• Repertoire and world premiere operas


    Rosa Ponselle and Romano Romani


    Below we can find the repertoire on stage of Rosa Ponselle. The list is ordered by number of performances, and contains:

    Opera - Composer - Number of performances - Debut year

    Opera Composer Number of performances Year she sung for the first time
    La Forza del destino Verdi 38 1918
    Cavalleria Rusticana Mascagni 38 1918
    La Gioconda Ponchielli 38 1924
    L'Africana Meyerbeer 35 1923
    Norma Bellini 34 1927
    La Traviata Verdi 21 1930
    Ernani Verdi 19 1921
    La Juive Halévy 17 1919
    Andrea Chenier Giordano 16 1921
    Il Trovatore Verdi 15 1924
    Don Giovanni Mozart 15 1930
    Carmen Bizet 15 1935
    Aida Verdi 14 1920
    La Vestale Spontini 11 1925
    Oberon Weber 10 1918
    Don Carlo Verdi 10 1920
    William Tell Rossini 7 1923
    L'amore dei tre Re Montemezzi 6 1926
    Luisa Miller Verdi 6 1929
    La notte di Zoraima Montemezzi 5 1932
    Le Roi d'Ys Lalo 4 1922
    The Legend Breil 3 1919
    Fedra Romani 3 1931




    About the roles she created:

    The Legend was a one-act opera composed by Joseph Breil and premiered at the Metropolitan Opera in 1919. The story involved a nobleman, her daughter and her lover (both doomed to be dead by the end of the opera, to be sure). The young Ponselle literally hated the piece, deeming it to be a holy c... (with reason, it seems). The reviews were merciless, but all of them recognized Ponselle's good singing.

    La notte di Zoraima was an opera by Italo Montemezzi. He was the well considered composer of L'amore dei tre re, an opera very well known and loved in the MET during the last twenty years before the premiere of Zoraima. Ponselle had also sung the role of Fiora with great success. However, Zoraima was a complete fiasco. It was set in the Peru of the Incas, and the soprano was torn between a baritone and her true lover, a tenor, and finally commited suicide. Nothing new under the peruvian Sun. The music and the staging were ridiculed, as well as Mario Basiola (the baritone) and Frederick Jagel (the tenor). Only Ponselle's singing (but not her acting) was praised.

    Fedra was an opera by Ponselle's friend Romano Romani. She sung the piece in the Covent Garden, with Antonio Cortis, Cesare Formichi and Elvira Casazza. However, it was unable to interest anyone else. Fedra had already been staged before in Italy, with Rosa Raisa singing the main role, but Romani wrote a new aria for Ponselle: "O divina Afrodite". This is the only piece of music that had survived in the voice of Rosa Ponselle.


    Ponselle - Fedra - 1937


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