Roselle, Anne

Hungarian soprano, 1894 - ?

(courtesy of Charles B. Mintzer)

Biographical notes:

She was born Anna Gyenge in Budapest and moved to the United States as a child with her family where she received her first vocal tuition. According to Kutsch-Riemens she made her debut in Budapest in 1915 (?). She subsequently appeared at the Stand Theatre in New York and from 1918 to 1920 with Antonio Scotti’s opera company. It was he who recommended her to Gatti-Casazza, the director of the Metropolitan. There she made her debut as Musetta in 1920. Subsequently she was assigned to sing small roles and realized that young singers had no chance at the star-orientated opera house. Fortunately, Scotti reinvited her to sing in his opera company which toured the United States. Scotti entrusted her with central roles such as Butterfly and Tosca! After two years the company disbanded and Anne Roselle decided to continue her career in Europe. In 1926 Fritz Busch contracted her at the Dresden Opera. Singing Turandot in the first German performance she became a star overnight. This role remained her suprime calling card and she enjoyed  triumphant acclaim whenever she appeared in this role (the high tessitura ideally suited to her voice). She was also an admired Mimì, Butterfly, Leonora, Marguerite, Santuzza, Donna Anna and Aida. She frequently appeared as a guest in Vienna, London, Paris, Berlin and at the Arena di Verona. She sang in a highly successful broadcast performance of Un Ballo in Maschera opposite the star tenor Joseph Schwarz as well as Maria Olszewska and Theodor Scheidl. Her associaction with Vienna was unfortunately not a long one. In 1930 she returned to the United States. Leopold Stokowski had chosen her to perform Marie in Berg’s Wozzeck on the occasion of the first US performance in Philadelphia. She even appeared as Elektra (again under Stokowski), Salome and Konstanze (!). After her retirement she lived in Philadelphia where she passed on her experience to her many students.


As Leonora in “Il Trovatore”, 1927



Recital (Arias by Verdi, Leoncavallo, Giordano, Puccini, Gounod and Bizet)

Preiser - LV

Tito Schipa in Opera 1939 - 1941



(Preiser Records)


“Anne Roselle’s initial claim to fame was primarily the glorious timbre of her top range wich seemed to radiate a wholly individual fluidium of spirituality. The listener felt intoxicated, as if he had caugt the waft of an exotic flower. With only slight exaggeration one might even compare her voice to the effect of an opiate. A special radiance imbued this voice with a peculiar attractivity, which increased the higher tessitura. Supreme cultivation, a faultless technique with considerable vocal agility and an ideal tonal emission which gave the voice superb projection despite its only moderately large volume, formed the basis of this superb instrument, which only in the lower middle range occasionally evinced a, sometimes intentionally, occluded sound.” I share Dr. Anton Odelga’s view on this wonderful but neglected soprano.

Her recordings:

Gramophone 1926/1928:

- D’amor sull’ali rosee (Leonora in Il Trovatore / Verdi)

- Wenn das Kraut, wie die Seherin kündet (Amelia in Un Ballo in Maschera / Verdi)

- Der Tod sei mir willkommen (Amelia in Un Ballo in Maschera / Verdi)

- Ritorna vincitor (Title role in Aida  / Verdi)

- O patria mia (Title role in Aida / Verdi)

- Qual fiamma avea nel guardo (Nedda in Pagliacci / Leoncavallo)

- La mamma morta (Maddalena in Andrea Chénier / Giordano)

- Sì, mi chiamano Mimì (Mimì in La Bohème / Puccini)

 - Donde lieta usci (Mimì in La Bohème / Puccini)

- Vissi d’arte (Title role in Tosca / Puccini)

- Un bel dì vedremo (Cio-Cio-San in Madame Butterfly / Puccini)

- Sai cos’ebbe cuore (Cio-Cio-San in Madame Butterfly / Puccini)

- In diesem Schlosse (Title role in Turandot / Puccini)

 È il primo pianto in German (Title role in Turandot / Puccini)

- Il m’aime (Marguerite in Faust / Gounod)

- Je dis que rien ne m’épouvante (Micaela in Carmen / Bizet)

- Ave Maria (Desdemona in Otello / Verdi)

- Sono andati? (Mimì in La Bohème / Puccini)

- Tu, tu, piccolo Iddio (Cio-Cio-San in Madame Butterfly / Puccini)


My warmest thanks to Charles B. Mintzer (picture)