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Galli-Curci (soprano) was born in Milan in 1882. Initially she
studied as a pianist, but also had some vocal training though as a
singer she was largely self-taught. Her debut in 1906 at Trani,
Italy, was as Gilda in Rigoletto and she rapidly became
acclaimed as a coloratura singer. In 1916 she made her American debut
at Chicago, again as Gilda, and remained with the company until 1921
when she joined the New York Metropolitan company, appearing with
them until 1930. By this time her voice was in decline, and after a
throat operation in 1935 she retired completely. She died in
Her voice was perhaps the most beautiful of the era, clear, limpid
and never shrill, though her dramatic ability was limited and in her
later singing career her intonation began to suffer: This is of
course less apparent on the records since a good take would be
chosen, but has had the odd side-effect of making her records more
sought-after in recent years, when few people can remember hearing
her live, than previously when her reputation rested more on memories
of her live performances. The earlier records in particular have
captured her voice extremely well and display an exceptional
technique and beauty of tone: the electrical records, though less
satisfactory in some ways, still show a fine technique and quality of
NON CREDEA MIRARTI' ('La Sonnambula') (Bellini)
HMV DB256 (2-053135) recorded 1917.(2.5MB)
Possibly the finest of all her recordings: stunningly beautiful
and accurate singing well caught by the Victor recording engineers.
Transferred at 78rpm.
There are more recordings of Galli-Curci on my page here.
CDs of Galli-Curci have been issued on Pearl
GEMMCD9308 & 9450, and Romophone
81003-2, 81004-2, 81020-2 & 81021-2.
I have not heard these transfers and list them here simply for
information. I can't guarantee they are still available.