Ponselle (Ponzillo), Rosa

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Ponselle [Ponzillo], Rosa (b Meriden, Conn., 1897; d Green Valley, Baltimore, 1981). Amer. soprano. First sang in cinemas and in vaudeville act with her sister Carmella. At Caruso's suggestion, although she had never sung in opera, was engaged for Leonora in La forza del destino, NY Met 1918. Sang at Met 1918–37, CG 1929–31. One of greatest sops. of cent. in such roles as Norma, Violetta, Rachel (La Juive), and the Trovatore Leonora. Retired at height of powers and taught at Baltimore, becoming art. dir. of civic opera.

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Rosa Ponselle

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