B0984. Félia Litvinne. Ma vie et Mon art – Souvenirs. Paris, Librairie Plon, 1933. 292pp. Photos. (French Text) Softbound. Fine copy has crackled spine and is somewhat yellowed.
"…[one] had never heard another voice like Litvinne’s, for fullness of the sound itself, for the enchanting timbre, for the softness and the richness of the range of colourings, or for such music in the sound itself and its overtones….In each role, Litvinne’s voice seemed made for that particular role: in every sound was the music of the particular character. Irrespective of the tessitura and language in which she was singing, the articulation of every word was clear and somehow transparent….Every phrase was alive with her temperament and involvement….
- Sergei Levik, THE LEVIK MEMOIRS, p. 307
“Born in Russia, Litvinne came to Paris to study with Barthe-Banderali, Pauline Viardot and Victor Maurel. She made her stage début at the Théâtre-Italien in 1883, as Amalia in SIMON BOCCANEGRA, as a last minute replacement for Fidès Devriès, and shorthly after made her official début as Elvira in ERNANI. Her career became rapidly international, appearing at the Academy of Music in New York, at the Paris Opéra, La Scala, the Rome Opera, La Fenice, Royal Opera House, Moscow, Saint Petersburg, etc. She made her Metropolitan Opera début on 25 November, 1896, as Valentine in LES HUGUENOTS; she sang there for only one season. Her other roles included Aïda, Donna Anna, Chimène, Sélika, Brünnhilde and Isolde. She took part in the creation of operas by Camille Saint-Saëns, such as HÉLÈNE, L'ANCÊTRE, and DÉJANIRE, as well as Camille Erlanger 's BACCHUS TRIOMPHANT. She also won great acclaim in operas by Gluck, such as ALCESTE and ARMIDE. She gave her last operatic performance in Monte Carlo in 1915 as Aïda, opposite Enrico Caruso, but continued giving recitals until 1924. She taught at the American Conservatory in Fontainebleau; among her pupils were Nina Koshetz and Germaine Lubin. She published a book of 'Conseils et exercices' in 1924, and her autobiography 'Ma vie et mon art', in 1933. Widely regarded as one of the greatest voices of all time, she possessed a brilliant, flexible and resonant voice, and had a powerful stage presence.”
- Z. D. Akron