Pauline Donalda


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(b Montreal, 5 March 1882; d Montreal, 22 Oct 1970). Canadian soprano. She studied at the Royal Victoria College, Montreal, and went to Paris in 1902, taking her stage name from her benefactor, Donald A. Smith (Lord Strathcona). After studies with Edmond Duvernoy and paul Lhérie, she made her début as Jules Massenet's Manon in Nice in 1904. The following year she made her Covent Garden début as Micaëla with Destinn and Dalmorès. Later she sang several roles there, including Mimì with Caruso, and was Ah-joe in the première of Franco Leoni's L'oracolo (1905). In 1919 she was London's first Concepcion in Maurice Ravel's L'heure espagnole. She also sang at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels, the Opéra-Comique in Paris and the Manhattan Opera in New York. Donalda won admiration for her rich timbre and vivacious style. She retired in 1922 and taught in Paris until 1937; she then returned to Montreal, where she founded the Opera Guild in 1941. That organization gave several Canadian premières and she remained president until its demise in 1969.

From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Opera.

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