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Subject: Clara Petrella
From: Michael G Giuseffi <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Michael G Giuseffi <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 19 Oct 1999 07:51:07 -0700

text/plain (46 lines)

Someone today brought up the name of one of my favorites from the past, Clara 
Petrella. I came to know Petrella from a few tapes from the 1951 Mexico City 
season where she performed Desdemona, Adriana and Manon Lescaut with Mario Del 
Monaco. She is wonderful!

Clara Petrella was born in 1914 in Milan where she studied with her sister 
Michaela Petrella and with Giannina Russ. Her professional debut was in 1939 
as Liu.  She also performed Iris, Susanna in Khovanshchina, Charlotte, Nedda 
and more modern works by Menotti,Pizzetti, Monteverdi and Bianchi. Because of 
her dramatic ability she was know as the "Duse of Singers", considered most 
effective in verismo roles.

Here is a list of the roles she performed at Scala 1941 to 1970:

Soleida (Doenisch) - role unknown
Il Tabarro (Puccini) - Giorgetta
Otello (Verdi) - Desdemona
Gli Incatenati (Bianchi) - La Figlia (world premier)
L'Amore Dei Tre Re (Montemezzi) - Fiora
The Consul (Menotti) - Magda Sorel
L'Uragano (Rocca) - Caterina (world premier)
Debora E Jaele (Pizzetti) - Jaele
Cagliostro (Pizzetti) - Serafina (world permier)
L'Incoronazione di Poppes (Monteverdi)- Poppea
La figlia Di Jorio (Pizzetti) - Mila
Pagliacci (Leoncavallo) - Nedda
Werther (Massenet)-- Charlotte
Manon Lescaut (Puccini) - Manon
Iris (Mascagni) - Iris
Adriana LeCouvreur (Cilea) - Adriana
Maria Golovin (Menotti) - Maria
Turandot (Puccini) - Liu
Clitennestra (Pizzetti) - Clitennestra
Khovanshchina (Mussorgsky) - Susanna

The tapes of her reveal a very italiante and old fashioned type sound with a 
quick vibrato, that I find appealing.  On the Manon Lescaut tape there is an 
interesting cut in the middle section of the "sola perduta abandonata". 
unfortunately I am at work and can't listen now so I can't tell you exactly 
what is cut, but it is surprising. If I am not mistaken this is they way 
Puccini wrote it for the premier, and later revised, but I may be entirely 
wrong here. (HELP). I would love to know more about this artist
Just my 2

Mike Greco

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