Merle Alcock

Merle Alcock (February 6, 1884 - March 1, 1975) was an American contralto who sang with the Metropolitan Opera in 236 performances from 1919 to 1929, officially signing in with them in 1924.

Alcock's concert debut was in London in 1914. She also sang with the Boston and New York Symphony Orchestras. She found a patron in Mrs. Charles Schwab in 1916. Mrs. Schwab was herself a singer as a young woman. Alcock first sang at the Met in a performance of Verdi’s Requiem Mass on Dec. 14, 1919. Her opera debut was on Nov. 15, 1923, when she sang the role of the fiddler Beppe in L’amico Fritz. Alcock trained other singers in her retirement such as Eileen Farrell.

Alcock was born Merle Tillotson in Andover, Missouri to Zula and the Reverend Elijah Tillotson. She graduated from Drake University’s Conservatory of Music in 1906. She married Bechtel Alcock, a tenor, in 1914. The two would often perform together. She died on March 1, 1975 and is buried in Wooster Cemetery in Wooster, Ohio.

Birth and Death Data: Born February 6, 1884 (Andover, Missouri), Died March 1, 1975 (Phoenix)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1909 - 1928

Roles Represented in DAHR: contralto

Notes: Born Merle Tillotson; wife of tenor Bechtel Alcock. Victor ledgers give her address as 42 West 12th Street, New York City.

= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 87 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor B-22696 10-in. 4/22/1919 Gentle Annie Merle Alcock Female vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, contralto  
Victor B-22697 10-in. 4/22/1919 'Tis all that I can say Merle Alcock Female vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, contralto  
Victor B-22698 10-in. 4/22/1919 Suo-gan Merle Alcock Female vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, contralto  
Victor B-22699 10-in. 4/22/1919 The meeting of the waters Merle Alcock Female vocal solo, with harp and orchestra vocalist, contralto  
Victor B-22800 10-in. 4/23/1919 Goodbye, sweet day Merle Alcock Female vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, contralto  
Victor B-24180 10-in. 6/23/1920 Sad at heart Merle Alcock Female vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, contralto  
Victor B-24355 10-in. 7/26/1920 I cannot sing the old songs Merle Alcock Female vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, contralto  
Victor B-24624 10-in. 10/14/1920 I have a dream Merle Alcock Female vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, contralto  
Victor B-25200 10-in. 4/12/1921 Caresses Merle Alcock Female vocal solo, with xylophone and orchestra vocalist, contralto  
Victor B-25201 10-in. 4/12/1921 Monastery bells Merle Alcock Female vocal solo, with bells, celeste, chimes, and orchestra vocalist, contralto  
Victor B-25513 10-in. 8/15/1921 The old road Merle Alcock Female vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, contralto  
Victor B-25514 10-in. 8/15/1921 Ship o' dreams Merle Alcock Female vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, contralto  
Victor B-25578 10-in. 9/27/1921 The Virgin's lullaby Merle Alcock Female vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, contralto  
Victor C-25585 12-in. 10/5/1921 The radiant morn hath passed away Lyric Quartet Mixed vocal quartet, with orchestra vocalist, contralto  
Victor B-25586 10-in. 10/5/1921 Rock of ages Lyric Quartet Mixed vocal quartet, with orchestra vocalist, contralto  
Victor B-25792 10-in. 12/5/1921 Rock-a-bye baby Merle Alcock Female vocal solo, with violin, harp, and orchestra vocalist, contralto  
Victor B-25793 10-in. 12/5/1921 My trundle bed Merle Alcock Female vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, contralto  
Victor B-26459 10-in. 5/9/1922 Violets Merle Alcock Female vocal solo, with violin and orchestra vocalist, contralto  
Victor B-26460 10-in. 5/9/1922 Not a sparrow falleth Merle Alcock Female vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, contralto  
Victor B-27019 10-in. 10/11/1922 My task Merle Alcock Female vocal solo, with celeste and orchestra vocalist, contralto  
Victor B-27020 10-in. 10/11/1922 The little sandman Merle Alcock Female vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, contralto  
Victor B-27098 10-in. 12/4/1922 Grass and roses Merle Alcock Female vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, contralto  
Victor B-27378 10-in. 1/8/1923 Sweet spirit, hear my prayer Merle Alcock Female vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, contralto  
Victor B-27752 10-in. 4/12/1923 Hold thou my hand Merle Alcock Female vocal solo, with violin and orchestra vocalist, contralto  
Victor B-28128 10-in. 6/18/1923 We'd better bide a wee Merle Alcock Contralto vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, contralto  
(Results 1-25 of 87 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Alcock, Merle," accessed June 25, 2022, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/113828.

Alcock, Merle. (2022). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved June 25, 2022, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/113828.

"Alcock, Merle." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2022. Web. 25 June 2022.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/113828

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