Soprano Licia Albanese Shares Her Memories of Arturo Toscanini

Listen to the Story

Licia Albanese's debut at the Metropolitan Opera House, 02/9/1940, in Madama Butterfly.(Photo: The Metropolitan Opera)
Licia Albanese's debut at the Metropolitan Opera House, 02/9/1940, in Madama Butterfly.(Photo: The Metropolitan Opera)

Soprano Licia Albanese shares her memories of the great conductor Arturo Toscanini

Mme Albanese sang Mimi in La Boheme and Violetta in La Traviata on Toscanini’s broadcasts with the NBC symphony in the 1940s. These recordings have never been out of print.

She sang at the Metropolitan from 1940 to 1966 and continued her career for years afterward. Today, at 94, Albanese gives master classes for, and financial assistance to, young artists through the Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation.

[audio src="http://wosu.org/audio/classical/2007/licia_albanese_interview_032607.mp3"]

Highlights From This Interview:

(He would call the orchestra ‘Imbecile!’) “‘I know you can do it!,’ he said. Why you don’t do it? I have faith in you! And after he said, ‘Well, I’m sorry. We had to have temper.’ And he used to thank everybody at the end of the performances.”

“Toscanini used to come in the dressing room before we started to sing to say ‘Good luck’ to us. ‘That’s my duty, to my artists, to see if they are ok.’”

Comments