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Fornia-Labey, Rita (née Regina Newman)

Fornia-Labey, Rita (née Regina Newman)

Fornia-Labey, Rita (née Regina Newman),

American soprano, later mezzo-soprano; b. San Francisco, July 17, 1878; d. Paris, Oct. 27, 1922. She adopted the name Fornia after Calif.; following her marriage to J.P. Labey in 1910, she used the name Fornia-Labey. She studied with Emil Fischer and Sofia Scalchi in N.Y. and Selma Nicklass-Kempner in Berlin. After making her operatic debut in Hamburg in 1901, she completed her training with Jean de Reszke in Paris. In 1903 she made her N.Y. debut as Siebel in Faust at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and then toured with H.W. Savage’s Opera Co. On Dec. 6, 1907, she made her Metropolitan Opera debut in N.Y. as the Geisha in Mascagni’s Iris, remaining on its roster for the rest of her life.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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