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Première-cast "L'Africaine" (5); Armand Castelmary as Don Diego by Erwin Hanfstaengl

Première-cast "L'Africaine" (5); Armand Castelmary as Don Diego by Erwin Hanfstaengl
Armand Castelmary (1834-1897); French bass.

He came from a family of French nobility and his official title was "Count Armand de Castan". In 1863 he started his career at the Grand-Opéra Paris. Here he created the role of Don Diégo in Meyerbeer's "L'Africaine" (1865) with his wife Marie Sasse creating the role of Selika. During the years 1864/67 he was married to the great Prima Donna Marie Sasse (1838-1907) after which they divorced. In 1867 he created the role of the monk "(the apparition of the deceased Carlo Quinto) in Verdi's "Don Carlos, with his wife Marie Sasse in the role of Élisabeth de Valois. In 1868 he created Horatio in the opera "Hamlet" by Ambroise Thomas. In 1870 he left Paris and made his first tour to the USA, singing with the French Opera Company New Orleans. In 1879 he made a second tour to the USA singing with the Strakosch Opera Company and in 1890 again with the Patti-Tamagno Company. In the 1870's he made guest appearances at Naples, Milan, Bologna and Rome. In 1881 he made a tour through South-America and he made further guest appearances at Warsaw, Vienna and London (1889/96). In 1893 he was engaged by The Metropolitan Opera New York, where he made his debut as Vulcain in Gounod's "Philémon et Baucis".This commitment with the Metropolitan marked the end of a great career, which took a tragic end on the evening of 10 February 1897. During a performance of Von Flotow 's "Martha", in which he sang the role of Sir Tristan, Castelmary died on the stage of a devastating heart attack.

On the photo from 1865 he is seen as Don Diégo in Meyerbeer's "L'Africaine".

Article from The New York Times of February 11, 1897


Armand Castelmary Expired Last Night While Acting Tristano in "Martha."


The Audience Applauded the Dying Singer's Fall and Gestures, Thinking He Was Doing Some Good Acting -- Castelmary's Presentiment of Death.

An audience of 2,500 people at the Metropolitan Opera House last night saw Armand Castelmary die on the stage, and applauded to the echo, thinking it a splendid bit of acting. That was at 9:05 o'clock, and the curtain was descending for the close of the second scene in the first act of Flotow's opera, "Martha."