Conchita Supervia (mezzo-soprano) was born in Barcelona, Spain, in 1895. She made her debut at the very early age of 14 with a touring company: by 1911 she had made sufficient impression to be chosen to sing Octavian in the Rome premiere of Der Rosenkavalier (R. Strauss). Within the next few years she established herself as a firm favourite in Chicago, at La Scala and in Spain, particularly in Rossini's La Cenerentola and Il Barbiere di Siviglia and in the role most associated with her, Bizet's Carmen. She appeared at Covent Garden in the mid 1930s and settled in London. Tragically, she died after childbirth at the height of her career, in 1936.

Her Latin personality came through clearly in her singing, which was exciting and always musical: a definitive Carmen and excellent in her repertoire of Spanish songs, many of which she recorded.

'IL ÉTAIT UN ROI DE THULÉ' (Faust) (Gounod)
Historic Masters HMB11 - modern vinyl pressing of unissued Odeon, recorded 1932

Her personality shines through in this very clear electrical recording, which has a low surface noise being a vinyl pressing, and has also been digitally noise reduced. It has been transferred at 78rpm as indicated on the label: however there is a possible mystery here. Another collector has suggested to me that this is running fast, and was in fact recorded at 75rpm - which by 1932 would have been a very non-standard speed. There is a quality to the voice which tends to support this suggestion: however after I and another experienced transfer engineer have listened to it we have decided that 78rpm is correct.

If you would like to download this recording you can do so from this page.

CDs of Supervia have been issued on Preiser 89023.

I have not heard these transfers and list them here simply for information. I can't guarantee they are still available.