digital Remaster), Epilogue: Giunto sul passo estremo (Faust/Mefistofele)
Mefistofele (1997 Digital Remaster), Epilogue: All'erta! All'erta! (Mefistofele/Faust/Falangi celesti/Cherubini)


YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN TO ARKIVMUSIC STREAMING.
TRY IT NOW FOR FREE!
Sign up now for two weeks of free access to the world's best classical music collection. Keep listening for only $19.95/month - thousands of classical albums for the price of one! Learn more about ArkivMusic Streaming
Already a subscriber? Sign In