Sándor Svéd

28 May 1906 Budapest – 9 June 1979 Budapest

Sándor Svéd (Alexander Svéd or Alessandro De Svéd, for Western audiences) was and still is a legend in Hungary. After vocal studies with Fritz Feinhals, Mario Sammarco and Riccardo Stracciari, he started his career at the Budapest opera (1928–36), then was a member of the Vienna Staatsoper from 1936 and officially until 1940, although he sang mostly in Italy from 1938. From 1940 to 1950, he was a member of the New York Met.

When he visited relatives in Hungary in 1950 (or 1951?, sources differ), the Communist government did not allow him to leave the country and travel back to the USA. So he had to stay, and had no other possibility than to sing at the Budapest opera theater again. After 1957, he could resume his international activity.

His singing was of quite spectacular beauty when he was young; unfortunately, though, the vast majority of his recordings was (like the ones below) made after his forced return to Hungary, and by then, his sound was (often extremely) woolly, and marred by a heavy wobble.

Reference 1: Kutsch & Riemens, reference 2

Sándor Svéd sings Un ballo in maschera: Alla vita che t'arride
In RA format

Sándor Svéd sings La forza del destino:Solenne in quest'ora, with Róbert Ilosfalvy
In RA format

Sándor Svéd sings Tannhäuser: Blick' ich umher
In RA format
I would like to thank Ildikó Végh for the recordings and pictures.

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