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 voice.
NON CREDEA MIRARTI' ('La Sonnambula') (Bellini)
HMV DB256 (2-053135) recorded 1917
Possibly the finest of all her recordings: stunningly
beautiful and accurate singing well caught by the Victor
recording engineers. Transferred at 78rpm and digitally noise reduced (see the note on the introduction page).
If you would like to download
this recording you can do so from this page.
There are more recordings of Galli-Curci on my page here.