Rosa Ponselle was born on January 22, 1897 – died on May 25, 1981. Ponselle was an American operatic soprano. She sang mainly at the New York Metropolitan Opera and is generally considered by music critics to have been one of the greatest sopranos of the past 100 years.  She was born Rosa Ponzillo on January 22, 1897, in Meriden, Connecticut, the youngest of three children. Her parents were Italian Neapolitan immigrants. Rosa had an exceptionally mature voice at an early age and, at least in her early years, sang on natural endowment with little, if any, vocal training. Instead, her early prowess as a piano student (which was cultivated by a local music teacher, Anna Ryan, the organist of a nearby Catholic church), seemed to incline Rosa to instrumental rather than vocal music. But with the influence and example of her older sister, Carmela, who was then pursuing a career as a cabaret singer, Rosa began to augment her engagements as a silent-movie accompanist in and around Meriden by singing popular ballads to her audiences while the projectionist changed film reels.  Her last operatic performance was as Carmen on April 22, 1937, in a Met tour performance in Cleveland. She was 40 years old, at the height of her popularity, and apart from a receding upper register, still in magnificent voice. Ponselle did not consciously or purposely retire after that Cleveland Carmen in 1937; she just let her career slip away.  Although she never again appeared on the concert or opera stage, Ponselle continued to sing at home for friends, who reported that her voice was as magnificent as ever. This was confirmed in 1954, when RCA Victor came to Villa Pace and recorded Ponselle singing a wide variety of songs. In the late 1940s, Ponselle became the guiding force of the fledgling Baltimore Civic Opera Company, providing coaching and voice lessons for the young singers who appeared with the company. Among those who coached with her during their Baltimore Civic Opera appearances at the start of their careers were Beverly Sills, Sherrill Milnes, Plácido Domingo and James Morris. Ponselle died at the Villa Pace near Baltimore, Maryland on May 25, 1981. She is buried in Druid Ridge Cemetery in Baltimore.
Original Hand Signed Rosa Ponselle Autograph, signed on a 3 x 5 inch Index Card. (This is a hand signed autograph – not a stamp). Regular Price – $ 185.00 / Sale Price – $ 129.95.

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