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Émile Belcourt

Émile Belcourt was a Canadian operatic tenor. He appeared in operas at English National Opera and elsewhere, appeared in musicals. Belcourt was born in Saskatchewan, in 1926, son of Adrien Belcourt and Jeanne née Rivard, his mother, a church organist and pianist for silent films, encouraged his musical talents. He served in the Canadian navy towards the end of the Second World War. In 1949 he obtained a degree in pharmacy. Persuaded there that he should be in London, Belcourt auditioned with John Pritchard. During subsequent years he studied in Paris, his teacher in Vienna, Editha Fleischer, advised that he should move to baritone roles, he unwisely made this change from 1951 with contracts in Bonn and Ulm. Following the misjudgment he retrained in Paris and achieved success as Pelléas in Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande for French radio. In 1962 Belcourt appeared as Pelléas, he returned to Scottish Opera in years, including their production of Verdi's Otello in the second season, as Shuysky in Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov in 1965.

In London he appeared in 1962 with the Royal Opera as Gonzalve in L'heure espagnole by Ravel. In the following year he appeared with Sadler's Wells Opera as Pluto in Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld. During the following thirty years he played many roles at Sadler's Wells. Belcourt appeared in musicals, including Man of La Mancha in London's West End in 1968 and Kiss Me, Kate at Sadler's Wells in 1970. In 1988, as Émile de Becque, he was in South Pacific at the Prince of Wales Theatre, he created the role of the neurologist in The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat by Michael Nyman in 1986. He was described in the Financial Times as "a character tenor of great accomplishment". Belcourt settled in Toronto, he died there in August 2017, aged 91. Belcourt married Margaret Eagle in 1951, they had seven children; the marriage was dissolved, in 1980 he married the operatic soprano Norma Burrowes. Émile Belcourt on IMDb

Petras Cvirka

Petras Cvirka was a Lithuanian author of several novels, children's books, short story collections. He wrote under a variety of noms de plume: A. Cvingelis, Cezaris Petrėnas, J. K. Pavilionis, K. Cvirka, Kazys Gerutis, Klangis Petras, Klangių Petras, L. P. Cvirka, Laumakys, P. Cvinglis, P. Cvirka-Rymantas, P. Gelmė, P. Veliuoniškis, Petras Serapinas, S. Laumakys, his works have been translated into Belarusian, Chinese, English, Hungarian, Polish and Uzbek. Cvirka attended an art school in Kaunas between 1926 and 1930. However, after graduation he drifted away from visual arts to literature, he began publishing poetry in 1924 and studied literature in Paris during 1931 and 1932. He translated 34 shorter works from French into Lithuanian. In the decade he travelled to Moscow and western Europe, he supported Lithuania's incorporation into the Soviet Union. In 1941, following the outbreak of war between Germany and the Soviet Union, he moved to Alma-Ata and Moscow, joining the Union of Writers of the USSR.

Returning to Lithuania in 1944, he went on to serve as chairman of the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic's Writer's Union and as editor of the journal Pergalė. After Cvirka's death in 1947, the Soviet authorities erected a monument to his memory in Vilnius; this monument became the object of controversy after the restoration of independence in 1990 due to Cvirka's pro-communist activities. There were calls for its removal. Cvirka's works combine biting commentary on social issues with keen feelings for the natural world, his works are known for their wit and strong dialogue. The novel Meisteris ir sūnūs depicts the folk art of Lithuania in a new way, it incorporates plentiful folkloric and ethnographic details of Lithuanian village life and attempts to translate rich oral traditions into the written medium. A prominent example of socialist realism, the novel Žemė maitintoja depicts an ideal new socialist man; the protagonist is a young, non-religious, determined farmer, who received his land as a result of the land reform when estates of former nobility were divided among the poor.

He has no emotional attachment to his land, rather perceiving the economic benefits of collective farming. This is an example of a person; the two-volume Frank Kruk is a satirical novel about Pranas Krukelis, a Lithuanian immigrant to the United States who Americanizes his name to Frank Kruk. Krukelis engages in exploits other Lithuanian immigrants. A theatrical adaptation was staged in Klaipėda in 2003. Cvirka was the first writer to address the Lithuanian partisans – anti-Soviet guerrilla fighters – in the short story Pabučiavimas, one of his last works. Pirmosios mišios Saulėlydis Nykos valsčiuje Frank Kruk Meisteris ir sūnūs Žemė maitintoja Brolybės sėkla from Archive.org