Ulysses/Ulisse Lappas

Soloist, Tenor
He is regarded as one of the leading, internationally acclaimed Greek tenors of the interwar period, who influenced the opera world also in Greece. He was born in Alexandria, Egypt in 1890 and grew up in a cosmopolitan environment of the Greek diaspora. He began his musical studies at the International Conservatory of Alexandria. He continued his studies in Milan under Giuseppe Mandolini (1912-15). He debuted in 1915 at the Teatro Dal Verme Milan as Enzo [La Gioconda], and also appeared in Bari as Canio [Pagliacci]. In 1917 he appeared at La Scala Milan and in 1918 in Parma and Brescia as Dick Johnson [The Girl of the West/La fanciulla del West]. His international career began in 1919 when he appeared in Monte Carlo in the title role in Ruy Blas, as well as Dick Johnson, and later as Canio opposite Elvira de Hidalgo (1920) and Parsifal (1921). He also successfully appeared in London and Paris (1919), Cairo (1920) and again in London (1925) as Count Ipanov in Fedora, opposite Maria Jeritza. In 1921/22 and 1928/29 he sang as soloist at the Opera of Chicago. Up until 1935 he appeared regularly at major opera houses in Italian cities, such as Venice, Parma, Palermo, Genoa, Milan, Pisa, Verona, Naples, Rome, etc. In addition, he sang in performances in Spain, Portugal, Greece and Turkey (Smirne, Istanbul). In 1936 he backed efforts by Greek lyric singers to organize trade unions, while he was elected president of the Association of Greek Lyric Singers and in 1939 founded the short-lived Athens People's Melodrama. He remained in Greece during the German occupation. In 1946 he participated in an honorary music event held at the GNO to celebrate the 30th anniversary of his artistic activity. Between 1948-52 he sang in six GNO productions and/or revivals, as Don José [Carmen] (1948/49, 1950/51, 1951/52), Canio [Pagliacci] (1948/49, 1950/51) and Mario Cavaradossi [Tosca] (1951/52). He also served as GNO curator and head of etiquette. Some of his performances are preserved in recordings. He died in Athens on 26/7/1971.