Bispham, David S.


Born in Philadelphia. Was educated at Haverford College, Pennsylvania. The possession of a fine barytone voice and a strong musical inclination, proved disastrous to the business career, for which he was intended, and after singing as an amateur in concert and oratorios and in the choir of a Philadelphia church, for several years, he went to Italy and studied at Milan under Vannuccini and Lamperti. In 1899 he went to London, where he studied with Shakespeare. He made his debut at the Due de Longueville in the Basoche in 1891. Since then he has sung with the Royal Opera Company at Covent Garden and with the Metropolitan Opera Company in New York, singing the principle roles in French, German and Italian Opera. Bispham has appeared in all the leading barytone parts of the Wagner operas, also in Don Giovanni, Fidelio, Carmen, Hansel und Gretel and Otello. He also took part in the first production of the following operas: Mascagni's Rantzau, Kienzl's Evangelimann, Paderewski's Manru, Cowen's Harold, Stanford's Much Ado About Nothing, and Miss Smyth's Der Wald. He was the original Chillingworth, when Walter Damrosch produced the Scarlet Letter in America. Bispham has also had great success as a concert singer and has done much for musical education in London, by the works which he gave in his series of recitals in that city. Since 1898 he has been a member of the Grand Opera Company both in London and  New York.