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Rosa Ponselle's place as one of the century's great singers was destined from the moment of her 1918 debut, opposite Enrico Caruso, in the Metropolitan Opera premiere of La forza del destino. For the next two decades, her voice of unparalleled beauty and power continued to mesmerize audiences. Even today, her recordings keep her influence alive in the Italian repertory. Ponselle's path from Meriden, Connecticut, through her apprenticeship on the vaudeville circuit with her sister Carmela to acclaim on the stage of the Met is one of opera's great romantic stories. The author of this centenary biography, James A. Drake, began researching that story in collaboration with Ponselle herself for their 1982 book, Ponselle: A Singer's Life. The present work not only collects many of the interviews with Ponselle that provided the raw material for the earlier biography, but also includes interviews with friends, colleagues, and associates that supplement, support - and sometimes contradict - her own recollections. In addition, the author has scrutinized the documentary record for contemporary reports of these events, and has woven them into a well-crafted, absorbing chronicle of the diva's struggle from New York to Hollywood and abroad. Supplemented with many rare photographs, an updated discography, an extensive bibliography, and a chronology of her vaudeville, operatic, and concert performances, Rosa Ponselle: A Centenary Biography is an invitation to readers to join in the engrossing search for the real Rosa Ponselle.
  • ISBN13: 9781574670196
  • Publisher: Amadeus Press
  • Pubilcation Year: 2003
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Pages: 00536
SeriesOpera Biographies (Amadeus)
Series Volume Number9
Publication DateMarch 1, 2003

Rosa Ponselle: A Centenary Biography

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