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Risë Stevens

Mezzo-soprano Risë Stevens was perhaps one of the most prominent American opera superstars during World Battle II and for pretty much two decades soon after. She was of Norwegian descent; her primary name was Risë Steenberg. She demonstrated early promise being a vocalist and studied using a instructor called Orry Prado. After graduating from senior high school, she arrived employment with the brand new York Little Movie theater Opera Company. From then on company proceeded to go bankrupt, she became a outfit model. Anna Schoen-René, a tone of voice instructor on the Juilliard College, offered her free of charge performing lessons. Risë received a luring job offer in the Metropolitan Opera Firm, but judged she had not been ready and dropped it. Rather, she visited European countries to hone the many crafts of the opera vocalist. These included classes in stagecraft with Herbert Graf and continuing voice schooling with Marie Gutheil-Schoder on the Salzburg Mozarteum. In 1936 she recognized conductor Georg Szell’s give of a agreement using the Prague Opera, where she was shown being a contralto. There she was coached in regular contralto and mezzo repertory by Herbert Graf, and made an appearance in Prague, Vienna, and in Cairo, Egypt (where she journeyed within a Viennese-based opera group). She journeyed to the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, carrying on to mature also to pull increasing interest. She finally sang using the Met in another of its performances in Philadelphia, as Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier, received a agreement with the business, and produced her NY Met debut on Dec 17, 1938, as Mignon. In 1939, she wedded Walter Surovy, a Czech acting professional, who handled her profession. She debuted at Glyndebourne in 1939, and in 1940 in the SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA Opera. In 1941 she sang opposing Nelson Eddy within the Hollywood film The Chocolates Soldier, and made an appearance in Bing Crosby’s film Heading My Method (1944), where she sang the Habañperiod from Carmen. This resulted in her first real stage efficiency as Carmen in the Met, Dec 28, 1945. For quite a while she virtually possessed the role in the Met and sang it there 75 instances. She debuted at Milan’s La Scala in 1954. Stevens retired through the Metropolitan in 1961, and retired completely from performing in 1964. Soon after her resignation through the Met, the business went through among the most severe crises in its background. General Movie director Rudolf Bing terminated the complete 1961-1962 season following the company’s main unions reached an impasse. Stevens delivered a telegram to Chief executive John F. Kennedy outlining the significance from the Metropolitan to america as well as the globe, and requested his treatment. The chief executive honored her demand, and individually persuaded the edges to simply accept the Secretary of Labor, Arthur Goldberg, to arbitrate their disputes. The growing season was preserved. Stevens’ mezzo-voice quality was uncommon: it had been warm, light, and lyrical. This appropriate her to numerous from the essential “trouser” roles. Furthermore to Octavian, she sang Mozart’s Cherubino and Prince Orlovsky in Fledermaus. Additional of her preferred roles had been Dorabella, Delilah, Orpheus, Laura (La Gioconda), and Carmen, her most well-known part. After she retired through the Met stage, she became movie director of the business’s fresh Metropolitan Opera Country wide Firm, a touring group offering opportunities for youthful performers and conductors, in addition to designers and directors to take part in opera on a reliable professional level. She was appointed towards the faculty from the Juilliard College of Music in 1975, and was leader from the Mannes University of Music in NY (1975-1978). She was once again from the Metropolitan from 1980 to 1988 as movie director of its Country wide Council Auditions.

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