Tetrazzini, Luisa (actually, Luigia)

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Tetrazzini, Luisa (actually, Luigia)

Tetrazzini, Luisa ( actually, Luigia), celebrated Italian soprano, sister of Eva Tetrazzini; b. Florence, June 28, 1871; d. Milan, April 28, 1940. She learned the words and music of several operas by listening to her sister; then studied at the Liceo Musicale in Florence with Ceccherini. She made her operatic debut as Inez in L’Africaine in Florence (1890); then sang in Europe and traveled with various opera companies in South America. In 1904 she made her U.S. debut at the Tivoli Opera House in San Francisco. She made her London debut at Covent Garden as Violetta on Nov. 2, 1907. She was then engaged by Hammerstein to sing with his Manhattan Opera House in N.Y., where she sang Violetta on Jan. 15, 1908; she remained with the company until it closed in 1910; subsequently appeared for a single season at the Metropolitan Opera (1911-12), making her debut there on Dec. 27, 1911, as Lucia. After singing at the Chicago Grand Opera (1911-13), she toured as a concert artist. She made the first broadcast on the British radio in 1925; her last American appearance was in N.Y. in 1931. She then taught in Milan. Her fame was worldwide, and her name became a household word, glorified even in food, as in Turkey Tetrazzini. She publ. My Life of Song (London, 1921) and How to Sing (N.Y, 1923). She acquired a great fortune, but died in poverty.


C. Gattey, L. T.: The Florentine Nightingale (Portland, Ore., 1995).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire