V0454. RITA SHANE: Rita Shane – Dramatic Coloratura Soprano, incl. Brentano Lieder (Strauss); Arias from Zauberflöte, Entführung, Rinaldo, La Traviata, Les Huguenots & Ariadne auf Naxos. Custom Opera 101, primarily Live Performances, 1965-80, New York City Opera, Carnegie Hall, etc. Very long out-of-print, Final Sealed Copy!
“Rita Shane, a dramatic coloratura soprano admired for the range, flexibility and size of her voice, as well as the intensity she brought to her performances, made her Metropolitan Opera debut in 1973 as the Queen of the Night in Mozart’s THE MAGIC FLUTE, a role she sang some 250 times in her career. She used her dark-hued voice and impressive technique to render the character with arresting fury. ‘She raged through her big aria with power, precision and expressive intensity that left no doubt as to the Queen of the Night’s character’, Allen Hughes wrote in THE NEW YORK TIMES. Ms. Shane, who was a professor at the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester, sang regularly with the Met until 1982. Her last performance at the Metropolitan Opera House was as Berthe in Meyerbeer’s LE PROPHÈTE in 1979. Her roles included Musetta in Puccini’s LA BOHÈME, Pamira in Rossini’s SIEGE OF CORINTH, the title role in Donizetti’s LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR and roles in three Verdi operas: Oscar in BALLO IN MASCHERA, Violetta in LA TRAVIATA and Gilda in RIGOLETTO. She appeared in a total of 71 Met performances.
She also sang Baroque opera. Harold C. Schonberg wrote in a 1967 TIMES review that in her interpretation of Elmira in Reinhard Keiser’s CROESUS she ;had the style down well, and snapped out little trills and embellishments with real flair’. Contemporary music was another facet of Ms. Shane’s career. She originated the title role in Dominick Argento’s MISS HAVISHAM’S FIRE at City Opera in 1979, and that same year she appeared in Peter Schat’s HOUDINI at the Aspen Music Festival.
It was after she began studying with the soprano Beverley Johnson that her career began in earnest. She was a member of the apprentice program at Santa Fe Opera for two summers, and made her debut in 1964 as Olympia in Offenbach’s THE TALES OF HOFFMANN in Chattanooga, Tenn. The next year she sang Elvira in Mozart’s DON GIOVANNI at New York City Opera. In 1967, she filled in for Beverly Sills as Queen of the Night at City Opera. She made her European debut in Strauss’ ARABELLA at La Scala in 1970.”
- Vivien Schweitzer, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 12 Oct., 2014