B0025. ELEANOR STEBER – AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY, with Marcia Sloat. Ridgewood, NJ, Wordsworth, 1992. 268pp. 16 pages of Photos; List of Roles; Discography; DJ. Long out-of-print; we have been called by the Sloat Estate to dispose of the remaining copies, thus the greatly reduced price. - 9780963417404
“American soprano Eleanor Steber graced the Metropolitan Opera stage between 1940 & 1966, a quintessential Mozart interpreter who was equally skilled in Italian, German & French repertoire. A brilliant concert artist who toured the world, she was also for 10 years the most famous star of radio's ‘Voice of Firestone’. Now, this flamboyant, enigmatic diva reveals her life & private thoughts with disarming candor. This is a truly American musical life - triumphant, funny, sometimes tragic, but ultimately victorious.
With Serge Koussevitzky and the Boston Symphony Orchestra Steber sang the world premiere in 1948 of Samuel Barber's KNOXVILLE, SUMMER OF 1915, a work which she had commissioned. Prior to that, HMV had engaged her to record some Mozart and other popular arias. By the account of Walter Süsskind, the conductor of the proposed recordings, she arrived at the Abbey Road Studios not feeling well, having been up most of the night. She could not sing her standard arias, saying ‘I don't feel like singing that’. Süsskind, trying to save the recording session, asked, ‘What do you feel like singing?’. Steber thought for a moment and said, ‘Let's try 'Depuis le jour' (from LOUISE). Orchestra parts were found and the disc was cut in one ‘take’. It became a famous recording of the aria, revealing a superb lyrical vocal line and an eloquent interpretation.”
- Ned Ludd
"The autobiography provides interesting vignettes of some of the biggest names in music from the 1940s to the 1970s, combined with occasional tidbits of advice for singers and a look at real life in the opera world. [Steber's] evaluations of famous conductors with whom she worked are quite revealing....[For] anyone wishing to gain insight into the operatic and concert world between 1940 and 1970 the book is a veritable gold mine. It makes fascinating reading...."
- Edward C. Wolf, WEST VIRGINIA HISTORY, 1993
"Steber definitely possessed the most glorious instrument of all, with its classically organized technique, impeccable management of breath support, easy agility and, above all, that phosphorescent top register….She was a singer who possessed a rare combination of vocal radiance, technical mastery, personal charisma and, during her best years, the distinctive purity, spinning tone and easy sweetness of her soprano [which] made her the Mozart-Strauss soprano of one’s dreams."
- Peter G. Davis, OPERA NEWS, Nov., 2003
“…among brilliantly successful singers in full career [in 1956] it is possible to name Eleanor Steber, one of the loveliest sopranos in existence….”
- Vincent Sheean, FIRST AND LAST LOVE, p.155