Mary Garden

(1874—1967) singer

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(b Aberdeen, 1874; d Inverurie, 1967).

Amer. soprano of Scot. birth. Taken to USA as a child. Befriended by Amer. sop. Sibyl Sanderson who sent her to Carré, dir. of Opéra‐Comique. Studied title‐role of Charpentier's Louise and took over from the indisposed Marthe Rioton midway through a perf. in April 1900. Created role of Mélisande in Debussy's opera, 1902, at composer's request. Further successes followed in operas by Massenet, Saint‐Saëns, Leroux, and Erlanger. CG 1902–3 (Juliette). After hearing her as Manon, Massenet wrote Chérubin (1905) for her. Joined Manhattan Opera, NY, 1907–10 (début in Amer. première of Thaïs) and later sang in f. Amer. p. of Pelléas et Mélisande, Feb. 1908. Chicago Opera from 1910, becoming dir. 1921–2 and remaining until 1931. Last operatic appearance, Opéra‐Comique, Paris, 1934 in Alfano's Risurezzione. Taught at Chicago Mus. Coll. 1935 and acted as adviser on opera scenes in Hollywood films. Returned to Scotland 1939. With Louis Biancolli, wrote Mary Garden's Story (NY 1951).

Subjects: Opera.

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