Greatest Opera Singers

Greatest Opera Singers

Monday, May 25, 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


Victor, New York 1910-01-06
Trovatore (Verdi): Miserere with Enrico Caruso and chorus 89030 C8506

Victor, Camden NJ 1910-01-25
Otello (Verdi): Salce, salce 88214 C8577
Otello (Verdi): Ave Maria 88213 C8578

Victor, New York 1910-04-25
Falstaff (Verdi): Sul fil d'un soffio etesio 88247 C8883
Oh! Si les fleurs avaient des yeux (Massenet) (w. piano) 87066 B8887

Victor, New York 1912-01-07
Lombardi (Verdi): Qual voluttà with Enrico Caruso and Marcel Journet 95211 C11441

Victor, Camden NJ 1912-04-04
Loreley (Catalani): Ah, dunque ei m'amera 88325 C11150
Manon Lescaut (Puccini): In quelle trine morbide 87106 B11152
Romance (Debussy) 87096 B11151

Victor, Camden NJ 1912-11-04
Contes d'Hoffmann (Offenbach): Ella a fui 88399 C12559
The birth of morn (Leoni) 87116 B12560
Manon (Massenet): Obeissons, quand leur voix appelle (Gavotte) 87111 B12563
Victor, New York 1913-04-07
Morgen (R Strauss) 64339 B13085

Victor, New York 1913-04-10
Madama Butterfly (Puccini): Ancora un passo 64334 B13108

Victor, Camden NJ 1914-02-20
Bohème (Puccini): Donde lieta usci (Addio) 64417 B14497
Segreto di Susanna (Wolf-Ferrari): O Gioia 74388 C14495

Victor, New York 1914-04-22
Tosca (Puccini): Vissi d'arte 74400 C14696
Ouvre tes yeux bleus (Massenet) 64451 B14741

Victor, New York 1914-12-10
Carmen (Bizet): Parle-moi de ma mère with Enrico Caruso 89083 C15483

Victor, Camden NJ 1915-07-15
Bohème (Puccini): Mi chiamano Mimì 74448 C8885
Chanson provençale (dell'Acqua) 74449 C16209

Victor, Camden NJ 1918-09-20
Bohème (Puccini): O soave fanciulla with Giovanni Martinelli 88598 C22245

Victor, Camden NJ 1919-02-11
Gianni Schicchi (Puccini): O mio babbino caro 64802 B22578

Victor, Camden NJ 1920-05-17
By the Waters of Minnetonka (Lieurance) 64908 B24119

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