Opera Scotland

Margherita Grandi Suggest updates

Marguerite Garde.

Born Harwood Island, NSW, 4 October 1894.

Died Milan, 29 January 1972.

Australian-born Italian soprano.

Margherita Grandi was born in New South Wales and grew up in Tasmania. She studied at the Royal College of Music in London (1912-17), and with Emma Calvé in Paris. Her debut, initially as a mezzo, was as Charlotte in Paris. In Monte Carlo she sang Carmen, Charlotte, and Margherita in Mefistofele, and in 1922 she created the title role in Massenet's posthumously-staged Amadis. At this period she performed under the name Djemma Vécla. She moved to Italy, married and started a family. After a gap of several years she retrained with Giannina Russ as a soprano. Her second debut, using her married name, Grandi, was at the Carcano, Milan in 1932, as Aïda. She sang at La Scala in 1934 as Elena in Mefistofele. She lived in Italy through the war, her parts including Maria in Friedenstag in Venice (1940) and Ottavia in Poppea (Rome 1943). In 1946S she appeared as Aïda at the Verona Arena.

Glyndebourne was the location of her British debut as Lady Macbeth in 1939, returning to the role in 1947 for the first Edinburgh Festival. Her first appearances in London were in the 1947 season at the Cambridge Theatre, as Tosca and Donna Anna. Her second Edinburgh Festival role with the Glyndebourne company was in Un ballo in maschera (1949). That year she also worked at Covent Garden, creating Diana in The Olympians, in which she toured. Further parts at the Royal Opera House included Leonora (Il trovatore) and Tosca. She retired in 1951.

Sources: New Grove Dictionary of Opera and Wikipedia.

Roles in Scotland

Lady Macbeth
Macbeth 1947
Amelia wife of Anckarström
Masked Ball 1949

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