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Jean Madeira

Given birth to Jean Browning in Central Illinois, this contralto established for herself one identification among singers from the deepest, darkest assignments for female tone of voice. High and strikingly appealing, she possessed both physical and vocal allure for Carmen and made a riveting family portrait of Klytemnestra, both addled and imperious. The afterwards function, possibly the one with which she was most carefully discovered, was captured on disk in both studio room (with Böhm) and on-stage at Salzburg (with Mitropoulos). Her Rheingold Erda in Solti’s Band was likewise dazzling, voiced with continuous, earth-deep shades, a audio once likened to “gleaming anthracite.” Browning’s dad, fifty percent American Indian, fifty percent British, was a coal miner; her mom trained piano and shortly included her little girl among her pupils. Upon her father’s loss of life, Browning transferred with her family members to St. Louis, where she received a scholarship towards the Leo C. Miller College of Music. While students there, she positioned first inside a competition whose reward was an appearance using the St. Louis Symphony. Under Vladimir Golschmann’s path, she performed Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3. In 1941, Browning came into the Juilliard College of Music, where she majored in piano, but also pursued performing, producing her debut as Nancy in von Flotow’s Martha inside a 1943 Chautauqua Summer season Opera creation. At Juilliard, she fulfilled and subsequently wedded a piano college student, Francis Madeira, who later on became conductor from the Rhode Isle Philharmonic, a faculty member at Dark brown University, and sometimes followed his wife pursuing her changeover to a full-time performing profession. Olga Samaroff urged the youthful female in 1946 to focus on learning to be a professional vocalist. While still learning tone of voice at Juilliard, Jean Madeira (as she was right now known) began producing looks with such additional groupings as the (American) San Carlo Opera Firm. Gian Carlo Menotti decided her in 1947 to alternative with Marie Power in the name function of his The Moderate on its Western european tour. That same calendar year, she was the receiver of the St. Louis Girl of Achievement Prize. In 1948, she produced her debut on the Metropolitan Opera as the Initial Norn within a November 2 functionality of Die Götterdämmerung, starting her steady improvement through such assignments as Amneris, Azucena, Ulrica, Orfeo, and Dalila. In 1954, she started some European appearances acquiring her to Covent Backyard, Stockholm, Munich, and Salzburg. Nov 1955 brought Madeira’s debut on the Vienna Staatsoper in the function of Carmen, a triumph leading to 45 curtain phone calls. When she sang Carmen on the Metropolitan in Feb 1956, critic Irving Kolodin, composing in the Sunday Review, defined her as “a smart artist who provides considered to what she undertakes” and mentioned her effective usage of her stunning elevation. He also praised her portrayal by commenting, “Mainly it was completed with an indicator of vibrant suppleness seldom seen.” Furthermore to her nearly 300 Metropolitan shows in a few 41 tasks, Madeira continued to seem elsewhere in the us and Europe, providing her Carmen at Chicago, where critic Claudia Cassidy praised her as “svelte, darkly gorgeous, having a mezzo soprano streaked in burnt umber and edged having a threat” with Aix-en-Provence. Her authoritative Erda was noticed at Munich, London, and Bayreuth. In 1968, she got component in the premiere of Dallapiccola’s Ulisse in Berlin, creating the part of Circe. She retired in 1971.

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