To provide support for the training, education and career development of exceptionally large, dramatic voices in the field of opera and conductors in the field of classical music.
Recipients of grants to be made by the Foundation shall have completed basic degree related studies and/or be identified as demonstrating exceptional talent in performance of their art at the professional level.
"Olga Forrai was a personality one could only compare with Teresa Stratas or Maria Callas, a singing actress with a voice of great reach, from mezzo to high soprano. She didn't fit into any category; she was like the great artists of the mid-19th century, such as Marie Malibran."
Olga Forrai was born in Budapest, Hungary, where she received her first musical education, which was continued later on in Berlin and in Milano with the famous Fernando Carpi (tenor). At age 18 she was engaged by the Zurich Opera to sing the roles of Mignon, Rosenkavalier, Carmen, Aida, etc. While there, she was lucky enough to participate in the Opera Festival of the Vienna State Opera under the direction of Bruno Walter. His recommendation brought her as a guest singer to Berlin and Frankfurt.
The next permanent station was the Opera at Prague, world-renowned for the historical first performance of Mozart's 'Don Giovanni'. Under the leadership of Alexander v. Zemlinsky, famous for his Mozart and Wagner interpretations, and teacher of Schoenberg, Korngold and Bodanzky, she sang a large classical and modern repertoire. One of the festivals of the 'International Society of Modern Music' prepared her way to the United States. Here she was heard by famous conductors and music critics (Fritz Reiner, Cesar Searchinger and others), and was soon engaged to the Civic Opera Company in Chicago, where she portrayed the leading roles of her German, French and Italian repertoire. The following season she sang many new roles, among them the first performance of the American opera 'Castle Agrazant' by Ralph Lyford. Extended tours and guest performances all over Europe followed.
She was married in Prague, from now on her domicile, where her home soon became a center for musicians and composers. At the special request of Eugene D'Albert, she sang Martha in 'Tiefland'. Thereafter she portrayed 'Salome' with the Strauss specialist George Szell. She also sang French music under Pierre Monteux and music of contemporary composers with William Steinberg. Her talent for song recital took her from Prague to London and back, and soon her special pedagogical gift brought her to the 'lecture recital' circuit.
THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Vice-President / Treasurer Mark Corpron
Helga Kramer - Emeritus
The Board of Directors and the Artistic Advisory Committee of The Olga Forrai Foundation, Inc. are extremely proud of our Artistic Advisor, Martina Arroyo, for the recognition by the Kennedy Center, celebrating her artistic and philanthropic achievements as a recipient of the 2013 Kennedy Center Honors!
We are grateful for her guidance and expertise in our shared mission of helping young singers and conductors to realrize their excellence in the field of opera at the professional level.
PAST ARTISTIC ADVISORS
ARTISTIC ADVISORY COMMITTEE