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|Year of Death:||1917|
Édouard de Reszke, originally Edward, (22 December 1853 – 25 May 1917) was a Polish bass from Warsaw. Born with an impressive natural voice and equipped with compelling histrionic skills, he became one of the most illustrious opera singers active in Europe and America during the late-Victorian era.
Édouard de Reszke was born into a well-to-do and cultured family in Warsaw, where he first learned to sing. He spent four years in Italy, studying singing first with Stella and Alba in Milan and later the retired baritone Filippo Coletti. He later went to Paris to study with Giovanni Sbriglia, who was also his brother's teacher. Initially, he did not want to become an operatic performer but at the urging of his younger sister, Josephine (Józefina), he accepted an engagement with the Paris Opéra. He was chosen by the composer Giuseppe Verdi to make his debut in the first Paris performance of Aida on 22 April 1876, appearing under the composer's baton as the King of Egypt.
De Reszke's older brother was the renowned lyric-dramatic tenor Jean de Reszke (1850–1925), with whom he would sing often in Paris, London and New York City during the course of the next two decades. In 1887, for example, the brothers performed together in the 500th performance of Gounod's Faust at the Paris Opéra.
Josephine, Edouard and Jean's sister, also embarked on a career as an opera singer in Paris but she retired early from the stage after marrying an aristocrat while at the height of her powers. (Another sibling, Victor de Reszke, manifested more moderate talents as a vocalist.)