Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

Jul 17, 2013

Maria Gay (Mezzo-Soprano) (? 1879 - New York 1943)

Her real name was Maria Pichot. She wanted to become originally a sculptor, however, studied at the same time autodidactically singing. Supposedly her voice was discovered at the age of 16 years in a prison. She was arrested for singing revolutionary or nationalist songs. She became a pupil of Juan Gay in Barcelona whom she married, but soon they divorced. In 1902 she appeared for the first time in Brussels in a concert together with the pianist Raoul Pugno and the violinist Eugène Ysaye. In 1902 she made stage debut in the Théâtre de la Monnaie, Brussels as Carmen. Additionally she studied under Ada Adini in Paris. Then she had big success in stages of France and Italy. Since 1906 she often guested in the Covent Garden of London (debut as Carmen). In 1907 she sang in La Scala as a beginning role again her Carmen and was very successful in the same playing time there as Orpheus of Gluck and as Amneris in ‘’Aida’’ under A. Toscanini. In the 1908-09 season she was active in the Metropolitan Opera, New York (debut once more as Carmen opposite Enrico Caruso). She appeared there also in ‘’Cavalleria ruticana’’, ‘’Il Trovatore’’, ‘’Aida’’,  ‘’Falstaff’’ again under A. Toscanini. From 1910-12 and 1915-16 she sang in the Boston Opera; in 1913 she married the famous tenor Giovanni Zenatello (1876-1949). In the first festival of the Arena di Verona, which was built thanks to the couple’s efforts, she sang in 1913 the role of Amneris in ‘’Aida’’, in 1914 the role of Carmen, her star role. In La Scala she appeared in 1913 again as Amneris, also in both big opera houses of Paris, the Grand Opéra and the Opéra-Comique she gave guest performances. On 22. 4. 1915 she sang in the opening season of the Teatro Nacional in Havana as Amneris, like the Carmen one of her star roles, which she also reported in 1924 in Berlin. She guested during her career in the big theaters of Spain, Italy and South America and was during several playing times (1913-27 with interruptions) she was a member of the Chicago Opera. In 1927 she sang for the last time in Rome again the role of Carmen. After retiring from the stage she lived as a pedagogue in New York.

Chronology of some appearances

1899 Barcellona  Teatro Novedades Ballo in Maschera (Ulrica)
1906 Milano  Teatro La Scala Carmen (Carmen)
1907 Firenze  Teatro Della Pergola Carmen (Carmen)
1907 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Coliseo Carmen (Carmen)
1907 Buenos Ayres  Teatro dell'Opera Carmen (Carmen)
1907 Montevideo  Teatro Urquiza Carmen (Carmen)
1907 San Paolo  Politeama Carmen (Carmen)
1908 New York  Teatro Metropolitan Carmen (Carmen)
1908 New York  Teatro Metropolitan Cavalleria Rusticana (Lola)
1909 New York  Brooklyn Opera House Carmen (Carmen)
1909 Philadelphia  Academy of Music Carmen (Carmen)
1909 Madrid  Teatro Reale Carmen (Carmen)
1909 Boston  Opera House Carmen (Carmen)
1910 Chicago  Auditorium Carmen (Carmen)
1910 Pittsburgh  Nixon Theater Carmen (Carmen)
1910 St.Louis  Odeon Theater Carmen (Carmen)
1910 Cincinnati  Music Hall Carmen (Carmen)
1910 Boston  Opera House Carmen (Carmen)
1910 Boston  Opera House Cavalleria Rusticana (Lola)
1910 Madrid  Teatro Reale Carmen (Carmen)
1911 Springfield  Opera Carmen (Carmen)
1911 Boston  Opera House Carmen (Carmen)
1911 Boston  Opera House Cavalleria Rusticana (Lola)
1912 New York  Teatro Metropolitan Ballo in Maschera (Ulrica)
1912 Philadelphia  Teatro Metropolitan Carmen (Carmen)
1912 Chicago  Civic Opera House Carmen (Carmen)
1912 Chicago  Civic Opera House Cavalleria Rusticana (Lola)
1912 Boston  Opera House Cavalleria Rusticana (Lola)
1917 Città del Messico  Plaza de Toros Ballo in Maschera (Ulrica)


G&T, 1903
Page d'amour (Pugno) 33386 2518F

Gramophone, London 1907-12
Carmen (Bizet): Sequidilla 53516 7293e
Carmen (Bizet): L'amour est un oiseau rebelle 033039 2151f
Samson et Dalila (Saint-Saens): Mon coeur s'ouvre a te voix 033041 2154f

HMV, London 1909-11-08
Trovatore (Verdi): Stride la vampa 2-053018 3803f
Carmen (Bizet): Gipsy song 2-063000 3816f
Carmen (Bizet): Air de Cartes 2-063002 3806f

Columbia, New York 1911-11-17
Trovatore (Verdi): Ai nostri monti with  Giovanni Zenatello A5370 30892

Columbia, New York 1911-11-20
Aida (Verdi): Misero appien mi festi  with  Giovanni Zenatello 30896, A5406
Trovatore (Verdi): Perigliarti ancor languente with with  Giovanni Zenatello A5370 30895
Cavalleria Rusticana (Mascagni): Tu qui, Santuzza with  Giovanni Zenatello 30921 A5426

Columbia, New York 1911-11-29
Aida (Verdi): Già i sacerdoti adunansi with  Giovanni Zenatello 30920  A5406

Samson et Dalila (Saint-Saens): Mon coeur s'ouvre a te voix  A5280 30664
Samson et Dalila (Saint-Saens): Aria  A5280 30669
Carmen (Bizet): Air de Cartes A5279 30667
Carmen (Bizet): Habanera A5279 30665

Victor, Camden NJ 1929-01-29
Tosca (Puccini): Tu? di tua man... O dolci mani with  Giovanni Zenatello 1399 BVE49808

HMV, USA 1930-03-12
Carmen (Bizet): Sei tu? with  Giovanni Zenatello VB43 42-1029
Carmen (Bizet): No, mai Carmen non cedera! with  Giovanni Zenatello VB43 42-1030

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