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Thread: Giuseppina Cobelli (1898-1948): Now virtually forgotten Star Soprano of La Scala

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    Senior Member anniefischerfan's Avatar
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    Default Giuseppina Cobelli (1898-1948): Now virtually forgotten Star Soprano of La Scala

    Giuseppina Cobelli 3.jpg

    Giuseppina Cobelli as Fedora.jpg

    Giuseppina Cobelli as Tosca.jpg


    From YouTube channel of "dtshu"

    Giuseppina Cobelli (1898-1948) was the prima donna who, together with Giannina Arangi-Lombardi and Bianca Scacciati, ruled Milan's Teatro alla Scala in the late 1920s and the early 1930s. The dramatic soprano has been little known in the English-speaking world due to the concentration of her career in Italy and occasional trips to South America. Given her stature at La Scala it is quite astounding that two 78s -- "Suicidio!" (La Gioconda) and "Voi lo sapete" (Cavalleria Rusticana) are all that she left as her commercially recorded legacy. Her career was later beleaguered by growing deafness. She retired from the operatic stage in 1942 and assumed a humble life as a hotel proprietress before dying of cancer in 1948. She had been highly regarded with the greatest admiration and respect both as a singer of great personal beauty and stage presence as well as astonishing histrionic capacity by several contemporaries, including Maria Caniglia, Ebe Stignani, Magda Olivero, Eva Turner and Mafalda Favero. Favero spoke of Cobelli's Isolde as a portrayal that "absolutely always tore me apart" and expressed her gratitude for "the pain she had made me suffer, a sort of cleansing and purification." Olivero recounted Cobelli with fondness, saying that "When Cobelli left, I inherited Adriana from her. She was intelligent, a beautiful woman with an exciting personality and a wonderful voice," adding with great regret that "she's never spoken of today." Given her meagre recorded legacy, it is highly fortunate that broadcast recordings of snippets from a live performance of Tristan und Isolde (in Italian translation) on 11 Dec 1930 at La Scala conducted by Victor De Sabata managed to survive. Due to her almost non-existent recording career, she has been largely forgotten until today.
    Last edited by anniefischerfan; Feb-19-2015 at 02:42.

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    Senior Member anniefischerfan's Avatar
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    Giuseppina Cobelli in one of her only two extant commercial recordings, "Suicidio!" from Act 4 of Ponchielli's La Gioconda, recorded in 1925 for La Voce del Padrone (Italian branch of HMV).


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    Senior Member anniefischerfan's Avatar
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    Giuseppina Cobelli in one of her only two extant commercial recordings, Santuzza's aria "Voi lo sapete" from Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana, recorded in 1925 for La Voce del Padrone (Italian branch of HMV).


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    Senior Member anniefischerfan's Avatar
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    Final passages of the Liebestod from Wagner's Tristan und Isolde sung by Giuseppina Cobelli (1898-1948), with the Orchestra of Teatro alla Scala, Milan, conducted by Victor De Sabata on 11 Dec 1930 in a live performance. The photos give us an idea of her magnificent stage presence and show us why many of her colleagues and Italian opera goers of the 1920s and 1930s were so enamoured by her.


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    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anniefischer View Post
    Final passages of the Liebestod from Wagner's Tristan und Isolde sung by Giuseppina Cobelli (1898-1948), with the Orchestra of Teatro alla Scala, Milan, conducted by Victor De Sabata on 11 Dec 1930 in a live performance. The photos give us an idea of her magnificent stage presence and show us why many of her colleagues and Italian opera goers of the 1920s and 1930s were so enamoured by her.

    This is incredibly moving. I wonder why her voice disappears for a moment? What's there is magnificently acted - you can hear the ecstasy. And the lost art of legato! By this point in the evening most sopranos are glad just to get the notes out. De Sabata's pacing is tremendous too - truly one of the great conductors.

    Another major artist from the past. Thank you.

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