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Madeira, Jean (née Browning)

Madeira, Jean (née Browning)

Madeira, Jean (née Browning), American mezzo-soprano; b. Centralia, Ill., Nov. 14, 1918; d. Providence, R.I., July 10, 1972. She studied piano with her mother; at the age of 12, she was piano soloist with the St. Louis Sym. Orch. She took vocal lessons in St. Louis, then studied both piano and voice at the Juilliard School of Music in N.Y. In 1943 she made her operatic debut as Nancy in Martha in Chautauqua, N.Y. In 1948 she joined the Metropolitan Opera in N.Y, where she sang minor roles. She went to Europe, where she first gained notice as Carmen in Vienna, Aix-en-Provence, and Munich in 1955; also sang Erda at her Covent Garden debut in London that same year. She then returned to the Metropolitan, where she appeared as Carmen on March 17, 1956; she remained on the Metropolitan’s roster until 1971. Her European tours included appearances at the Vienna State Opera, the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, Milan’s La Scala, the Paris Opéra, and Bayreuth. She married the conductor, pianist, and composer Francis Madeira in 1957.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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