Emmy Destinn

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Destinn, Emmy


(in Czech, Ema Destinnová; pseudonym of Emilia Kittlová). Born Feb. 26, 1878, in Prague; died Jan. 22, 1930, in České Budějovice. Czech dramatic soprano.

From 1892 to 1896, Destinn studied voice with M. Loewe-Destinn (hence the pseudonym). From 1898 to 1908 she sang at the Royal Opera in Berlin. She also gave concerts in Bayreuth, London, Prague, and Paris. From 1908 to 1916 and during the 1920-21 season she was a soloist at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, where she sang Italian operas with E. Caruso. During the summer seasons she successfully appeared at the Prague National Theater, which in 1908 made her an honorary member of the opera. During World War I she returned to Bohemia. She taught, gave concerts, and sang at the National Theater. Her dramatic gifts were especially evident in the roles of Carmen in Bizet’s opera, Nedda in Leoncavallo’s / Pagliacci, Liza in Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades, and Libuse in Smetana’s opera.


Martinková, M. Zivot Emy Destinnové [2nd ed.). Plzeñ, 1946.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
She was a Prague dress-maker's daughter who took voice lessons from legendary Czech soprano Emmy Destinn. Her opera debut at age 17 at the National Theatre, Prague, saw her as Marenka in The Bartered Bride.
In that first season she sang Zerlina in Don Giovanni in an illustrious cast that included Enrico Caruso, Antonio Scotti, Marcel Journet and Emmy Destinn. In successive seasons, she sang in Rigoletto with Caruso: in La traviata with John McCormack; with Scotti, she created L'oracalo, the Chinese period-piece opera set in San Francisco; and was acclaimed for her Mimi in La boheme and Marguerite in Faust.
As early as 1910 Lee de Forest aired the voices of Enrico Caruso, Olive Fremstad, Pasquale Amato, and Emmy Destinn in experimental transmissions from the Met, but the audiences were limited to the handful of listeners within fifty miles of New York City who were fortunate enough to have access to a radio receiver.
The largest sets of correspondence are those of Leos Janacek, Bohuslav Martinu, Emmy Destinn and above all Josef Bohuslav Foerster, but the museum also owns letters from such great world composers and performers as Gustav Mahler, Anton Bruckner, Clara Schumann, Richard Wagner, Ferenc Liszt, Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Max Reger and others.