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My Passion Is The Great Movie Opera Singers of 1930-1940

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Fossy
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Re: My Passion Is The Great Movie Opera Singers of 1930-1940

Postby Fossy » June 7th, 2010, 4:41 pm

moirafinnie wrote:I'd heard about The King Steps Out, Fossy, but now your description really makes me want to track down a copy (I have a fascination with Elisabeth of Austria too).

And btw, welcome to the website and thanks for sharing your enthusiasms.


Moira, I must confess that I became interested in Elisabeth because of “The King Steps Out”. There is much information on the web about her, including many pictures of her. In some she looked incredibly beautiful, but mostly she looked very stern. All sources say she led a very unhappy life.

As well as “The King Steps Out” I have in my collection “The Fall Of Eagles” (1974) and “Mayerling”(1936).

“The Fall Of Eagles” is a four disc, thirteen episode series made by BBC and relates to the fall of the Austro Hungarian, German And Russian Royal Houses. Chapter one relates the meeting of the young Franz Joseph and the princesses Helene and Elisabeth. Apparently special dispensation had already been given by the Pope for Franz Joseph to marry Helene. ( They were first cousins). A later episode relates in some detail the events at Mayerling.

“Mayerling” is based on the novel “Idylls End” by Claude Anet and is the tragic story of the adulterous love affair between 35 year old Crown Prince Rudolf (son of Elisabeth) and 17 year old Maria Vetsera. Rudolf was portrayed by Charles Boyer and Maria by the incredibly beautiful Danielle Darrieux. ( Danielle recently celebrated her 93rd birthday).
Having been refused a Papal annulment, banned from seeing Maria by the Emperor, and with Maria threatened with life imprisonment in a convent, the lovers chose murder/suicide rather than be separated.
An interesting aside about this movie is that I bought it through Ebay Australia from an American Company (Movie Mars). It is in French with English subtitles and sent to me from Germany.

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Re: My Passion Is The Great Movie Opera Singers of 1930-1940

Postby Fossy » June 24th, 2010, 6:36 pm

THE YOUNG SOPRANOS

Beverly Sills, as far as I can tell she appeared in one short movie and a number of TV shows. Here she sings at age 8, clearly showing the promise of what was to come.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAz2HgSZaDs[/youtube]

Gloria Jean made her film debut at age 13. Here she is singing from her first film “The Under-Pup”.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQbShgOW-hU&NR=1[/youtube]

Deanna Durbin made her film debut at age 14.Here (at age 14 years 6months) she sings with Judy Garland (age 14 years) in her debut movie (It was also Judy`s debut) “Every Sunday (1936)
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbyPCZhzaE8[/youtube]

Ann Blyth made her film debut at age 16. Here she is at age 21 singing with Bing Crosby in the movie “Top o` The Morning”.(1949). This is the earliest I can find on youtube.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7ImOqFyXGQ[/youtube]

Jane Powell made her film debut at age 16. (It was claimed at the time that she was 14). Here at age 18 she sings from the Movie “Holiday In Mexico” (1946)
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kYvOfZL0Q8[/youtube]

Martha Eggerth made her film debut at age 18. Here she sings from ‘The Merry Widow” from a 1932 record. She fled to USA from Nazi Germany with her husband (tenor Jan Keipura) in the 1930s. She performed in a concert at age 95. She recently turned 98 and lives in New York, USA.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIgdk-2lwA0[/youtube]

Kathryn Grayson made her film debut at age 19. Here is a song from her debut movie “Andy Hardy`s Private Secretary” (1941)
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZaUN2bsh5k[/youtube]

Virginia Bruce made her film debut at age 19. A slow starter she did not appear in a starring role until her 19th movie, Jane Eyre (1934). Here she sings at age 24 from her movie The Mighty Barnum (1934)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAo0oy-Q_iE[/youtube]

Ilona Massey sang in opera and at age 25 appeared in the first of two movies in her native Hungary. She migrated to USA, where she appeared in another 12 movies and many TV shows. Here she sings at age 27 from her movie “Balalaika”.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H48pyFJ6ATo[/youtube]



Jeanette MacDonald made her film debut at age 26. Here she sings from her debut movie “Love Parade” (1929)
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-M3P2o5AowA[/youtube]

Miliza Korjus made her film debut at age 26.Here she sings at age 29 from the movie “The Great Waltz” (1938)
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HNw3t5-CDA[/youtube]

Patrice Munsel, made her first and only film (Melba 1953) at age 28. When she was 18 she became the youngest singer ever to star at the Metropolitan. She retired from opera at age 33, and moved to operetta and TV. Here she sings (at age 26) .
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kP9X0H26c-o&feature=related[/youtube]

Grace Moore made her film debut at age 31. Here she sings from her second movie movie “New Moon” (1930)
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sow8JeAwt_0[/youtube]

Rise Stevens made her film debut at age 28. She recently turned 97 and lives in New York, USA. Here she sings a duet from her debut movie “The Chocolate Soldier” (1941)
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nP5OgNjNGjo[/youtube]

Julie Andrews made her film debut as the voice of Princess Zeila in the animated movie “The Singing Princess” (1949). Her first appearance in a movie was at age 29.
Here Julie sings (at age 12)
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjp6kVOnqNQ[/youtube]

Irene Dunne made her film debut at age 31. Here at age 34 she sings from her movie “Stingaree” (1934) Jeanette MacDonald is also featured in this clip.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCQ4E689Ebg[/youtube]

Lily Pons made her film debut at age 37. Here she sings from her debut movie “I Dream Too Much” (1935)
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZjwRN6v9bE&feature=related[/youtube]
Last edited by Fossy on August 19th, 2010, 7:02 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: My Passion Is The Great Movie Opera Singers of 1930-1940

Postby Uncle Stevie » June 24th, 2010, 9:51 pm

Great job Fossy. I listened to all the clips and now I know more than I knew before. I never heard of Miltza Kouras but she only made one movie. I knew of Rise Stevens but never saw any of her movies. All the others I am familiar with and either have some movies or have seen them. Exceptions are Samantha Eggert and Gloria Jean. I do not find them fitting in the romantic opera love stories I like. Many singing performers changed direction and pursued drama. I am not int heavy drama. I want to laugh.
Uncle Stevie


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Re: My Passion Is The Great Movie Opera Singers of 1930-1940

Postby Fossy » July 5th, 2010, 7:15 pm

I have added a few more names to the Young Sopranos list. Anyone who enjoys film sopranos may spend a pleasant hour or so clicking on the links.

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Re: My Passion Is The Great Movie Opera Singers of 1930-1940

Postby Fossy » July 18th, 2010, 9:27 pm

Gloria Jean (b 14 April 1926)
1926 Family moved from Buffalo, New York to Scranton, Pennsylvania, where her father established a music store.
1931 At age 5 in was discovered that she had a voice, and she began singing locally.
1938 At age twelve, Gloria was taken to an audition by Universal director Joe Pasternak, who was looking for a new child singer to replace studio icon Deanna Durbin, who was being steered into adult and ingénue roles.

1939 At age 13 she made her first movie, “The Under-Pup”. (Universal presented her as an 11 year old )

1940 her next movie was “If I had My Way”. Her one solo in the movie was “Little Grey Home in The West” which was cut out of the movie, and so were her verses of “ The Pessimistic Character”. Gloria`s favourite “A Little Bit Of Heaven” was made the same year.

1941 “Never Give a Sucker An Even Break”. A comedy featuring W.C.Fields. This was very successful and is readily available on DVD. This movie features “Estrellita” which Gloria feels is her best song.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KtqfQJHbh7M
A series of lively “Teen” movies followed over the next couple of years

1943 Gloria was to star in one of four episodes of the Julien Duvivier's "Flesh and Fantasy," alongside such stars as Edward G. Robinson, Charles Boyer, and Barbara Stanwyck. Gloria was a blind girl who met up with “bad guy” Cliff. Cliff killed Gloria`s father, and tried to take over Gloria and the farm. There was a storm and Gloria fled. Trees parted there branches to allow her safe passage and flicked back to hinder the evil Cliff, who ultimately was swept away in the swollen river. At the preview Gloria received rave reviews. The entire episode was deleted from the finished movie supposedly because the movie was too long.

Gloria`s biographers tell a different story.
An unnamed influential stockholder pressured Universal into removing Gloria Jean`s footage from “Flesh And Fantasy”.
Four movies and over a year later, the footage from “Flesh And Fantasy” was expanded and included in “Destiny”. Cliff was now a good guy who had been wrongly sent to prison. He did not shoot Gloria`s father. He shot himself accidentally. They ended up in one another`s arms.

The Initial removal of Gloria`s performance from “Flesh And Fantasy”, It`s transformation into a bottom-of-the-bill B picture, the misleading publicity campaign, the badly timed release date and the film being superseded by a much bigger production seem to add up to a deliberate effort to sabotage the film`s success. Who would want the film to fail, and why? Universal would gain nothing by spending time and money to salvage the Duvivier footage, then sending the resulting feature film into oblivion. The Universal publicists, if left to their own devices, certainly would have created a more effective campaign along the usual lines.
If the film itself was not the target, could it`s sabotage have been aimed at an individual? It would have mattered little to Julien Duvivier who had already left both the project and the studio behind. If the idea was to discredit writer Roy Chanslor, director Reginald Le Borg, or producer Roy William Neill, it didn`t work; all three men continued their associations with the studio.
By process of elimination, the target appears to be Gloria Jean: was it possible that someone of influence at Universal did not want her to succeed as a dramatic actress?
Who altered the course of Destiny? A likely suspect would be someone whose own career could be threatened or surpassed if Gloria`s professional status grew, who wielded enough clout to affect editing, production and publicity decisions at the studio---The same interfering stockholder who truncated Flesh And Fantasy.
Destiny is at once Gloria`s greatest professional disappointment and her favourite performance.

1962 Married
1963 Retired from acting and took up a position with cosmetics firm Redken. She remained with Redken for 30 years.
1966 divorced
Gloria now lives with her son in Hawaii.

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Re: My Passion Is The Great Movie Opera Singers of 1930-1940

Postby Uncle Stevie » July 28th, 2010, 2:02 pm

I have been reviewing the movie Opera singers and have come to the conclusion that Grace Moore excites me the most. Her voice is magnifiscent and she sings pure Opera. Her personality is magnetic and she has the lovliest smile. In The King Steps Out everyone falls in love with her. When she sings Madama Butterfly in One Night Of Love I get goosebumps listening to the Arias.

I own and play often:

When Your In Love - Grace & Cary Grant
The King Steps Out - Grace & Franchot Tone
New Moon - Grace & Lawrence Tibbett
Love Me Forever - Grace & Leo Carillo
I'll Take Romance - Grace & Melvyn Douglass
One Night Of Love - Grace & Tullio Carminati
A Lady's Morals - Grace & Wallace Beery
Louise - Grace & George Thill - This movie is in French and I did not understand or enjoy it.
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Re: My Passion Is The Great Movie Opera Singers of 1930-1940

Postby Moraldo Rubini » August 9th, 2010, 8:54 pm

This is a swell thread! Sorry it took me so long to find it. I love opera and classic films. I was happy to see that TCM released more Deanna Dubin movies in the recent Music and Romance Collection and snapped it up as soon as it was out. I find her performances refreshing with or without music. The earlier, the better. I appreciate the cross-over appeal in vernacular entertainment of the 1930's - 1950's. Something happened in the hippie-dippie days of the 1960's, that drove a chasm between "high" and "lower" music. Opera began to be seen as elevated and rarified; so the days of having a Risë Stevens pop up in a movie or Eileen Farrell singing jazz on the radio dissipated. More's the pity. I regularly attend the opera today, and it seems a more viable theatrical experience than it did even 30 years ago. I wish audiences were braver to venture out and experience them.

Still, it even surprises me that the Wagnerian soprano Kirsten Flagsted would sing in The Big Broadcast of 1938 with breastplate and winged helmet ablaze. Good for her! I think someone mentioned Miliza Korjus and The Great Waltz as her solo movie venture; but I believe she made another in Mexico. Fernando mention High Wide and Handsome, a movie that enchanted me as a child, and one that I've longed to see again ever since. I have Rosalie so have seen a little of Ilona Massey; but have hungered for Grace Moore for decades. I finally got a petit morceau when I caught a good portion of One Night of Love, when it was screened on TCM last year. One of the more promising young voices was Betty Jaynes, who was originally to have played the Ozma, the operatically inclined Princess of Oz in The Wizard of Oz. MGM wisely dispensed with that story line, but we can hear Betty sing in a few other films -- most notably in Babes in Arms.

I also want to mention that there is a fun reference book, The Encyclopedia of Opera on Screen available. Ken Wlaschin put it together and it was published by Yale University Press in 2004.

Enjoy!

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Re: My Passion Is The Great Movie Opera Singers of 1930-1940

Postby Fossy » August 9th, 2010, 11:43 pm

Miliza Korjus
18 August 1909, she was born in Warsaw, Poland, the fifth child of Arthur and Anna Korjus. Arthur was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Imperial Russian Army and later Chief of Staff to the War minister of Estonia.
Miliza`s parents separated during WW1.

1918 Miliza moved to Kiev, Ukraine, with her mother and sisters. She studied music at the Kiev conservatory. She toured USSR with “Dumka Chorus”.

1927 Crossed the border near Leningrad and was reunited with her father and brother. Under her father`s guidance she began making concert appearances in the Baltic States.

1929 Miliza married and moved to Germany. She continued her concert career.

1933 She joined the Berlin Opera. Her opera performances and recordings soon put her in the forefront . Irving Thalberg heard her recordings and signed her to a 10 year contract “sight unseen”.

1936 Miliza arrived in USA to begin work on her first film The Great Waltz (1938). However Thalberg`s death delayed the start of the film by over two years. She was nominated for an academy award.


1940 Work on her second film, based on the novel “Sandor Rozsa” was scheduled to start in June, but she was seriously injured in a car accident. She spent several months in hospital.

1941 In December, having recovered sufficiently she began a tour of South America, starting in Mexico. While in Mexico USA entered WW2. Having spent her early years with war and revolution she elected to remain in Mexico. She made one film there, “Caballeria del Imperio” (1942).

1944 (October) Miliza returned to USA and sang at Carnegie Hall. Eventually she settled in Los Angeles and made concert appearances throughout USA.

1952 She remarried and retired from stage, but continued to make recordings.

1980 (26 August) Miliza suffered a heart attack and died.

Miliza had a daughter, Melissa, born in Estonia in 1932. It is not clear if she had other children.

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Re: My Passion Is The Great Movie Opera Singers of 1930-1940

Postby Fossy » August 22nd, 2010, 1:41 am

Grace Moore - The Final Curtain

Image
Grace Moore arrives from Paris for her January 25th 1947 Stockholm Concert

In a message to her fan club on 6th Jan 1947 Grace said (in part) “I will go to Paris and Denmark on the 19th for 10 days”.

Her husband (Val) had looked forward to accompanying her. As the date of departure approached it became obvious that Val would not be strong enough to accompany her. Reluctant to go without him Grace decided to cancel all commitments and remain at home with him.

Her European concert manager insisted that she must keep her concert engagements in Denmark and Sweden, otherwise she would disappoint thousands of her most devoted fans and inflict financial loss on the organizers. Reluctantly she agreed to go.

She called her friend and accompanist Jean Dalrymple to fly over to accompany her. Jean was already engaged and was unable to come. Grace then called Ivor Newton, in London, the pianist who had accompanied her on her 1946 tour for the occupation forces in Germany and Austria. He too was unable to come, but assured Grace that he would be with her on her South African tour, scheduled for 1948. A substitute was found, a young French pianist, Jean Loup Peltier.

On Saturday 25 Jan 1947 an audience of over 4000 greeted Grace with thunderous applause. She began with settings from Shakespearean works, then pieces from Sullivan, Buzzi-Peccia and Debussy, Un Bel Di and all her big film hits. For the last of her many encores she sang “One Night Of Love” and then “Ciribiribin”.

A late supper party was held at the Hotel Angleterre where she ate her favourite Danish delicacies and washed them down with champagne.

Grace rose about noon on Sunday 26 Jan 1947 and sent a message to Val, telling him of her big success, but that without him she was terribly unhappy. She boarded the plane, a Douglas DC-3, owned and operated by the Dutch Airline KLM, a few minutes before takeoff. The plane had arrived from Amsterdam about 40 minutes earlier.

The plane took off into a powerful headwind and continued to climb with abnormal increasing steepness. Controllers expressed concern . When the plane reached an altitude of about 225 to 300 feet the plane stalled, turned on it`s left wing and fell almost vertically. All passengers and crew were killed instantly.

Some of the charred bodies were found still strapped into their seats, and some (including Grace) were thrown clear. Grace was identified by her bracelet which was inscribed “From Val to Grace”.

Evidence suggested that a simple human error---the failure to remove an aluminium elevator lock, a type of clamp or wedge used to lock the aircraft`s elevators in a fixed position while on the ground, particularly in windy weather—had caused the crash. Such a wedge , identified as KLM`s, was found near the debris.

This was later confirmed by the final report of The Danish Government Air Inspection Authority .

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Re: My Passion Is The Great Movie Opera Singers of 1930-1940

Postby Fossy » February 19th, 2012, 6:41 pm

Grace Moore

While browsing the web I came across a presentation by Tori Henshaw who assumes the role of Grace Moore in a very brief biography. However, there are a few errors in it.

One Night Of Love was not Grace`s first film.

Graceland was not named after Grace Moore. It was named after Grace Toof, a relative of the original owner, and a great aunt of the builder of the Graceland mansion. Their name just happened to be Moore, but as far as I can tell were no relation to Grace Moore.
Grace had just turned 48 a few weeks before her death. This was an understandable error as people with December birthdays are often thought to be a year older.

Grace`s flight was mid afternoon on the day following the concert. Not on the same night.

The background plane crash was quite spectacular and fitted well with the story. The first thing that puzzled me was that the plane fell to the right ( Grace`s plane fell to the left). So I replayed it and realised that the plane was not a Douglas DC 3. Further investigation revealed that the plane was a DeHavilland Caribou which crashed in Canada
.
Despite the errors this is a well presented tribute.
It can be found on youtube.com/Grace Moore/A Day & Life of Grace Moore It seems that youtube no longer puts links on their site.

Also on youtube is an interview with Grace on her arrival in Stockholm. The picture shown is the one I posted on SSO on Sun 22 Aug 2010 and was deleted. I assumed that perhaps I had infringed copright. The picture is owned by a Tennessee museum.

It can be found on youtube/Grace Moore Interview

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Re: My Passion Is The Great Movie Opera Singers of 1930-1940

Postby Uncle Stevie » March 26th, 2012, 7:51 pm

Fossy,

You certainly have become quite a historian. Great job.
Uncle Stevie


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Re: My Passion Is The Great Movie Opera Singers of 1930-1940

Postby Vienna » November 27th, 2012, 11:28 am

I'm a big fan of Grace Moore and think Columbia did their best by her , costars like Cary Grant, Franchot Tone, Melvyn Douglas. Grace's acting ability was limited and her film career was never going to be long.
But what a voice. And she had a bubbly screen persona that was charming.
My favorite will always be the first one I saw her in - ONE NIGHT OF LOVE, with Tullio Carminatti costarring.
Doing a number from "Carmen" seemed all wrong for Grace. No way could she play a femme fatale! And yet she could move you to tears with "One Fine Day" .
I always liked her "Minnie The Moocher" and the title song "I'll Take Romance".
The success of her films meant she had big audiences for her concerts.
It was really only Jeanette MacDonald who had the ability to make a long success of films featuring opera. Studios tried with Lily Pons, Gladys Swarthout but Grace did introduce a lot of filmgoers to operatic arias. The success of One Night Of Love probably surprised a lot of people.

feaito

Re: My Passion Is The Great Movie Opera Singers of 1930-1940

Postby feaito » November 27th, 2012, 1:31 pm

Vienna have you seen her in Von Sternberg's 1936 film "The King Steps Out" with Franchot Tone? I have always been curious about that one.

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Re: My Passion Is The Great Movie Opera Singers of 1930-1940

Postby Uncle Stevie » November 27th, 2012, 3:16 pm

I agree that Grace Moore had limited acting talent but what she brought to the screen was true opera. She took it from the opera stage and put it on film. It was not a fantasy. I too loved "The King Steps Out". It was a feel good movie.
Uncle Stevie


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So Is Thunder and Lightning"

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Re: My Passion Is The Great Movie Opera Singers of 1930-1940

Postby Vienna » November 27th, 2012, 3:25 pm

I last saw THE KING STEPS OUT quite a few years ago,but remember it was a good part for Grace.the Bavarian setting was well done.


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