Jeritza

Jeritza

[ye-ree-tsah]
Jeritza, Maria, 1887-1982, Austrian-American soprano. b. Brünn (now Brno). After her debut as Elsa in Lohengrin at Olmütz (now Olomouc) in 1910, she was a member (1912-35) of the Vienna State Opera. She created the title role in the opera Ariadne by Richard Strauss. Jeritza sang (1921-32) at the Metropolitan Opera, New York City, where her Tosca was renowned.

Maria Jeritza (born October 6, 1887 in Brno; died July 10, 1982 in Orange, New Jersey), born Maria Jedličková, was a celebrated Moravian soprano singer, long associated with the Vienna State Opera (1912–1935) and the Metropolitan Opera (1921-1932). Her sensational rise to fame and spectacular beauty and personality earned her the nickname The Moravian Thunderbolt.

In 1910, she made her debut as Elsa, in Wagner's Lohengrin, at Olomouc. The Emperor Franz Josef heard her and immediately commanded that she be offered a contract at the Imperial Hofoper, Wien. She created the roles of Ariadne in Strauss's opera Ariadne auf Naxos (1912), the Empress in his Die Frau ohne Schatten (1919), and Marie/Marietta in Korngold's Die tote Stadt (1920), the latter also being the role of her debut with the Metropolitan Opera on November 19, 1921.

On November 16, 1926, she starred in the title role of Puccini's Turandot in its North American premiere at the Metropolitan, where she also created the title or leading soprano roles in Leos Janacek's Jenufa (1924), Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari's I gioielli della Madonna (1925), Korngold's Violanta (1927), Richard Strauss' Die Ägyptische Helena (1928), and Franz von Suppé's Boccaccio (1931) and Donna Juanita (1932.) Her popularity at the Metropolitan was, as in Vienna, immense, especially as Tosca, Carmen and Massenet's Thaïs.

Jeritza's first husband was Austrian Baron Leopold von Popper. Her second (1935) was Hollywood mogul Winfield R Sheehan, who died in 1945. In 1948 she married New Jersey businessman Irving Seery and moved to Orange, New Jersey where she made her home until her death in 1982, at age 94. She died in New Jersey and is interred at Holy Cross Cemetery in North Arlington, New Jersey

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