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Subject: Re: Novotna
From: "Max D. Winter" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Max D. Winter
Date:Thu, 5 Oct 2017 22:40:21 -0400

text/plain (36 lines)

Jarmila Novotna sang on many Met broadcasts, most of which were recorded and can be 
heard today.  She was a fixture as Cherubino when the Met revived "Nozze di Figaro" in 
1940 and there are four surviving broadcasts of her in that opera (two in 1940, and then 
1944 and '49.  (The 12/7/40 broadcast, with Pinza, Rethberg and Sayao, under Panizza, 
was the first of the Met's Historic Performances series.)  She also was Elvira in the famous 
1943 broadcast of "Don Giovanni" under Bruno Walter (with Pinza, Bampton, Kullman and 
Kipnis, a great performance and one of the best DG's on disc) and Violetta in the 1941 
"Traviata" broadcast on which Jan Peerce made his Met debut.  Her other surviving Met 
broadcasts include Pamina in "Zauberflote" (two broadcasts in 1942), Antonia in "Contes 
d'Hoffmann" under Beecham in 1944, Euridice in "Orfeo ed Euridice" with Thorborg in 1940, 
and three broadcasts of "Rosenkavalier" (as Octavian) in 1944, '46 and '51.  She left the 
Met shortly after Bing arrived, whether by choice or pushed out I don't know.  Her next-to-
last broadcast was as Freia in "Das Rheingold" in 1951 (the last was the 1951 

Novotna was Pamina in the Toscanini performance of "Zauberflote" broadcast from Salzburg 
in 1937.  There are also excerpts of her as Butterfly from San Francisco in 1939, in rather 
poor sound.  

We are fortunate to have so much of Novotna's work preserved on recordings.  She was a 
wonderful singer and also a beautiful woman and a fine actress. 


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