Louis Graveure

Real Name:Wifried Douthitt

English baritone vocalist and actor, born 18 March 1888 in London, England, UK and died 27 April 1965 in San Francisco, California, USA.

Originally studying architecture, Graveure took voice lessons in London from the well-known Welsh soprano, Clara Novello Davies (1861-1943). In 1914, he made his New York debut aside Eleanor Painter in the operetta "The Lilac Domino." A year later, a baritone named Louis Graveure, sporting a goatee and claiming to be a Belgian charmed the New York public with his recitals. The press praised his "glorious" voice and "great store of genuine feeling," yet wondered if he and Wilfried Douthitt (whose mother's maiden name was Graveur) were the same person, which he ardently denied. This stunt gained Graveure lots of publicity and the nickname "the mystery man." He was able to organize annual tours to the American west, and was in such demand that he recorded more than 100 titles for Columbia between 1915 and 1930.

In 1916, Graveure married operatic soprano Eleanor Painter. Painter had trained in Berlin and had made her debut at Berlin's DeutscheOper in "Madame Butterfly" in 1912. Between 1920 and 1930 both continued to sing professionally in Europe and the United States.

In 1928, Graveure accepted a chair at the University of Michigan and decided to sing tenor voice from now on, to mixed reviews. After he and Painter divorced in 1930, he moved to Berlin, where he sang Faust, Rodolfo, Pagliacci, Don José, and Lohengrin at the Deutsche Oper. In Germany, he was discovered by the movies and made four German films between 1933 and 1936. He also started an affair with German film star Camilla Horn. In 1938, he left for France, though, and when the Germans occupied France, he went back to his native Britain. In 1947, he tried a comeback recital in New York, but was not successful. Instead, he began to teach voice, first in New York, then in Los Angeles.

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