Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

Jan 15, 2015

Anna Fitziu (Soprano) (Huntington, West Virginia 1887 – Hollywood, California 1967)

Her real name was Anna Powell, but she worked under the name Anna Fitzhugh. She studied singing under William Thorner in Paris. First she appeared in Chicago in musical Comedies, then went to Italy, where she made her debut in 1910 at the Teatro Dal Werme in Milan as Elsa in R. Wagner’s ‘’Lohengrin’’. During the next five years she sang in Naples, Palermo, Rome and Florence. She also made guest performances at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires and at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. In 1915 she was engaged by the Metropolitan Opera in New York. On 28. 1. 1916 here she sang the role of Rosario in the premiere of the opera ‘’Goyescas’’ by Granados (at the same time her beginning role at the Metropolitan Opera). This remained the only role, which she took over at the Metropolitan Opera, however, here she often appeared in the Sunday Night Concerts. In the 1917-1919 seasons she was engaged by the Chicago Civic Opera, where she appeared in 1917 in the premiere of Henry Hadley's opera ‘’Azora’’ and also sang in 1919 in the American première of Catalani’s opera ‘’Loreley’’. In the 1922-1926 seasons she again appeared at Chicago Civic Opera. In 1921 she undertook a tour with the San Carlo Opera through the USA. In 1924 she made guest appearances at the Havana Opera  as Desdemona in ‘’Otello’’ and Tosca opposite Giovanni Martinelli. Her repertoire included Mimi in ‘’La Bohème’’, Nedda in ‘’Pagliacci’’, Fiora in ‘’L'Amore dei tre Re’’ by Montemezzi. Later she wroked as pedagogue in Chicago, then in Los Angeles.

Chronology of some appearances

1917 Mexico City Teatro Arbeu/Septiembre 10/Noviembre 4 Giovanni Zenatello (Canio); Anna Fitziu (Nedda); Giacomo Rimini/ Riccardo Stracciari (Tonio); Salustio Civai (Silvio); Arturo Graziani (Beppe) (Función en la Plaza el Toreo)

San Carlo/Boston 
15 November, 1922 Otello Iago (Richard Bonelli), Manuel Salazar (Otello), Anna Fitziu (Desdemona), Francesco Curci (Cassio), Arthur Dossler (Rodrigo), Pietro de Biasi (Lodovico), Natale Cervi (Montano), Antonio Canova (Herald); cond Carlo Peroni

Chicago Civic Opera 
26 November, 1925 Otello Iago (Richard Bonelli), Charles Marshall (Otello), Anna Fitziu (or Eleanor Sawyer), Jose Mojica (Cassio), Marie Claessens (Emilia), Alexander Kipnis, Antonio Nicolich, cond. Roberto Moranzoni


Pathé, New York 1916?
Goyescas (Granados): La maja y el ruiseñor 82001

1 comment:

  1. This is part of my mother´s extended family. Anna Fitziu´s niece Edna "Kellogg" (born Smith), also a soprano, was my grandfather Kimball Clay Smith´s 1/2 sister. Thought you might be interested in a note that I have in my database:
    In a letter from Kimball Clay Smith to his relatives, dated 24 Dec. 1961, he claims that Anna had just sold out in Chicago and on the way to the west coast. Sounded like they were all on their way to California to relocate and were buying property. My Aunt, Page Hartley, told me that Anna was living next to Groucho Marx, and that she went up to him and introduced herself to him as his new neighbor. He is said to have replied, "Lucky for you !".
    Regards, Amy Stoddard in Denmark