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Sunday, May 31, 2015


Mabel Garrison, Brilliant Coloratura Soprano

 

 


 

 Mabel Garrison was born in Baltimore in1886. She finished her undergraduate work in 1903 and went on to study singing at Peabody Conservatory. She studied with George Siemonn and then studied further with Oscar Saenger and Herbert Witherspoon in New York. She made her debut in 1912 with the Aborn Opera Company as Philine in Mignon. She made her Metropolitan Opera debut on February 15, 1914 in concert, singing arias from operas by Verdi and Mozart. Her first role at the Met was Frasquita in Bizet's Carmen. Other roles included Adina in L'Elisir d'Amore, Bertha in Euryanthe, Biancofiore in Francesca da Rimini, Crobyle in Thaïs, the Dew Fairy in Hansel and Gretel, Gilda in Rigoletto, Lady Harriet in Martha, Oscar in Un Ballo in Maschera,the Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute,Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and Urbain in Les Huguenots.. Her last performance at the Met was as the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor  1921.  First, here is the Garrison voice in its prime, in the Doll Song from Hoffman:


 
In 1921 Garrison made guest appearances at the Berlin State Opera and made a world concert tour that same year She was a member of the Chicago Opera Company during the 1925-26 season. Garrison had a great and well -trained coloratura voice, as she demonstrated in both opera and concert and in several recordings for the Victor Talking Machine Company.

 Like others of her era, she made “popular recordings” that were always good for a few extra dollars; many, very often.  Here is a superb recording of “Dixie:”


 
This is a very good place to thank Mr.Douglas Curran for posting these Garrison videos on his Youtube channel (Curzon Road) one of the very best classical music channels on Youtube; in fact, one of the finest channels of any kind.  I believe that every Mabel Garrison video on the web is from Mr. Curran,  a friend and brilliant record collector.  Thank you, my friend!
 

Mabel Garrison died in New York City on August 20, 1963

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hearing "Dixie" brought back memories of my earlier years in the 1960s in Tennessee.

When someone played "Dixie" in a bar or a restaurant, everyone stood up and sang loudly. It was a surprise to up transplants from the north.

Edmund St. Austell said...

Thanks! Good comment on Dixie! Quite a rendition, isn't it? Edmund

Fr Cornelius Mattei said...

Growing up in the deep South, we sang at each morning assembly, both the Star Spangled Banner and Dixie, standing and saluting hand-on-heart, for both. Thanks, Douglas for yet another great American singer from the acoustic period.

CurzonRoad said...

Garrison is a wonderful artist, yet another who seems all but forgotten, so special thanks for this fine presentation. PS: Not to take away from Garrison's thunder, but Mary Lewis also has a wonderful version of Dixie, and believe it or not on a 12-inch Victor from 1905 Emma Eames (of all singers), after performing the Star Spangled Banner, sings Dixie. Again, thank you, Edmund!

Anonymous said...

Yes, she is brilliant! I like her flute-like voice very much. Thanks for the article.


n.a.

Emily said...

Hi there. I found your blog after looking at Wilson & Keppel's sand dance on your YouTube channel. I'm trying to find that particular performance of the music and wonder if you could tell me where you found your version? Any help would be hugely appreciated. emily@objectiveproductions.com

Emily said...

Hi there. I found your blog after looking at Wilson & Keppel's sand dance on your YouTube channel. I'm trying to find that particular performance of the music and wonder if you could tell me where you found your version? Any help would be hugely appreciated. emily@objectiveproductions.com

Emily said...

Hi there. I found your blog via your YouTube channel. Trying to find that exact version of Ballet Egyptien used on the Wilson & Keppel Sand Dance clip. I wonder if you could tell me where you found your video so that I can try and source that? Any help hugely appreciated. emilyblickem@objectiveproductions.com