Toti Dal Monte


Toti Dal Monte

Antonietta Meneghel (27 June 189326 January 1975), better known by her stage name Toti Dal Monte, was a celebrated Italian operatic soprano, and a favourite of Arturo Toscanini.

Born in Mogliano Veneto, in the Province of Treviso, she made her debut at La Scala, Milan at the age of seventeen as Biancofiore in Riccardo Zandonai’s "Francesca da Rimini". She was an immediate success, and her clear ‘nightingale-like’ voice came to be highly appreciated throughout the world. Her best-known roles included Amina (in Bellini’s "La sonnambula"), Lucia (in Donizetti’s "Lucia di Lammermoor") and Gilda (in Verdi’s "Rigoletto"). She is perhaps best-known for her performances as Cio-cio-san (in Puccini’s "Madama Butterfly"), and her recording of this role (with Beniamino Gigli as Pinkerton) is an interesting souvenir of her interpretation.

In 1924, fresh from triumphs in Milan and Paris, but before her debut in London or New York, Nellie Melba engaged her as a star for her second opera company to tour Australia. She was a popular and critical success and there was no rivalry between the ageing Melba and Dal Monte. Rather they threw bouquets after each other's performances. In 1928, on her third visit to Australia, Dal Monte married the tenor Enzo de Muro Lomanto in St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney.

She retired from the operatic stage in 1943 at the age of fifty. However, she continued to work in the theatre (as well as to make the occasional recording) and appeared in a number of films, of which the best known is perhaps her last, Enrico Maria Salerno’s "Anonimo veneziano", a 1970 story about a musician at La Fenice.

“La Toti” died at the age of 81, in Pieve di Soligo, as a result of circulatory disorders.

References

* This text was based, in part, on the equivalent article in the Italian Wikipedia.
* [http://www.operaitaliana.com/autori/interprete.asp?ID=114 Toti del Monte] at operaitaliana.com.
* [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0197538/ Toti Dal Monte] at imdb.

Bibliography

* "The Last Prima Donnas", by Lanfranco Rasponi, Alfred A Knopf, 1982. ISBN 0-394-52153-6


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