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Subject: Re: Jeanette McDonald in opera
From: Sharon Rich <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Sharon Rich <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 28 Nov 2016 15:20:29 -0500
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MacDonald's debut was in Montreal but yes, she sang both operas in Chicago as well. She'd 
planned to follow up with Boheme and Traviata but this didn't happen. Her last live Faust was 
sung in Philadelphia, in 1951 at age 48. For those who scoff that her voice wasn't strong, I 
refer you to her 1948 Hollywood Bowl recital which aired live on the radio. (We have a 
recording of it.)

She had hoped to sing at the Met but if you know the Robert Merrill story you know that going 
from Hollywood to the Met wasn't allowed even if the opposite was done successfully. But her 
entire career waned in the '50s due to ill health, a serious heart condition as well as overall 
mental and physical exhaustion after 8 failed pregnancies. 

I have been told that there exists a full recording of her Chicago Romeo and Juliet and one act 
of her live Faust (both with Pinza). Hopefully someday they will surface.
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