(b Verona, 12 Oct 1892; d Milan, 4 July 1975). Italian soprano. She studied with Alerano Ricci at Bologna, making her début there in 1912 as Charlotte. She created Magda in La Rondine at Monte Carlo (1917) and was also the first Italian Suor Angelica and Lauretta (1919, Rome); at the first Covent Garden performances (1920) she failed to repeat her successes in these roles. After a performance of La fanciulla del West at Monte Carlo in 1921 Giacomo Puccini said, ‘At last I've seen my Fanciulla’; although he wrote Liù with her in mind, the role was created by another singer. Having first appeared at La Scala in 1915 as Yaroslavna (Prince Igor), she was engaged there from 1923 to 1939; her Violetta caused a sensation. She created 13 of the 58 roles in her repertory, including Riccardo Zandonai's Giulietta and Mariella in Pietro Mascagni's Il piccolo Marat; she was the first Italian Arabella at Genoa in 1936. She was also a famous interpreter of Fedora. She retired from the stage in 1939, but played Angelica once more during the 1942 Puccini celebrations at Vicenza. A beautiful woman, generally considered a great singing actress, she was called the ‘Duse of the Lyric Theatre’. Her early acoustic recordings give a fair indication of why her impassioned singing was so much admired by her contemporaries.
From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.