Traubel, Helen (Francesca)

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Traubel, Helen (Francesca)

Traubel, Helen (Francesca), noted American soprano; b. St. Louis, June 20, 1899; d. Santa Monica, Calif., July 28, 1972. She studied with Vetta Karst. She made her concert debut as soloist in Mahler’s 4th Sym. with the St. Louis Sym. Orch. on Dec. 13, 1923. On May 12, 1937, she made her Metropolitan Opera debut in N.Y. as Mary Rutledge in Damrosch’s The Man without a Country; her first major role there was Sieglinde on Dec. 28, 1939; subsequently became the leading American Wagnerian soprano on its roster, excelling especially as Isolde, Elisabeth, Brimnhilde, Elsa, and Kundry. In 1953 she made appearances in N.Y. nightclubs; this prompted objections from the Metropolitan Opera management, and as a result she resigned from the Metropolitan. She also appeared on Broadway in Pipe Dream (1955), in films, and on television. She publ. the mystery novels The Ptomaine Canary and The Metropolitan Opera Murders (N.Y., 1951), and an autobiography, St. Louis Woman (N.Y, 1959).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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Traubel, Helen (Francesca)

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