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date: 21 November 2019

Price, (Mary Violet) Leontyne locked

  • Alan Blyth

Extract

(b Laurel, MS, 10 Feb 1927). American soprano. While training as a teacher, she sang with her college glee club. In 1949 she won a scholarship to the Juilliard School, New York, where she sang Alice Ford. In 1952 Virgil Thomson chose her for a Broadway revival of his opera Four Saints in Three Acts; thereafter she was immediately engaged as Bess in a new production of Gershwin’s opera at the Ziegfeld Theatre (1953) and on a two-year world tour. A concert career (including first performances of works by Barber and Sauguet) was interrupted by a highly successful television appearance as Tosca (1955). This, and appearances at San Francisco in 1957 (as Madame Lidoine in Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites and as Aida), decided the course of her career. At her débuts at the Verona Arena, Vienna and Covent Garden (all 1958) and La Scala (...

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