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Lauritz Melchior (1890 - 1973)

Melchior was born in Copenhagen on 20 March 1890.  The Melchior family had been Lutheran ministers, doctors and teachers since the seventeenth century. Father Jorgen owned a private school, and both parents were avid amateur singers. After Lauritz’s mother died, the baby was looked after by housekeeper Kristine Jensen, who devoted herself to the boy for the rest of her life. When the family fortunes fell upon hard times, proceeds from her famous cookbook served as a source of money for Lauritz’s studies beginning with his first voice lessons with Poul Bang and including four years of twice-weekly drama study. This work prepared him for the Royal Opera School, where he studied singing, drama and ballet.



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