Amelita Galli-Curci


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Italian soprano who went to the USA in 1916 and remained there for the rest of her life.

She studied the piano at the Conservatory in her native Milan, graduating with the first prize in 1903. As a singer she was largely self-taught, making her debut in opera as Gilda in Verdi's Rigoletto in 1906. In 1916 she joined the Chicago Opera Company and from 1921 to 1930 she sang with the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Galli-Curci made an extensive concert tour of Britain in 1924 but never sang in opera in London. A throat illness terminated her career, although after an operation in 1935 she unsuccessfully attempted a come-back singing Mimi in Puccini's La Bohème (Chicago, 1936).

The lyrical freshness of Galli-Curci's voice and her vocal agility won her much applause in such roles as Gilda, Elvira (I puritani), and Violetta (La traviata). That she frequently sang out of tune and made little attempt at characterization does not seem to have worried audiences of her day. She retired to California in 1940.

Subjects: Opera.

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