Thursday, August 15, 2013

Lesser Known Female Singers of the 20th Century...

When I  wrote the blog last week putting forth a  short list of lesser known male singers of the 20th century, I promised an equally short overview of women who should  be better remembered  than they, seemingly, are:
In bringing up giants,  such as a  Maria Callas or Marian Anderson, the mantle of greatness can easily be instilled. And there are quite a number of female artists who sang whom we remember well.
There are, however, singular vocal talents whom we might have allowed to fall from our retentive grasps, such as  Patrice Munsel. Do listen to her voice, and know that she was, I believe, the youngest woman to debut  as a member of  the vaunted Metropolitan Opera - I believe  she was eighteen.
Rise Stevens also was possessor of a unique quality  in vocal artistry.  She was  extremely well received by the world of music. Incidentally, she and Munsel, like some of the men I discussed last week, did 'crossover' singing;  that is, pop or light opera work as well as the deep classics.
Another really great voice was that of the Brazilian  Bidu Sayao, who thrilled audiences all over the globe - listen to her, and I'm quite confident that you will  be  more than impressed. She, in my view, was a great musician who also had a voice to match her musical gift,
Toronto has given us Glenn Gould and Angela Hewitt. But this Canadian city  also was the birthplace of a woman who was given lavish praise by the legendary conductor Arturo Toscanini, who considered her as one of  top vocal  artists of the time. She was Lois Marshall, who became a great recitalist. Marshall would undoubtedly  have become a better known entity had she been able to enter the field of opera; sadly, childhood polio left her with a disability that  stultified any operatic hopes.
The above  constitute  just a fraction of some voices you may neither have heard, nor were very familiar with - why not investigate? You will come up with some treasured entities, be assured!



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