Torsten Lennartsson

7 November 1881 Malmö – 31 October 1933 Stockholm

Lennartsson as Turiddu

Until 1903, Lennartsson was a pharmacist-in-training, then he started to study voice at the Stockholm conservatory. He made his debut in 1908 at the Royal Opera House Stockholm, first in a tiny role in L'étoile du nord, then as Nando in Tiefland. He stayed at that theater for his entire (short) career, until 1924, all the time singing both comprimario and main roles (comprimario roles only in his last few years): Rodolfo (his favorite part), Almaviva, Ernesto, Don Ottavio, Arturo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Nicolai's Fenton, Nadir, Lenskij, Roderigo in Otello, Spalanzani, Shujskij, Marouf, Don Curzio. A few times, he tried himself in heavier roles like Turiddu, Erik and Max, with limited success. He left a great number of records.

He was very self-critical and always dissatisfied with the quality of his voice; over the years, his corpulence made moving on stage troublesome, and in 1924, at age 43, he retired – and started a second career as an important voice teacher at the conservatory, eventually becoming head of the vocal department when John Forsell retired. Among Lennartsson's students were Einar Andersson, Folke Andersson and Sigurd Björling (the baritone that was completely unrelated to the Björling tenor family).

Reference: Svenskt biografiskt lexikon, vol. 22
Picture source 1 (Cavalleria); picture source 2 (portrait)

Torsten Lennartsson singsJul (which is Montez à Dieu by Gounod)
Don't be fooled by the label, his name correctly reads Lennartsson, not Lennartson.

Torsten Lennartsson sings Don Pasquale: Com'è gentil
In RA format

Anton Bieber has provided the Gounod recording and label scan: thank you!
I wish to Daniele Godor for the recording.

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