B1043. JOHN FRANCIS MARION. Lucrezia Bori of the Metropolitan Opera. New York, P.J. Kenedy & Sons, 1962. 189 pp. Index; Photos.
“The Spanish soprano Lucrezia Bori (1887–1960) is an extremely interesting artist, in that she achieved stardom without a truly spectacular aspect to her singing. Her voice was apparently not large, her top was somewhat limited, and when you first hear it, your reaction might very well be something along the lines of ‘well, that’s pretty’. The more one listens, however, the more one appreciates Bori’s greatness as an artist. Throughout [her] fairly wide range of repertoire one is repeatedly impressed by Bori’s ability to convey tenderness and fragility as well as strength and even power, and she does it all through classically fine singing. Her intonation is flawless, her legato perfectly even, and her singing a consistent model of lyrical grace and elegance while never short-changing the dramatic moment. Bori’s singing is like a master class in how to phrase the aria and how to make every word mean something”
- Henry Fogel, FANFARE
“The gift of a beautiful voice is considered to be a divine one. To possess a vocal quality that has a marked individuality is to be blessed indeed. One such singer was Lucrezia Bori. She, together with singers like Enrico Caruso, Titta Ruffo, Beniamino Gigli, Tito Schipa, Richard Tauber and Lauritz Melchior or Amelita Galli-Curci, Luisa Tetrazzini, Rosa Ponselle and later Maria Callas, among certain other noted recording artists, only need to utter a couple of notes and it is usually sufficient for the record listener to immediately recognise the singer.
The Great Depression of the late 1920s had caused severe financial difficulties at the Metropolitan and Bori - always one of their best box-office attractions - was persuaded to delay her planned retirement from 1933 to 1936. She also became Chairperson of the ‘Committee to save the Metropolitan Opera House’ and through her performances, public addresses and appeals worked to raise the funds that ultimately enabled the company to survive. Although her career had blossomed in Italy and she had sung in South America and in other USA operatic centres with great success, the Metropolitan Opera in New York was her artistic home. She was the first woman to join the Board of the Met. Lucrezia Bori enjoyed a secluded and quiet retirement, but to the end of her days she was always interested in the fortunes of the Company and in the development of any young artist associated with that great house. Lucrezia Bori died in New York on 12 May, 1960.”
- Alan Bilgora