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Subject: Re: Sara Menkes
From: Michael Lane <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Michael Lane <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 17 Jul 2017 20:02:41 -0400
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From a friend of mine who is an opera archivist:

Mme Menkes, born in Buenos Aires, studied there and then in Italy where she
made her debut in Rome as Elsa in "Lohengrin".  Following that she sang in
other Italian theatres including La Scala.  She then continued her career
in South America.

She came to New Orleans, making her United States debut, for two
performances of  "Tosca" on 6/8 November 1947.  Eugene Conley was
Cavaradossi and Alexander Sved (substituting for the originally announced
Lawrence Tibbett) was Scarpia.

She returned to the United States the following season, making her San
Francisco Opera debut on 24 September 1948 as Leonora in "La Forza del
Destino" and later that season also sang Leonora in "Il Trovatore".  In
both of those performances the tenor was Kurt Baum.

After the San Francisco season ended she came back to New Orleans for two
performances of "Otello", 4/6 November 1948, singing Desdemona.  The title
role was sung by Set Svanholm, Iago by Giuseppe Valdengo, and the
supporting role of Lodovico by the young Norman Treigle whose operatic
debut had taken place the previous season here.

She did not sing Amelia in "Ballo" in New Orleans nor did she return there.

Mike

On Mon, Jul 17, 2017 at 10:23 AM, Rich Lowenthal <[log in to unmask]>
wrote:

> Supposed she refused to jump at the end of that performance of Tosca, and
> was pushed off by Sciarrone. Colin Graham recalled, "She immediately stood
> up on the other side and it looked as though she'd bounced."
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Discussion of opera and related issues
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Brian Morris (London,
> England)
> Sent: Monday, July 17, 2017 10:12 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Sara Menkes
>
> Sara Menkes certainly sang at Covent Garden, as she substituted (for either
> Hilde Zadek or Welitsch) on the 22 of December 1950 in 'Tosca'.
>
> I was at that performance, and my hazy recollection was that she was
> perfectly OK in the part, but nothing special. At that time, it was the
> policy of Covent Garden that all operas should be sung in English (I saw
> Flagstad sing Fidelio in English there!) and my main memory of the Menkes
> (she sang in Italian) night is that Marco Rothmuller sang Scarpia and that
> he sang English for scenes that did not involve Tosca, but switched to
> Italian in his exchanges with Tosca.
>
> Ah, those were the days!
>
> Regards to all
>
> Brian Morris (London, England)
>
> ----Original Message-----
> From: Bob Rideouta
> Sent: Monday, July 17, 2017 1:57 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Sara Menkes
>
> David
>
> She was born in Vienna in 1910. She studied with Giannina Russ in Milan and
> debuted in Italy (not defined) at the age of 17. She sang in Buenos Aires
> from 1930 forward, including William Tell
> (Matilde) with Lauri Volpi. She sang concerts including in London.
> and appeared at the Rome Opera.
>
> Her only known recordings are scenes from Aida for HMV.
>
> She died in Buenos Aires in 1980.
>
> This, from Kutsch-Riemens.
>
> Bob
>
>
> On Mon, 17 Jul 2017 04:14:57 +0000, David Shengold <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>
> >Hi there
> >
> >I asked Roberta Prada about an Argentine soprano about whom I've wondered.
> >She had
> success with Verdi roles in San Fran ( both Leonoras opposite the likes of
> Bjoerling, Baum, Turner, Elmo, Warren Weede and Pinza) and New Orleans (
> Amelia in BALLO) and also sang Donna Anna at the Cincinnati Zoo Opera, all
> about 1948-50.
> >Â  A Hurok publicity poster (do a search for "1948 Booking Ad Sara
> >Menkes Soprano South
> American Opera Star)
> >claims her as a Colon star, and also mentions la Scala. Their database
> >doesn't show her,
> but it doesn't extend before 1950, and the 40s seem to have been her active
> period.
> >Roberta found that she's not listed in Enzo Valenti Ferro's reference
> >book about the Colon
> 1900-82
> >
> >Â I recall an old OPERA NEWS feature when she was in San Fran that made
> >it clear she
> was Jewish. Maybe Menkes was her married name and she had sung under
> another
> name at the Colon?
> >
> >At any rate, did anyone hear hear her , or does anyone know more about
> her?
> >Thanks - David Shengold
> >
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