Bori, Lucrezia

Spanish soprano, 1887 - 1960

Biographical notes:

She was born in Valencia. Lucrezia y Borja Gonzales de Riancho received a well-grounded musical education at the local conservatory. In 1908 she made a successful debut as Micaela at the Teatro Adriano in Rome. She also appeared in Italian provincial theatres. Soon afterwards she was called to the San Carlo to substitute for Maria Farneti in Madame Butterfly (!). Boriís distinction in these early performances was soon recognised. She was offered a contract at La Scala for the 1910 - 1911 season, at Toscaniniís urging. At the same time she was offered an American debut at the Met, but had to defer it for two years as she was under contract with La Scala.  She made her debut as Carolina in Cimarosaís Il matrimonio segreto at La Scala, and in the same year she sang Octavian in the Italian premiere of Straussí Der Rosenkavalier! In 1912 she made her debut as Manon Lescaut at the Met. Her other roles included Gilda, Mimž, Nedda, Norina, Micaela and others. In 1915 she had developed nodes on her vocal chords requiring a series of delicate operations, and she passed nearly four years in silence, hoping her voice would return unimpaired. She made her return to the stage at Monte Carlo in 1919 as Mimž, singing opposite Beniamino Gigli for the first time. The outcome was sufficiently successful that she returned the following year for a more ardous schedule. She returned to the Met in 1921 as Mimž.  1921 marked her return to the Victor studios. She was one of the most highly respected and greatly loved singers in the Metís history and after her retirement she was appointed to the Board of Directors, the first singer to be so honored.

 

As Suzanne in Wolf-Ferrariís ďThe Secret of SuzanneĒ

 

In the title role of Mascagniís Iris

 

As Norina

 

Lucrezia Bori in Pucciniís ďManon LescautĒ

 

Recordings:

The Complete Victor Recordings 1914 - 1925 Vol. 1

Romophone

The Complete Victor Recordings 1925- 1937 Vol. 2

Romophone

RCA - 100 Met Singers

RCA

Raritŗ Mascagniane

Bongiovanni

The Electric Recordings

Pearl

Recital

Pearl

The best of Lawrence Tibbett

Pearl

Recital Tito Schipa Vol. 2

Pearl

Recital John McCormack Vol. 2

Pearl

Recital Benjamino Gigli

RCA

Mascagni - Iris

IRCC

Mike Richterís Opera Page: The Record of Singing Vol. 2

CD-ROM

 

As Manon

 

Comment:

Her voice was of modest size but it was of a individual and delicate timbre, capable to draw characters of pathetic fragility. She imbued them with intense and passionate feeling. There is  elegance and charme in her singing which is entirely her own. Listen to John McCormack, Miguel Fleta, Beniamino Gigli or Giuseppe de Luca, all singers partnered her in a number of superb duets. I like her voice best in her acoustic recordings.

Lucrezia Bori certainly belongs to the great lyric sopranos of the century. She is a singer of fine and exquisite taste. Romophone has her complete Victor recordings in very good sound.

My favorite recordings:

 Qual fiamma avea nel guardo (Nedda in I Pagliacci / Leoncavallo / Victor 1914)

- La Danza (Rossini / Victor 1914)

- O soave fanciulla (Mimž in La BohŤme / Puccini / Victor 1914)

- Parigi,o cara, noi lascieremo (Violetta in La Traviata / Verdi / Victor 1914)

- Un dž, ero piccina, al tempio (Title role in Iris / Mascagni / Victor 1915)

- In uomini (Despina in Cosž fan tutte / Mozart / Victor 1922)

- Non mi resta (Suzel in LíAmico Fritz / Mascagni / Victor 1923)

- Adieu, notre petite table (Title role in Manon / Massenet / Victor 1923)

- Sono andati? Fingevo di dormire with Tito Schipa (Mimž in La BohŤme /Puccini / Victor 1925)

- O Dio, Mimž with Tito Schipa (Mimž in La BohŤme / Puccini / Victor 1925)