Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

May 1, 2015

Maria Galvany (Soprano) (Mancha Real, Andalusia, Spain 1875 – Madrid, Spain 1927/Rio de Janeiro 1949)

She studied at the Madrid Conservatory with the renowned singing teacher Lázaro María Puig and Napoleone Verger. She made her debut as Lucia at Cartagena in 1897. Specializing in coloratura roles, she sang with great success in Spain and Italy, gaining her greatest popularity in South America. She also toured with a company that performed throughout Europe, including Russia (where she was a favorite singer), visiting London 1909, where she appeared at Drury Lane as Amina, Rosina and in the title role of Meyerbeer’s ''Dinorah''. In Lisbon she sang uninterruptedly for 15 years at the Coliseu. She gained great success in Parma, Venezia, and Genoa. It seems rather strange, however, that she never managed to appear at La Scala, the Met, the Teatro Cólon or at Covent Garden. She retired to Brazil and died there in poverty. Comment: Vocally, Maria Galvany represents an extreme case. Her virtuosity, the limpidity of her trills, roulades, and above all, her staccati lead us to think, more of an instrument than of a voice. One might get the impression to listen to a canary. Nevertheless, some of her recordings are remarkable for the sweetness of her voice. Listen to the duets she made opposite Tita Ruffo. You will hear a singer capable to adapt the musicality of her great br. colleague. In the following title she “invented” a breathtaking cadenza.

Chronology of some appearances

1896 Barcellona Gran Via Barbiere di Siviglia (Rosina)
1898 Madrid Reale Crispino e la Comare (Annetta)
1899 Madrid Reale Africana (Ines)
1901 Lisbona Coliseo Recrejos Barbiere di Siviglia (Rosina)  
1901 Kischineff Nazionale Barbiere di Siviglia (Rosina)          
1902 Montevideo Solis Barbiere di Siviglia (Rosina)   
1902 Buenos Ayres Odeon Barbiere di Siviglia (Rosina)        
1903 Nice Jetee Promenade Barbiere di Siviglia (Rosina)       
1903 Kiev Soloznikoff Barbiere di Siviglia (Rosina)    
1903 Lisbona Coliseo Recrejos Barbiere di Siviglia (Rosina)  
1904 Lisbona Coliseo Recrejos Barbiere di Siviglia (Rosina)
1904 Domodossola Galletti Barbiere di Siviglia (Rosina)
1904 Napoli Bellini Barbiere di Siviglia (Rosina)
1905 Lisbona Coliseo Recrejos Barbiere di Siviglia (Rosina)
1905 Lisbona Coliseo Recrejos Boheme (Mimi)
1905 Lisbona Coliseo Recrejos Crispino e la Comare (Annetta)
1905 Rio de Janeiro Lirico Barbiere di Siviglia (Rosina)
1905 San Paolo Vittoria Barbiere di Siviglia (Rosina)
1905 Amsterdam Paleis Voor Volksvlijt Barbiere di Siviglia (Rosina)
1905 San Paolo Santana Barbiere di Siviglia (Rosina)
1905 Santa Fè Municipal Barbiere di Siviglia (Rosina)
1906 San Pietroburgo  Nuovo Conservatorio Barbiere di Siviglia (Rosina)
1906 San Pietroburgo  Nuovo Conservatorio Don Pasquale (Norina)
1906 Kiev Soloznikoff Barbiere di Siviglia (Rosina)
1906 Odessa Municipale Barbiere di Siviglia (Rosina)
1906 San Pietroburgo  Aquarium Barbiere di Siviglia (Rosina)
1907 Bucarest Nazionale Barbiere di Siviglia (Rosina)


G&T, Milano 1903-02-12/28
Rigoletto (Verdi): Caro nome 53293 3048b (-R)
L'eco (Eckert) 53294 3049b

Pathé cylinders & discs, Paris 1904?
Fado portuguez (Neuparth) 4128
Biondo (Marino) 4131

G&T, Milano 1906-10-20
Zauberflöte (Mozart): Gli angui d'inferno 53482 4728h
Rigoletto (Verdi): Ah veglia o donna with Titta Ruffo 54315 4727h
Rigoletto (Verdi): Piangi fanciulla with Titta Ruffo 054100 545i
Barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini): Una voce poco fà 53484 4732h
Puritani (Bellini): Qui la voce 53485 4734h
Mireille (Gounod): O d'amor messagera (Valzer) 53483 4731h
Sonnambula (Bellini): Son geloso with Aristodemo Giorgini 054112 548i
Don Pasquale (Donizetti): Tornami a dir  with Aristodemo Giorgini 054111 549i
Elisir d'amore (Donizetti): Chiedi all'aura  with Aristodemo Giorgini 054110 551i
Traviata (Verdi): Dite alla giovine with Titta Ruffo 054101 546i

G&T, Milano 1907-10/11
Huguenots (Meyerbeer): O lieto suol 053164 1340c
Puritani (Bellini): Piangi o figlia with Andres de Segurola 54370 10852b
Sonnambula (Bellini): Duetto Annina-Rodolfo with Andres de Segurola 54371  10901b
Hijas del Zebedeo (Chapi): Carceleras (Sp) 53527 10895b
Variazioni (Proch) 53526 10894b
Hamlet (Thomas): Ora a noi 053162 1307c
Roméo et Juliette (Gounod): Nella calma 053163 1308c
L'incantatrice (Arditi) 053165 1399½c
Barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini): Dunque io son with Titta Ruffo 054181 1328½c
Hamlet (Thomas): Nega se puoi le luce with Titta Ruffo 054180 1312½c

Gramophone, Milano 1908-05?
Barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini): Ah qual colpo with Fernando de Lucia 54384 11168b
Puritani (Bellini): Vieni fra queste braccie with Francesco Marconi 054208 1446c
Linda di Chamounix (Donizetti): O luce di quest'anima 53549 11190b
Sonnambula (Bellini): Prendi, l'anel ti dono with Fernando de Lucia 054217 1443c
Sonnambula (Bellini): Ah non giunge 53551 11192b
Maggio, Valzer (Dufau) 053193 1450c
Lucia di Lammermoor (Donizetti): Splendon le sacre faci 053181 1453½c
Dinorah (Meyerbeer): Ombra leggiera 053180 1451½c
Lakmé (Delibes): Aria della campanelle 053182 1455½c
Traviata (Verdi): Sempre libera with Remo Andreini 054209 1456c
Crispino e la Comare (Ricci): Io non sono più l'Annetta 53550 11191b

Edison, London 1910
La Sonnambula (Bellini): Son geloso del’zeffiro errante with Umberto Macnez unpubl. 402-B
Aria e variazione, op. 64 (Proch) Unpubl. 398-A
L’ incantatrice (Arditi) Unpubl. 410-A

Edison 4-min cylinders, USA? 1911?
Zauberflöte (Mozart): Aria della regina della notte 35012
Traviata (Verdi): Sempre libera 35018
Sonnambula (Bellini): Come per me sereno BA 28123


  1. It seems to me MARIA GALVANY died on 2 November 1949. There disputes about that, however. There is a version she might have also died in 1918 because of influenza! But I've never heard of 1927...

  2. She died in Rio de Janeiro (as far as I know).

  3. Dear blog writer,

    Thanks a lot for your great contribution. It is very useful to find all these singers here. Regarding Galvany, it has been recently proved that she died in Madrid, not in Brazil. Her name was confused with the one of another Brazilian artist but the original death documents are in Madrid according to the research done in the book María Galvany, una diva en Pinos Puente by José Antonio García

  4. Her death place has been recently revised. She died in Madrid according to the documents of the book Maria Galvany, Una diva en Pinos Puente by José Antonio García.