A few words about Sara Scuderi on her birthday

Sara Scuderi was born on December 11, 1906. She sang widely in Italy and Europe, most notably in the Netherlands! She had a contract at La Scala where she received high praise for her interpretations of the most well-known operas.

Scuderi, who was Jewish, was born in Catania/ She made a debut there as Leonora “Il Trovatore’. She sang in the most theatres worldwide and her interpretations of Tosca will are particularly celebrated, with the 1937 production at the Terme de Caracallea a, with Beniamino Gigli and Luigi Montesanto being among the best known. Additionally, she premiered the operas Il volto della Vergine (Ezio Camussi) and Giulio Cesare (Malipiero).

She retired from the stage at the end of the 1940s. For the latter part of her life, she lived at the Casa di Riposo per Musicti, the world’s first nursing home for retired opera singers, founded by Giuesppe Verdi. Film director Daniel Schmid used Scuderi as a central character in his capture of the essence of the retirement home for these former glories in his Il Baccio de Tosca, in 1984. Scuderi died three years later, in 1987. (Wikipedia)

As you porbably all know I am a great Tosca admirer. Thehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vx4S1cjWEhUre are thousands of ‘Toscas’ on the market. I will certainly not discuss them, too much, too many really good ones. Go and listen to Rosa Ponselle, Rosa Raisa, Mafalda Favero, Maria Caniglia, Magda Olivero, Renata Tebaldi, Maria Callas, Zinka Milanov, Eleanor Steber, Leyla Gencer, Leontyne Price, Montserrat Cabbalè, Renata Scotto, Raina Kabaivanska, Régine Crespin … They are all excellent, each in their own way, as it should be with a real diva. But – for me – no one beats Sara Scuderi:


    1. My late Italian friend Luciano Di Cave wrote a book about Jewish singers, he lived in Rome (before, during and after WWII) and did not include Scuderi in his book. Nor did Maurizio Tiberi know who released her recordings and an interview of her in the lp box ‘voci dell’Etna”. Moreover she must have been the only Jewish singer to have had a flourishing career during the war in Italy? How do you explain that? That’s why I wondered about your statement. That nasty question at the end of your posting was not necessary. But i love to get facts right


      1. Fijn dat Basia aandacht besteedt aan Sara Scuderi. Ik ken haar alleen van die beroemde en ontroerende documentaire. Zoals bekend trad Scuderi veelvuldig in Nederland op. Ze debuteerde bij de N.V. Italiaanse Opera op 3 november, 1926 in de Stadsschouwburg in Amsterdam en haar laatste optreden was op 23 december, 1951 in dezelfde schouwburg en met dezelfde opera. Het gezelschap was De Nederlandsche Opera gevestigd te Amsterdam. De opera’s waarin Scuderi zong in Nederland: La Bohème, Il Trovatore, Faust, L’amore di the re, Mefistofele, Madama Butterfly, Manon Lescaut, Lohengrin gezongen in het Italiaans, Turandot (Liu), Cavalleria Rusticana, Otello, La Rosiera (Vittorio Gnecchi), Andrea Chenier. Bij de Wagner Vereeniging zong ze Mrs. Alice Ford in Falstaff onder Pierre Monteux. Tijdens de Tweede Wereldoorlog zong ze niet in Nederland. Op 16 november, 1937 zong Scuderi in de galavoorstelling om het 40jarig bestaan van Opera Italiana te vieren. Manon Lescaut stond op het programma. Scuderi zong ook veelvuldig in Den Haag in Het Gebouw voor Kunsten en Wetenschappen. In de Grote Schouwburg van Rotterdam. In 1937 voor het laatst. Een paar jaar voor het bombardement. In Amsterdam trad ze ook vaak in Carré op. In1931, 1932 en 1933 trad ook Nina Cigna bij hetzelfde gezelschap op in La Traviata, Norma en Loreley van Catalani. Ook Mariano Stabile trad op in Falstaff.

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