Incredible cast, in splendid sound with lots of spontaneous applause - rightly so - a must for every opera lover. Corelli is in stupendous form. Mary Curtis-Verna was born in Salem, Massachusetts on May 9, 1921, she studied at Hollis College in Virginia, and in Italy with Ettore Verna, whom she latter married. She made her debut in Milan as Desdemona, in 1949. She sang throughout Italy and made guest appearances in Vienna, Munich and other important venues, all in Italian. Her Metropolitan Opera debut was as Leonora in 'Il trovatore', in 1957.
At the Met the presence of such divas as Tebaldi, Milanov and Leontyne Price relegated Mary Curtis-Verna to the rank of cover and her husband's failing health did not afford her the luxury of spending entire seasons away from home, so stability won over super-stardom.
Her CV at the Met comprises Mimi, Violetta, Amelia (both the Ballo and Boccanegra), Alice Ford, Santuzza, Adriana Lecouvreur, Gutrune, Aida, Turandot, Elisabeth di Valois, Tosca, Manon Lescaut, Leonora (both of them), Maddalena di Coigni, and both Donna Anna & Donna Elvira (sung to Leontyne Price's Anna). She was also a staple of the annual tour across the country.
Curtis-Verna sang at the Met for 10 seasons, 96 performances and the 19 roles listed above. Her career with the company ended the day they said farewell to the old theatre. After her retirement in 1969, she chaired the voice department in the University of Washington for 20 years. Her recorded output is shamelessly small and hard to find.
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