For auction is an autographed photo 8" x 10" of famous Metropolitan
Mezzo Soprano Blanche Thebom in excellent original condition. The following is a brief biography of this
famous star of the past. Blanche Thebom was born: September 19, 1918 - Monessen, Pennsylvania,
The American mezzo-soprano, Blanche Thebom, born to
Swedish-American parents, studied singing with Margaret Matzenauer and Edyth
Walker in New York.
Blanche Thebom made her concert debut in 1941, with the Metropolitan Opera,
as Fricka in December 1941. She made her Met debut in November 1944 at the Philadelphia's Academy of Music
as Brangäne in Tristan und Isolde. She was the leading dramatic
mezzo-soprano of the Metropolitan Opera for 22 years, created the American
premiere performances of Baba the Turk in Igor
Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress, the Mother in Strauss' Arabella,
and Mére Marie in Francis
Poulenc's Dialogues of the Carmelites. In her 22 seasons with the
Met (1944-1959, 1960-1967) she appeared in 356 performances, 28 roles, and 27
works. She also sang in various opera houses in America
and Europe, with increasing success. The
first American to sing at the Bolshoi Opera in Moscow, Blanche Thebom is also remembered
for her Dorabella in the historic production directed by Alfred Lunt of
Mozart's Cosi fan Tutte, and for her Brangäne on Flagstad/Wilhelm Furtwängler recording of Tristan und Isolde.
In 1967 Blanche Thebom was appointed head of the Southern Regional Opera
Company in Atlanta.
It folded in 1968. In 1968 she was appointed director of the opera workshop
of San Francisco
Blanche Thebom founded the Opera Arts Training Program, a three-week workshop
in conjunction with San Francisco Girls Chorus in 1988. She lives and teaches
in San Francisco.
For auction is an original 8"x 10" autographed photo of the
famous Metropolitan opera star and television personality Patrice Munsel. The
photo is in very good original condition with a clear signature and normal age
wear. The following is a short biography of this very popular star. Patrice
Munsel (1925-). She is an American
coloratura soprano, the youngest singer who ever starred at the Metropolitan
Opera, nicknamed "Princess Pat".
Munsel was coached by Giacomo Spadoni, and first sang at the
Metropolitan at age 17, in March 1943. She made her official Metropolitan debut
on December 4, 1943 at the age of 18, singing Philine in "Mignon".
Perhaps best known for the role of Adele in "Die Fledermaus", she
performed 225 times at the Metropolitan. Sir Rudolf Bing called her a
"superb soubrette", and implied that she was the world's best, though
Lily Pons performed the role of Adele in the 1950 recording of the Met
production. Munsel played the title role
of Dame Nellie Melba in the film "Melba" (1953). She also had her own
television series "The Patrice Munsel Show" (1956–57), and appeared
on many other TV shows. In 1958 she
ended her career as an opera singer, and began to perform in musical comedies.
For auction is a rare original dated and autographed photo
8" x 10" of the famous Salvatore Baccaloni who was a famous
Metropolitan opera singer. The photo is in very good condition with some light
creasing at the corners. The signature is very crisp! Below is a short
biography of Mr. Baccaloni: Salvatore Baccaloni was born in Rome. He studied with
Giuseppe Kaschmann and made his debut at the Teatro Adriano, Rome, in 1922 as Dr. Bartolo. In 1926 he was
engaged at La Scala, where he sang regularly until 1940, first in serious roles
and then, on Toscanini’s advice, specializing in roles like Dulcamara, the two
Bartolos and the buffo roles in Wolf-Ferrari’s operas. During this period he
contributed significantly to several complete opera recordings by the La Scala
company. He appeared at Covent Garden (1928-29)
and at Glyndebourne (1936-39), where his Leporello, Dr Bartolo and especially
Don Pasquale set a standard of excellence. He made his North American debut in Chicago in 1930 as
Melitone and sang at the Teatro Colon (1931-41, 1947). In 1940 he joined the
Metropolitan, and sang there regularly until 1962, giving 297 performances,
mostly in the Italian buffo repertory. He sang Falstaff at San
Francisco (1944) and made numerous tours of the USA. Portly in
build and good-humoured, Baccaloni had a communicative gift for comedy and was
noted for his musicianship; in his early years he displayed a rare vocal
quality in his buffo roles.
For auction are two (2)) original 8"
x 10" autographed photos of the famous Metropolitan opera star Stella
Roman. The photos are in very good to excellent condition with bold crisp
signatures and normal age wear. I have
included a brief biography of this famous opera star of the past for your
Stella Roman (23 August 1904 - 12 February 1992) was a Romanian operatic
whose career brought her leading roles in Italy
and the United States.
Stella Roman (née Florica Viorica Alma
Stela Blasu) was born in Cluj, Romania.
She came from a musical background, and studied singing for eight years before
making her concert début in Cluj and then in Bucharest. She then won a
scholarship to continue her training in Italy with the great verismo
Baldassare-Tedeschi, of whom she later said: "her style did not really
suit me". Roman moved on to study with Hariclea Darclée (who had created the title role
at the première in 1900), and was much happier under her guidance: "she
taught me the value of every word and phrase".
Her operatic début was,
by her own account, at Bologna in 1934 in the
role of Maddalena in Andrea Chénier, (though other accounts mention a
performance in Piacenza
in 1932). She sang Tosca at the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples which inaugurated a long partnership
with the tenor Giacomo Lauri-Volpi. In 1937
she was offered a three-year contract at Rome Opera House by Tullio Serafin, and she found herself making a
sudden début as Aida.
It was as Aida that she also made her first
appearance at the Metropolitan Opera in New York
in 1941, and she continued to sing there throughout the 1940s in the Italian
repertoire: Il trovatore, Otello,
Un ballo in maschera, Cavalleria rusticana, La Gioconda, Tosca.
She often shared these roles at the Met with Zinka Milanov. She left the Met in 1951 after the
arrival of Rudolph Bing as its general manager.
Stella Roman had a particular association
with Richard Strauss, who chose her to sing the role of
the Empress in Die Frau ohne Schatten
for its Italian première at La Scala in 1940. She later went to visit
Strauss at Pontresina in 1948 to study with him the Four Last Songs and the role of the Marschallin
in Der Rosenkavalier, and it was as the
Marschallin that she ended her career at the San Carlo theatre in Naples. She
retired in 1953 after having married for the second time; her operatic career
had lasted for 19 years.
Her voice was admired for its warm lyrical
quality and its ability to deliver high pianissimi and vibrant climaxes, but
her technique was said to be "unorthodox and sometimes hectic".
After her retirement, she took up painting
and her work was exhibited. She died in New
York at the age of 87.
For auction are two (2))
original 8"x 10" autographed photos of the famous opera star and
actress Rise Stevens, both in excellent original condition with normal age
wear. Following is a short biography on Rise Stevens. Risë Stevens (pronounced "REE-sah")
(born June 11, 1913, New York City)
is a retired American mezzo-soprano who captured a wide
popular audience at the height of her career (1940-1960).
She studied at New York's Juilliard School of Music for three years. She went to Vienna, where she was trained
Gutheil-Schoder and Herbert Graf. She made her début as Mignon in Prague in 1936 and stayed there
until 1938, also appearing in guest appearances at the Vienna
State Opera. Her Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier was one of her finest and
most accomplished roles. She was engaged at the Teatro
Colón in 1938 (again as Octavian) and was invited to the Glyndebourne Festival in 1939 where she was heard as Dorabella and Cherubino. In 1938 she made her
début at the Metropolitan
Opera as Mignon. Three days later, she sang Octavian opposite Lotte
Lehmann. The singer's beautiful voice and attractive appearance led the film
industry in Hollywood to produce several films with her, including The Chocolate Soldier (1941) with Nelson
Eddy and Going My Way (1944) with Bing
Crosby, the latter film crediting Stevens as a contralto.
For over two decades
(until 1961) Stevens was the Met's leading mezzo-soprano and the only mezzo to
command the top billing (and commensurate fees) normally awarded only to star
sopranos and tenors. Her most successful roles there included Cherubino,
Octavian, Dalila, Laura, Hänsel and Marina. She was especially
celebrated for her Carmen, which she both
performed and recorded several times. Stevens virtually owned the role during
her tenure. Her combination of scrupulous artistry, rich vocal color and
movie-star glamour earned her the adulation of a wide public beyond the Met's
stage, and she frequently appeared on the nascent medium of television. She
also appeared in Paris, London, at La Scala and at Glyndebourne. Her
last performance was as Carmen, at the Met in 1961. In 1962, she recorded the
voice of Glinda for Journey Back to Oz, but the film was not
released until the early 1970s. After her retirement from the opera stage,
Stevens served as General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera Touring Company
until 1966 and later coached the new generation of singers at the Met.
In honor of Stevens' vast
influence on American vocal music, on October 22, 1977 she was awarded the
prestigious University of
Pennsylvania Glee Club Award of Merit. Established in 1964, this award sought
"to bring a declaration of appreciation to an individual each year that
has made a significant contribution to the world of music and helped to create
a climate in which our talents may find valid expression."
She is the mother of the
An original 8" x 10" autographed photo of former opera star
Audrey Bowman an American dramatic soprano from the 1940's and 50's. The Photo
is in very good to excellent condition with bold crisp signatures and normal age wear.
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