Definitions

Melchior

Melchior

[mel-kyawr, -kee-awr]
Broederlam, Melchior, active c.1381-1409, Franco-Flemish painter. Broederlam was among the first practitioners of the International Gothic style (see Gothic architecture and art). He was court painter after 1387 to Philip the Bold, duke of Burgundy. Broederlam attempted to place figures in perspective, as in his panels for Baerze's Retable (Musée de la Ville, Dijon).
Melchior: see Wise Men of the East.
Melchior, Lauritz, 1890-1973, Danish heroic tenor. He made his debut in Copenhagen in 1913, singing a baritone role in I Pagliacci, and sang regularly at the Bayreuth Festivals from 1925 to 1931. In addition to possessing a great voice, Melchior was an exciting actor. He was the leading Wagnerian tenor at the Metropolitan Opera, New York City, from 1926 to 1950, singing over 1,000 performances. Although he confined his career at the Metropolitan to Wagnerian roles, he did appear successfully in Europe as the leading tenor in Verdi's Otello and Aïda.
Klesl or Khlesl, Melchior, 1552-1630, Austrian politician, cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. The son of a Protestant baker, he was converted to Catholicism by the Jesuits and became chancellor of the Univ. of Vienna. Made (1581) an official of the bishop of Passau and then (1598) bishop of Vienna, he led the campaign to drive Protestantism from Lower Austria. Later, however, as adviser to Archduke (after 1612, Holy Roman Emperor) Matthias, he concluded that only a policy of compromise would preserve intact the Hapsburg domains. In 1615 he was created cardinal. Archduke Ferdinand (later Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II), attributing the emperor's delay in putting down the Prague insurrection (the prelude to the Thirty Years War) to Klesl's influence, had him imprisoned (1618). Later released (1622) and transferred to Rome, he returned to Vienna as bishop in 1627.
Khlesl, Melchior: see Klesl, Melchior.
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