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Herva Nelli (1909 - 1994)


Born in Florence, Herva Nelli (1909-1994) attended a convent school, before her family moved when she was twelve to Pittsburgh, where she studied at the Pittsburgh Music Institute. She made her operatic début as Santuzza in Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana in 1937 with Brooklyn’s Salmaggi Opera, with which she was also to appear in La Forza del Destino and Il Trovatore. She sang Santuzza for the New City Center Opera in 1947, the year in which she successfully auditioned for Toscanini. Following Otello she sang in his broadcasts and recordings of Aida, Falstaff, Un Ballo in maschera and the Verdi Requiem. She subsequently pursued a busy career throughout America, and appeared at the Metropolitan Opera regularly between 1953 and 1961 in a variety of rôles for dramatic soprano. She gave her last operatic performance in 1962, and later earned a considerable reputation as a chef.





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