Stanisław Berini

1877 Warsaw – 10 March 1943 Phoenix

Stanisław Berini (appearing also as Stanislao Berini or Stassio Berini) was born in Warsaw in 1877. By contemporary newspaper articles, he is said to have performed in Naples at the San Carlo, in Berlin at the Theater des Westens, at the Royal Opera in Vienna and at the Royal Opera in Warsaw before settling in the USA, where he sang, still according to those articles, at the Metropolitan Opera.

Well, two opera houses on the list have their archives online: the Vienna Staatsoper (formerly the Royal Opera), and the Met. In both cases, Berini's contracts were mere inventions, he never sang at those theaters in reality.

Where he obviously did sing was in Phoenix, Arizona, where he lived from 1928 to his death on March 10th, 1943.

For some strange reasons, many collectors thought that Stanisław Berini was a nom-du-disque of Max Bloch... well, perhaps they had never heard Berini (or Bloch) sing. Berini's obituary in the Prescott Evening Courier of March 12th, 1943 says that he was arrested by the Gestapo on a Berlin visit in 1933 for outspoken criticism of the Nazi party. He would have been extremely daredevil (or mad, or both) to criticize the Nazis while on a visit to Berlin, particularly since he was Jewish. He obviously lost close relatives in the holocaust.

He is buried at the Beth Israel Cemetery, Phoenix.

Reference 1, reference 2: (defunct)

Stanisław Berini singsLa bohème: Che gelida manina

Stanisław Berini singsA dream (Bartlett)

Stanisław Berini singsRigoletto: La donna è mobile
Among the bizarrer vicissitudes of recording history is one pseudonym shared by two – not even considerably similar – singers: "Mario Brefelli" was used on record by Berini as well as by Max Bloch.

Many thanks to Anton Bieber for the Bartlett and Rigoletto recordings and label scans.

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