Alda (real name, Davies), Frances (Jeanne)

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Alda (real name, Davies), Frances (Jeanne)

Alda (real name, Davies), Frances (Jeanne), admired New Zealand-born American soprano; b. Christchurch, May 31, 1883; d. Venice, Sept. 18, 1952. She studied with Marchesi in Paris, where she made her operatic debut as Manon at the Opéra-Comique (April 15, 1904). She then appeared at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels (1905–08), London’s Covent Garden (debut as Louise, 1906), Milan’s La Scala (1908), and Buenos Aires’s Teatro Colón (from 1908). On Dec. 7, 1908, she made her Metropolitan Opera debut in N.Y. as Gilda, continuing on its roster until her farewell appearance as Manon Lescaut on Dec. 28, 1929. She also made appearances in Boston (1909–13) and Chicago (1914–15). From 1910 to 1928 she was married to Giulio Gatti-Casazza. In 1939 she became a naturalized American citizen. Among her other notable roles were Gounod’s and Boito’s Marguerite, Mimi, Nannetta, Desdemona, Violetta, and Aida.


Men, Women and Tenors (autobiography; Boston, 1937).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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Alda (real name, Davies), Frances (Jeanne)

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