Lina Cavalieri

The Life of Opera’s Greatest Beauty, 1874–1944

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About the Book

A prominent star in both pre–Revolutionary Russia and New York, Lina Cavalieri, described as “the most beautiful woman in the world,” was one of the most frequently photographed personalities of her time. The cabaret performer, courtesan, and international star is documented in this, her first English-language biography. Researched from Russian archive sources, the book details her career from her early experiences in café-chantant and variety theatre in Paris, London, and St. Petersburg, through a highly successful operatic career in which she sang in many of the world’s leading opera houses with such celebrities as Caruso and Ruffo. In 1914, Cavalieri became the first great opera singer to appear in silent movies, making her debut in Manon Lescaut and continuing with a series of successful films. Her life was ended by an Allied air raid in World War II.
The book includes excerpts from period reviews, programmes, posters, and many previously unseen photographs. Appendices include a bibliography, filmography, discography, and chronology of stage performances (dates, venues, work, cast, conductor).

About the Author(s)

Paul Fryer is a professor at Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance (UK), where he is Director of The Stanislavski Centre and editor-in-chief of the journal, Stanislavski Studies.
Linguist teacher and translator Olga Usova is the chief bibliographer and head of the department of rare books at the Academy of Art and Design in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Bibliographic Details

Paul Fryer and Olga Usova
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 210
Bibliographic Info: 99 photos, chronology, filmography, discography, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2004
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1685-1
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8065-4
Imprint: McFarland

Book Reviews & Awards

“valuable”—The Opera Quarterly; “a great addition”—Opera Nostalgia.