Galli-Curci, Amelita

Galli-Curci, Amelita

(ämālē`tä gäl`lē-ko͞or`chē), 1889–1963, Italian coloratura soprano. She studied piano at the Milan Conservatory and meanwhile trained her own voice. From the time she made her debut in the role of Gilda in Rigoletto in 1906 until goiter forced her retirement from opera in 1930, her full and golden voice won great praise; at her best she was not excelled by any coloratura of her day. After her American debut (Chicago, 1916) she sang with the Chicago Opera Company until 1924. At the Metropolitan Opera, New York City, she sang first in 1921 and regularly from 1926 to 1930, presenting all the standard coloratura roles.


See biography by C. E. Le Massena (1945).

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Galli-Curci, Amelita


Born Nov. 18, 1889, in Milan; died Nov. 26, 1963, in La Jolla, Calif. Italian coloratura soprano.

Galli-Curci graduated from the Milan Conservatory in 1903 as a pianist. Later, on the recommendation of P. Mascagni, she studied singing. In 1906 she made her operatic debut at Trani as Gilda in Verdi’s Rigoletto. She lived in the USA from 1916 until her death, and she performed in opera theaters in many countries. From 1930 to 1938, Galli-Curci performed primarily at concerts. She was an outstanding representative of Italian operatic art—one of the performers whose work helped shape the national and international vocal art.

Galli-Curci’s roles included Rosina in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata, Lakmé in Lakmé by Delibes, Lucia in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, Elvira in Bellini’s The Puritans, and the Queen of Shemakhan in The Golden Cockerel by Rimsky-Korsakov. She sang in St. Petersburg in 1914.


Timokhin, V. Vydaiushchiesia ital’ianskie pevtsy. Moscow, 1962.
La Massena, E. Galli-Curci’s Life of Song. New York, 1945.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Galli-Curci, Amelita

(1882–1963) soprano; born in Milan, Italy. Galli-Curci began studying piano in Milan, then taught herself to sing. After her operatic debut in 1909 she toured in Europe before making a triumphant American debut in Chicago in 1916. Four years later she began a legendary decade-long career at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. After recital tours she retired in 1936, settling in America (where she had been a citizen since 1921).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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