posted February 23, 2016, 4:44 PM by

Recordings, books, documents, photos, scrapbooks and diaries comprise part, but not all of a remarkable Lauritz Melchior collection that came to the DAAL in August 2015.

Lauritz Melchior was born in Denmark in 1890, and is generally referred to as opera’s greatest heldentenor (heroic tenor).  Starting as a baritone, Melchior’s career took off after training and performing as a tenor.  He performed at opera houses throughout Europe, but is probably best remembered for his more than 500 performances in Wagnerian roles with the Metropolitan Opera Company from 1926 to 1950.

When Melchior died in March of 1973, his son donated the collection to Dana College.  It was on display in the library there until a few days before the college closed in July of 2010.  At that time, representatives of the Museum of Danish America (MoDA) brought the collection to the museum in order to rescue it and ensure that it would be preserved.  Subsequently Melchior’s son, Ib, granted permission for the MoDA to retain possession of the collection, and recently the MoDA brought the archival portion of the collection to the DAAL.