Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

Oct 22, 2018

Marion Talley (Soprano) (Nevada, Missouri, USA December 20, 1906 – Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA January 3, 1983)

She was a musical prodigy and she began singing at the age of five. She was only 15, when settled in Kansas City. She showed an amazing talent in piano and violin playing. Then she studied with Frank La Forge in New York, where she also gave her first concerts. After additional education in Europe she made her debut in 1926 - only 19 years old - at the Metropolitan Opera in New York as Gilda in "Rigoletto" (opposite Giacomo Lauri-Volpi and Giuseppe de Luca). She had a sensational success. Both the critics and the audience enthusiastically celebrated them. A special train was used from her hometown Kansas City to New York. The following three seasons she remained a member of the Metropolitan Opera. There she sang in 1926 in the premiere of "Le Rossignol" by I. Stravinsky. At the Metropolitan Opera her repertoire included  the Queen of the Night in "Zauberflöte", Lucia di Lammermoor, the Olympia in ‘’Les contes d'Hoffmann’’, the Philine in "Mignon" and the Queen of Shemakan in N. Rimsky-Korsakov ‘s ‘’The Golden Cockerel’’. She appeared at the Metropolitan Opera until 1929. A triumphant North American tour in 1928 marked the peak of her career, which ended as quickly as it had begun. In 1929 she retired to her farm and did not appear again until 1933. In 1933 she appeared as Gilda at the Chicago Opera, but without success. In 1934 she tried Vitaphone sound film, later she became a radio singer. In 1939, encouraged by successes on American radio, she reappeared at the concert hall, but remained without any major successes, whereupon she withdrew from musical life. Then she lived in Hollywood. She was briefly married the pianist and accompanist Michael Raucheisen (1889-1983).

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