Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

May 10, 2015

Frances Alda (Soprano) (Christchurch, New Zealand 1883 - Venezia, Italia 1952)

She was a Marchesi pupil. She made her debut (1904) as Manon at the Opéra-Comique where she was called a "delicious twenty-two year old Australian." She was invited to the Metropolitan Opera in 1908 by the conductor, Arturo Toscanini. She met Toscanini at La Scala during her debut there in the Milan premiere of Charpentier's ‘Louise’’. She remained at the Metropolitan for twenty-two seasons. A testament to her intelligence, she learned the standard repertory as well as roles in operas seldom heard today, such as Giordano's ‘’La Cena delle Beffe’’, Hadley's ‘’Cleopatra's Night’’, Catalani's ‘’Loreley’’, Herbert's ‘’Madeleine’’ and Rabaud's ‘’Marouf’’. It has been said that her long career at the Metropolitan can be attributed, in part, to her marriage to the general manager of that house, Giulio Gatti-Casazza, whom she met in Milan. After twenty-two years of marriage she divorced Gatti-Casazza and subsequently devoted several years to the concert stage.

Chronology of some appearances

1904 Paris Opéra-Comique
1906 London Covent Garden
1907 Milan La Scala 
1908 New York Metropolitan Opera

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