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Mario Chamlee (May 29, 1892 – November 13, 1966) was one of the lyric tenors who inherited several roles associated with Enrico Caruso at the Metropolitan Opera.
His birth name was Archer Cholmondeley. Born in Los Angeles, California, he was the son of a minister.Cholmondeley graduated of the University of Southern California where he studied science; he also played violin.
He first studied voice with Achille Alberti in Los Angeles, and later with Sibella and Dellera in New York City. He made his debut in Los Angeles in 1916 as Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor with the Lombardi Opera Company. A year later, Chamlee went on tour with the Aborn Opera Company as "Mario Rodolfi", where he sang with soprano Ruth Miller. In 1919, Miss Miller became his wife. During two and a half years of mandatory military service, during World War I, Chamlee served as a member of the Argonne Players, a group of army soldiers who sang and entertained troops on the front line. The tenor was personally selected by General Pershing to perform with an ensemble for delegates at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference.
Upon his return to the United States in 1919, however, Chamlee devoted himself to developing his operatic talent. Beginning by singing at movie houses, he was discovered by baritone Antonio Scotti and joined the Scotti Opera Company. On November 20, 1920, Chamlee debuted at the Metropolitan Opera singing Cavaradossi. Engagements followed with various opera companies later in his career in the United States and Europe, including: the Ravinia Summer Opera in Chicago; the San Francisco Opera (where he performed Wagner); his acclaimed appearance in Henri Rabaud's Mârouf at the Paris Opera and the Brussels Théâtre de la Monnaie; the Vienna Volksoper; and the Deutsches Theater in Prague. He later reprised Mârouf in his return to the Met. He also appeared in recitals with his wife (a noted soprano of the era).