Mario [Tillotson], Queena
- Philip L. Miller
(b Akron, OH, Aug 21, 1896; d New York, NY, May 28, 1951). American soprano. To earn money for singing lessons, she wrote women’s columns for newspapers in New York. She studied with Oscar Saenger and later with marcella Sembrich ; she was twice turned down by the Metropolitan, but with the help of Caruso was engaged by the San Carlo Opera Company, making her debut in Les contes d’Hoffmann in 1918. After two seasons with that company and another two with the Scotti Grand Opera Company, Mario made her Metropolitan debut as Micaëla in 1922. For the next 17 seasons she sang lyric and coloratura parts there, enjoying her greatest success as Humperdinck’s Gretel, a role she also performed in the first complete opera broadcast live from the Metropolitan stage (Christmas Day, 1931) and at her farewell performance with the company (1938). She also sang with the San Francisco Opera (...