Costa, Mary , American soprano; b. Knoxville, Term., April 5, 1932. She was trained at the Los Angeles Cons, of Music. She pursued work in films (was the voice of Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty) and television commercials before taking up a serious vocal career. In 1958 she made her operatic debut with the Los Angeles Opera, and in 1959 she made her first appearance with the San Francisco Opera. On Jan. 6, 1964, she made her Metropolitan Opera debut in N.Y. as Violetta, and returned there for occasional appearances until 1978. She also sang at the Glyndebourne Festival, London’s Covent Garden, the Leningrad Opera, the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, the Cincinnati Opera, the Philadelphia Opera, et al. She also appeared as a soloist with orchs. and as a recitalist around the world. In 1972 she starred in the film The Great Waltz. She founded the Knoxville (Tenn.) Opera Co. in 1978. In 1979 the Mary Costa Scholarship was established at the Univ. of Tenn. Among her best known roles were Manon, Rosalinde, Musetta, and Alice Ford.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire