Sándor Kónya

Biography

Born: September 23, 1923; Sarkad   Died: May 20, 2002; Ibiza, Spain  
Gifted with a shining, spinto weight instrument, tenor Sándor Kónya became a leading artist with his 1958 Bayreuth Festival debut as Lohengrin. So thoroughly did his performance define the Swan Knight that it became Kónya's calling card. The 1958 Bayreuth production has been issued on CD, preserving Kónya's interpretation at its pristine best along with Leonie Rysanek's lustrous Elsa and Astrid Varnay's implacable Read more Ortrud. Later, Kónya recorded the opera commercially for RCA under Erich Leinsdorf, an effort in which the rest of the cast fell short of the tenor's high standards. The easy thrust of Kónya's top register suited both the higher-lying passages allotted to Lohengrin and Walter in Die Meistersinger and afforded him the plangency to do full justice to many Italian roles as well. Kónya's stage deportment was discrete and dignified, setting him apart from many Italian contemporaries given to frantic histrionics.

After beginning his vocal studies in Budapest, Kónya moved first to Detmold, then to Rome and Milan to gain an advanced polish to his technique. In 1951, he made his professional debut in Bielefeld as Turiddu. Following engagements at Darmstadt, Stuttgart, and Hamburg, Kónya became a member of the Städtische Oper in Berlin in 1955. From that point forward, his career became more international in scope. A leading role in the world premiere of Henze's König Hirsch and a performance of Nureddin in Cornelius' comic confection Der Barbier in Bagdad at the Edinburgh Festival attracted widespread attention in 1956. Then Kónya's stunning 1958 Bayreuth debut put his name near the top of management must-engage lists. Paris discovered him in 1959 and the year following, San Francisco heard him in four operas, the first of which was La Fanciulla del West. In the role of Dick Johnson, Kónya's strong instrument was appreciated for its vibrancy and seductive ease. His Lohengrin a month later was hailed as superior and he earned approval for his singing of Rodolfo and Radames, if muted praise for his stage deportment. Kónya's Parsifal at La Scala in 1960 was praised warmly and his Metropolitan Opera debut in 1961 was similarly successful. At London's Covent Garden, Kónya made his first appearance in 1963. As at the Metropolitan, the role was once again Lohengrin.

At the Metropolitan Opera, Kónya sang not only Lohengrin and Walter in the German wing, but also Erik in Der Fliegende Holländer and Max (in an unsuccessful attempt to revive Weber's long-dormant Freischütz). While German and Austrian audiences continued to appreciate Weber's wonderful singspiel, Metropolitan audiences were less enthralled and the work passed back into obscurity, despite Kónya's hand-in-glove suitability for the role of Max.

An artist both outstandingly endowed and versatile in schooling and temperament, Kónya proved immensely useful to the Metropolitan Opera over 14 seasons. In addition to the jugendlicher heldentenor repertory, he was a highly credible Cavaradossi, Pinkerton, Calaf, Radames, and Edgardo. A slight graininess of timbre lent to his voice a slightly veiled quality not unlike that of Björling. Kónya also shared with the Swedish tenor an uncommon blossoming of tone in the upper register. His substantial middle and lower voice provided the firm anchor for his ringing top and allowed him, at his best, to negotiate the transition (passaggio) into the upper register without the strangulation exhibited by so many other German-trained tenors. Read less
Browse 1-16 of 16 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Wagner: Das Rheingold (Bayreuth 1958) / Knappertsbusch, Hotter, Grummer, Konya
    Label: Walhall   Catalog: 246 Release Date: 01/13/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Elisabeth Grümmer,  Hans Hotter,  Rita Gorr,  Frans Andersson  ... 
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra
    CD: $9.99
    In Stock
    MP3 Available
    CD:  $9.99 Add CD to Cart

    MP3:  $19.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 2.
    100 Classical Masterworks
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002188102 Release Date: 01/06/2015   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Edvard Grieg,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Lorin Maazel,  Neeme Järvi,  Herbert von Karajan,  Carlo Maria Giulini  ... 
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel,  Neeme Järvi,  Herbert von Karajan,  Carlo Maria Giulini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bolshoi Theater Violin Ensemble,  Ansbach Bach Week Soloists Union,  Salzburg Mozarteum Camerata Academica  ... 
    On sale! $29.98
    CD: $25.99
    Special Order
    On sale!   $29.98   CD:  $25.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 3.
    Verdi: Messa Da Requiem / Konya, Bumbry, Ligabue, Arie, Giulini
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 3079968 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Sándor Kónya,  Grace Bumbry,  Raffaele Arié,  Ilva Ligabue
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus
    DVD: $24.99
    In Stock
    DVD:  $24.99 Add DVD to Cart

  • 4.
    Grandioso! - Great Verdi Recordings From Caruso To Pavarotti [7 CD-Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001928802 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Sándor Kónya,  Maria Németh,  Ebe [Mezzo-soprano Vocal] Stignani,  Renata Tebaldi  ... 
    Conductor:  Ferenc Fricsay,  János Kulka,  Alberto Erede,  Bruno Bartoletti  ... 
    On sale! $49.98
    CD: $39.99
    Low Stock
    MP3 Available
    On sale!   $49.98   CD:  $39.99 Add CD to Cart

    MP3:  $34.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 5.
    Richard Wagner - Great Recordings
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 543504 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 40
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Ben Heppner,  Deborah Voigt,  Jan-Hendrik Rootering,  Birgitta Svendén  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine,  Erich Leinsdorf,  Marek Janowski,  Joseph Keilberth  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Chorus,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale!
    CD: $28.49
    Back Order
    On sale!   $29.98   CD:  $28.49 Add CD to Cart

  • 6.
    Popular Opera Arias
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300250 Release Date: 09/13/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Hermann [Baritone Vocal] Prey,  Ruth-Margaret Pütz,  Franz Crass,  Annelies Burmeister  ... 
    Conductor:  Otmar Suitner,  Siegfried Kurz,  Giuseppe Patané,  Horst Stein  ... 
    CD: $17.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $17.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 7.
    Offenbach: Les Contes d'Hoffmann / Konya, Mesple
    Label: Opera D'oro   Catalog: 7074 Release Date: 03/09/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jacques Offenbach
    Performer:  Radmila Bakocevic,  Gabriel Bacquier,  Nino Falzetti,  Heather Harper  ... 
    Conductor:  Peter Maag
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Buenos Aires Teatro Colón Orchestra,  Buenos Aires Teatro Colón Chorus
    Recommendation
    On sale! $31.98
    CD: $28.99
    In Stock
    MP3 Available
    On sale!   $31.98   CD:  $28.99 Add CD to Cart

    MP3:  $19.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 8.
    Puccini: Tosca / Woytowicz, Enders, Stein
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 91172 Release Date: 11/03/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Günther Leib,  Werner Enders,  Kim Borg,  Stefania Woytowicz  ... 
    Conductor:  Horst Stein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra
    CD: $22.49
    In Stock
    MP3 Available
    CD:  $22.49 Add CD to Cart

    MP3:  $19.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 9.
    Wagner: Lohengrin / Matačić, Kónya, Grümmer, Crass
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 691063 Release Date: 10/31/2006   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Harald Neukirch,  Herold Kraus,  Rita Gorr,  Elisabeth Grümmer  ... 
    Conductor:  Lovro von Matacic
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Chorus
    Recommendation
    CD: $54.49
    In Stock
    CD:  $54.49 Add CD to Cart

  • 10.
    Anna Moffo - A Tribute
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4383 Release Date: 05/30/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Charles Gounod,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Anna Moffo,  Gino Bechi,  Sándor Kónya,  Richard Tucker  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Felice Cillario,  Giuseppe Patané,  Donald Voorhees
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Symphony Orchestra,  Rome Opera House Orchestra,  Bell Telephone Hour Orchestra
    DVD: $28.99
    Low Stock
    DVD:  $28.99 Add DVD to Cart

  • 11.
    Weekend Classics - A Puccini Weekend
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000583402 Release Date: 02/14/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Gianni Poggi,  Renata Scotto,  Giorgio Giorgetti,  Virgilio Carbonari  ... 
    Conductor:  Antonino Votto,  Giuseppe Sinopoli,  Reinhard Peters
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Florence Maggio Musicale Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Ambrosian Opera Chorus  ... 
    CD not available
    MP3 Available
    MP3:  $9.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 12.
    Giulini- Verdi: Requiem, Etc / Giulini, Bumbry, Kónya, Et Al
    Label: Bbc Legends   Catalog: 4144 Release Date: 06/29/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Grace Bumbry,  Ilva Ligabue,  Sándor Kónya,  Raphäel Arié
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus
    CD: $29.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $29.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 13.
    Wagner: Die Meistersinger / Rafael Kubelik
    Label: Arts Music   Catalog: 43020 Release Date: 12/30/2003   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Karl [bass baritone] Kohn,  Anton Diakov,  Peter Baillie,  Friedrich Lenz  ... 
    Conductor:  Rafael Kubelik
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Chorus,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
    Recommendation
    On sale! $67.98
    CD: $57.49
    Special Order
    On sale!   $67.98   CD:  $57.49 Add CD to Cart

  • 14.
    Offenbach: Les Contes d'Hoffmann / Konya, Mesple
    Label: Opera D'oro   Catalog: 1331 Release Date: 02/05/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jacques Offenbach
    Performer:  Gabriel Bacquier,  Mady Mesplé,  Heather Harper,  Radmila Bakocevic  ... 
    Conductor:  Peter Maag
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Buenos Aires Teatro Colón Chorus,  Buenos Aires Teatro Colón Orchestra
    Recommendation
    On sale! $18.98
    CD: $15.99
    In Stock
    MP3 Available
    On sale!   $18.98   CD:  $15.99 Add CD to Cart

    MP3:  $19.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 15.
    Puccini: Tosca (German) - Highlights / Horst Stein, Et Al
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 2039 Release Date: 11/16/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Kim Borg,  Sándor Kónya,  Stefania Woytowicz
    Conductor:  Horst Stein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra,  Berlin State Opera Chorus
    CD not available
    MP3 Available
    MP3:  $9.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 16.
    The Tenors Of The Century
    Label: Dg Double   Catalog: 459362 Release Date: 01/12/1999   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  José Ximénez,  Gaetano Donizetti  ... 
    Performer:  Luigi Alva,  Renato Cesari,  José Carreras,  Francisco Araiza  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Giuseppe Sinopoli,  Daniel Garcia Blanco,  James Levine  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Ambrosian Opera Chorus,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD not available
    MP3 Available
    MP3:  $11.99 Add MP3 to Cart

Biography

Born: September 23, 1923; Sarkad   Died: May 20, 2002; Ibiza, Spain  
Gifted with a shining, spinto weight instrument, tenor Sándor Kónya became a leading artist with his 1958 Bayreuth Festival debut as Lohengrin. So thoroughly did his performance define the Swan Knight that it became Kónya's calling card. The 1958 Bayreuth production has been issued on CD, preserving Kónya's interpretation at its pristine best along with Leonie Rysanek's lustrous Elsa and Astrid Varnay's implacable Read more
WORKS ALBUMS
TITLE/COMPOSER
LABEL
Act I: Ha! Das gelang mir! (Angelotti)
Act I: Da sind die Pinsel! - Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariae - Was tust du? (Messner, Cavaradossi)
Act I: Gib mir die Farben! (Cavaradossi)
Act I: Aria: Wie sich die Bilder gleichen (Cavaradossi, Messner)
Act I: Was gibt's da drinnen? (Cavaradossi, Angelotti, Tosca)
Act I: Mario! Mario! Mario! (Tosca, Cavaradossi)
Act I: Ach, di Augen! - Mit deinen Augen kann kein andres Auge sich messen (Tosca, Cavaradossi)
Act I: O Geliebte (Cavaradossi, Tosca)
Act I: Sehr gut zwar meint es Tosca - So ging sie? (Cavaradossi, Angelotti)
Act I: Frohe Neuigkeiten, Euer Gnaden! (Messner, Chorus)
Act I: Ein Tollhaus in der Kirche! Schone Wirtschaft! (Scarpia, Messner, Spoletta)
Act I: So also war es - Mario?! Mario?! (Scarpia, Tosca, Messner)
Act I: Ich kam hierher, das Herz voll zum Zerspringen (Tosca, Scarpia)
Act I: Drei Hascher mit einem Wagen ... Elig ... (Scarpia, Spoletta, Chorus)
Act II: Tosca als Falke! (Scarpia, Sciarrone)
Act II: Starker ist der Genuss noch - Spoletta wartet (Scarpia, Sciarrone, Spoletta)
Act II: Doch schon etwas - Er ist da (Scarpia, Spoletta, Cavaradossi, Tosca, Chorus)
Act II: Wo ist Angelotti? - Mario, du hier? (Scarpia, Cavaradossi, Spoletta, Tosca)
Act II: Wir aber plaudern hier als gute Freunde (Scarpia, Tosca)
Act II: Sciarrone, was sagt der Kavalier? (Scarpia, Sciarrone, Tosca, Cavaradossi)
Act II: Doch nun, Tosca, erklaret! - Mario! Erlaubst du zu reden? (Scarpia, Tosca, Cavaradossi, Spoletta, Sciarrone)
Act II: Geliebter! - Floria! (Tosca, Cavaradossi)
Act II: Im Brunnen bei der Villa! geh, Spoletta - Neuigkeiten, Euer Gnaden! - Viktoria! (Scarpia, Sciarrone, Cavaradossi, Tosca)
Act II: Soll die beschwor'ne Pflicht ich brechen einmal (Scarpia, Tosca)
Act II: Aria: Nur der Schonheit weiht' ich mein Leben (Tosca)
Act II: Siehe mit gefalteten Handen hier (Tosca, Scarpia, Spoletta)
Act II: Welche Route nehmt Ihr? (Scarpia, Tosca)
Act II: Tosca, endlich bist du mein! (Scarpia, Tosca)
Act III: Ach, meine Suefzer! (Hirte)
Act III: Mario Cavaradossi? Hierher! (Schiesser, Cavaradossi)
Act III: Cavaradossi verharrt in Gedanken
Act III: Aria: Und es blitzen die Sterne (Cavaradossi, Tosca)
Act III: Geleit fur Floria Tosca! (Carvaradossi, Tosca)
Act III: Die zarten Hande (Cavaradossi)
Act III: Wisse: Nah ist die Stunde (Tosca, Cavaradossi)
Act III: Nur deinetwegen wollt' ich noch nicht sterben (Cavaradossi, Tosca)
Act III: Und sie kommen nicht - Sprich einmal von dem kunftigen Schonen (Tosca, Cavaradossi)
Act III: Es ist Zeit! - Ich komme (Schliesser, Cavaradossi, Tosca)
Act III: Welche Umstandlichkeiten! (Tosca)
Act III: Aber jetzt, Mario! Mario! (Tosca, Spoletta, Sciarrone, Chorus)