Liliana Osses Adams
I am deeply sorry to share the news of the loss of yet another artist who graced the stage at Tehran Opera.

In Memoriam
Maurice Maievsky (1938 – 2016) at Roudaki Hall Opera House in Tehran, Iran

An undated photo of Maurice Maievsky at Tehran Opera House, 1975
(Courtesy Liliana Osses Adams)

Very sad news reached us lately; on March 10, 2016, French operatic tenor Maurice Maievsky died in Paris. The cause of his demise was not revealed. He left us at the age of seventy-eight, almost forgotten.
During 1974-1975 artistic season, running September 1974 – June 1975, Roudaki Hall under direction of Enayat Rezai presented 17 operas, including ten new productions while Lotfi Mansouri served as one-season artistic advisor to the Company. The season opened on September 22, 1974, with Don Carlos (Giorgio Tozzi as Philip II), followed by Falstaff (Giuseppe Taddei in the title role), Lucia di Lammermoor (Luciana Serra in the title role), Smetana’s Die verkaufte Braut, Humperdinck’s Hänsel and Gretel (translated into Persian by Enayat Rezai), Britten’s Let’s Make an Opera! (Persian words by Amir Ashraf Arianpour), and a double-bill of Donizetti’s Il Campanello (Michele Casato and Luciana Serra in the leading roles) and Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana. The season closed with Ravel’s L’heure espagnole (Monir Vakili in the role of Concepción) as curtain-raiser for Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle. From repertory the Company chose: La Bohème (Rita Lantieri and Carlo Bini in the leading roles), Madama Butterfly (Miwako Matsumoto and Gianni Jaia in the leading roles), Otello (Pier Miranda Ferraro, Ileana Sinnone and Tito Gobbi in the leading roles), Loris Tjaknavorian’s Pardis and Parisa, including the Pagliacci - Cavalleria Rusticana double bill.
On April 30, May 3, and May 5, 1975, Roudaki Hall presented Bizet’s Carmen revival from previous seasons produced in 1971 and 1973 by Lotfi Mansouri. Maurice Maievsky made his guest appearances as dazzling Don José opposite Pari Samar (Arianpour) in her signature role as Carmen, Victor Braun took the part of Escamillo.
The program cover page designed by Sadegh Barirani announced the performances of Carmen at Roudaki Hall.

Program cover page designed by Sadegh Barirani
Source: © Sadegh Barirani Official Website

Cast list for Bizet’s Carmen at Roudaki Hall, April/May 1975
(Courtesy Liliana Osses Adams collection)
Here are some pics from the first act ensemble and the final scenes in act four of Bizet’s Carmen at Tehran Opera Company with Maurice Maievsky as Don José (left), Pari Samar as Carmen (center) and Sarkis Ghokassian as Moralès (right) in stage direction by Lotfi Mansouri.


Maurice Maievsky (original name Maurice Machabanski) was born on January 11, 1938, in Paris. He was probably of Eastern Slavic descent (although the names of Machabanski are listed in the Jewish Record Index in Poland).
In 1957 he attended the Conservatory in Paris where he began his music education and was first trained as baritone and later graduated as tenor. In 1962 he made his debut under the adopted stage name of Maurice Maievsky in the role of Dimitri in Boris Godunov at the Opera House of Reims. From the outset of his career, he joined the Paris Opera ensemble in 1963, where he sang minor secondary roles. After three years, he ended his engagement at the Grand Opéra Paris and then performed with great success at the opera houses in the French provinces, where he sang the great tenor parts of Otello, Radamès, Don Carlos, Andrea Chénier, Hoffmann, Cavaradossi, Faust, Werther, Samson, Roméo, Lohengrin, and Beethoven’s Florestan. From 1969 to 1971, he was again engaged at the Opera in Paris, where he appeared in the “grands rôles” as Mario Cavaradossi, Don Carlos, Canio, and Turiddu.
In May-June 1971 he was invited to the Glyndebourne Festival Opera for a series of performances as Hermann in Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades opposite Teresa Kubiak as Lisa and Virginia Popova as Countess under the baton of John Pritchard. In his review, British opera critic Rodney Milnes wrote in The SPECTATOR magazine: “The tone of Maurice Maievsky’s tenor may not be quite as seductive, but power rather than beauty is needed for Hermann, and power M Maivesky certainly has. Indeed, this French tenor’s considerable acting ability and intense appearance makes him something of an operatic Nureyev…”
In May-June 1972 he was again invited to Glyndebourne as Bacchus in Richard Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos original production by John Cox.
Until the early 1980s, he continued his operatic career in Europe, including Vienna, Madrid, Brussels, Genève, Palermo, Glasgow, Dublin, and also in Montreal, Santa Fe, Philadelphia, Montevideo and at the Bolshoi Theater.
In the following years, he made his name as a successful voice teacher at the Conservatory in Paris; the long list of his students included, among others, Avi Klemberg and Debria Brown, applauded in Tehran as Amneris and Herodias.
For all of us who were privileged enough to know him and admire his striking stage presence, he will be remembered for the pure power and beauty of his voice in his many lyric and dramatic performances.

Maurice Maievsky’s dedication signed in Tehran, 1975
Photo property of Liliana Osses Adams

Farewell to our Friend. Rest in Peace.

© Compiled by Liliana Osses Adams
California, March 2016