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Subject: Re: Tosca/Jeritza
From: Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 18 Jun 2017 21:21:22 -0700

text/plain (126 lines)

This is very interesting.  I know there were others singing Tosca but it
was basically Jeritza's gig at the Met during that decade from 1921-32.
What I found most interesting - and I have seen this before while trolling
the Met archives - is that a critic from a major New York newspaper was
given this much space for a review of a singer who wasn't a major star at
the time in her first assumption of a role at the Met.  Today, the NY Times
wouldn't give that much space for one of its senior reviews to write about
even a star singer doing something at the Met for the first time.  Indeed,
this type of an event wouldn't even be reviewed.   Vettori is a singer I
have long wondered about.  Evidently she was born in Italy in 1890 but
raised and trained in the US and is buried in Henderson, NC.  The other two
were Clara Jacobo who I believe was born in Massachusetts or Rhode Island,
 had a fairly substantial career in Italy but was featured at the Met from
1928 to 1935.  She returned to Italy and ended her life as a nun.  Finally,
Leonora Corona - a Texas born soprano who sang at the Met from 1927 to
1935.  All three were sort of back-ups for Ponselle.  Corona had over 100
performances.  I've never heard recordings by any of the three but all seem
to have garnered good reviews, Vettori and Jacobo especially.  Anybody on
the list have anything to add?


On Sun, Jun 18, 2017 at 5:43 PM, David Shengold <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> "Ponselle might have been tempted to do Tosca but in her years at the Met
> it was the
> almost sole property of Maria Jeritza who was one of Puccini's favorites."
> -Donals Levine
> Vesna's quote from Ponselle reinforces this quote and of course both she
> and Don are right.
> However, I have sometimes seen it stated that NO ONE else sang Tosca at
> the Met while Jeritza flourished there, and that is not true. Jeritza's 66
> (!) Met Toscas took place from 12/1/21 to 2/6/32.
> It *is* notable that Claudia Muzio's last of 10 Met Toscas was in February
> 1921, before Jeritza took center stage at the Met.
> During that time the part was also ventured by Geraldine Farrar twice (
> from among *67* overall Met Toscas), Florence Easton 4 times, Leonora
> Corona 3 times, Frances Peralta once and Elda Vettori once.
> The Met Archives has a review of Vettori's lone Tosca which makes one wish
> to have seen and heard it-- and seems clearly to take a dig at Jeritza's
> Floria in the process.
> Metropolitan Opera House
> March 31, 1928
> *TOSCA *{208}
> Tosca...................Elda Vettori
> Cavaradossi.............Frederick Jagel
> Scarpia.................Antonio Scotti
> Sacristan...............Pompilio Malatesta
> Spoletta................Angelo Badà
> Angelotti...............Louis D'Angelo
> Sciarrone...............Vincenzo Reschiglian
> Shepherd................Dorothea Flexer
> Jailer..................Millo Picco
> Conductor...............Vincenzo Bellezza
> *Review signed M. W. in the New York TribuneElda Vettori Sings Tosca
> Appealingly At the MetropolitanFirst Appearance Here in Role Merits
> Applause of the Capacity AudienceThere was a new Tosca at the Metropolitan
> last evening, a Tosca who, in respect of heritage, appearance, and
> temperament, is probably the most authentic we have had on this stage in
> many long years. This was Miss Elda Vettori, a newcomer to the Metropolitan
> in 1926, but no novice on the operatic stage as anyone who witnessed her
> second act last evening might easily deduce.Miss Vettori has won a certain
> amount of fame by last minute substitutions in many of the leading roles,
> and has been cast as Nedda, as Santuzza, as Gioconda, as Liu in "Turandot"
> and as Loretta in "Gianni Schicchi." In Brooklyn she has sung Adalgisa in
> "Norma." This was her first Tosca in New York, and was, without any doubt,
> the best thing that she has done.This singer has the priceless ability to
> forget herself and her audience and to plunge headlong into the drama of a
> role. This is not always art, nor does it necessarily imply grace or ease.
> In the final estimate, it is usually the artificial which seems more
> natural on the opera stage. Thus Miss Vettori's quick gestures of
> nervousness and apprehension, her sudden starts, her stiff, too evident
> efforts at control were not always as impressive as the more calculated
> deportment of a more seasoned prima donna. They were not, however, without
> their value, and her sincerity and ardor were not long in making for her
> finding contact with the enormous audience which had come to hear her. Her
> tears were real and she showed genuine sobs to shake her to an extent which
> sometimes endangered the musical quality of her voice, but the "Vissi
> d'arte" was sung with real beauty and a touching simplicity. She was a very
> Latin murderess, however, and when she once made up her mind to the
> dispatching of Scarpia, she found it not without its happier aspect. There
> was little recoil of horror in her attitude, and probably she was right.
> With her in the cast were Mr. Jagel, singing an honest, manly Cavaradossi;
> Mr. Scotti and Mr. Bada, returning to one of his best impersonations, that
> unpleasant character, Spoletta. Mr. Bellezza conducted.*

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