Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

Jun 14, 2015

Maria Jeritza (Soprano) (Brno, Czech Republic 1887 – Orange, New Jersey, United States 1982)

She studied in Brno and Prague, made her début at Olmütz in 1910 (a Elsa), then joined the Vienna Volskoper, and in 1912 appeared at the Hofoper. She quickly became an immense favorite in Vienna, where she sang regularly for over two decades. She was an especially admired Tosca, Minnie and Turandot. Among her many Strauss roles she was the first Ariadne in both versions of Ariadne auf Naxos (Stuttgart in 1912 and Vienna in 1919), and the first Empress in Die Frau ohne Schatten (Vienna, 1919). Having sung Marietta in the first Vienna performance of Korngold’s Di tote Stadt in 1921, she repeated this role for her Metropolitan début later that year. Of greater musical significance was her Jenufa in both the first Viennese (1918) and first New York (1924) performances of Janacek’s masterpiece. During the next 12 years she became recognized as the Metropolitan’s most glamorous and beautiful star since the days of Geraldine Farrar, and appropriately introduced to New York both Puccini’s Turandot and Strauss’s Die ägyptische Helena. Her Covent Garden performances were confined to seven roles during 1925 and 1926, whereas at the Metropolitan she sang 290 performances in 20 roles. After World War II she made isolated appearances in Vienna and New York. Though endowed with an ample and lustrous voice, Jeritza belonged to the category of artist known as a ‘singing actress’, freely yielding both dramatically and vocally to impulses that were sometimes more flamboyant than refined. In her numerous records, faults of taste and technique co-exist with genuine vocal achievement.

Chronology of some appearances

Elsa von Brabant 12/27/1921, Floria Tosca 2/28/1922, Marietta / Die Erscheinung Maries 3/28/1922, Octavian 12/5/1922, Thaïs 2/20/1923, 11/13/1923, La principessa Fedora Romazov 12/18/1923, 11/25/1924, Jenufa 12/16/1924, Floria Tosca 11/24/1925, Thaïs 12/29/1925, Maliella 1/19/1926, Floria Tosca 11/2/1926, La principessa Turandot 11/30/1926, Elsa von Brabant 2/1/1927, Violanta 11/15/1927, Santuzza 12/20/1927, Carmen 1/24/1928, Helena 11/13/1928, Elisabeth 1/8/1929, Minnie Falconer 11/19/1929, La principessa Turandot 12/10/1929, Floria Tosca 2/4/1930, Minnie Falconer 11/4/1930, Senta 12/2/1930, Giovanni Boccaccio 1/6/1931, Floria Tosca 1/20/1931, 11/17/1931, Senta 12/15/1931, René Dufaure 1/5/1932 (Filadelfia)


Pathé, Wien 1908?
Trovatore (Verdi): Befreit, o welche Seligkeit with Hans Melms 38656
Lohengrin (Wagner): Euch Lüften 38650

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