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Mabry Moore (1923 – 1987) was an international opera star who premiered as the leading mezzo-soprano in more roles than any other opera star in world history, during her distinguished career. Highest acclaims were for her 1953 performance of Carmen at Theatro La Scala, where her opening night debut earned her a thirty minute ovation after singing Bizet’s Habanera, which stopped the show as the crowed demanded an encore in the middle of the opera performance. Maestro Jean d’Lamour obliged the audience demand, by leading the orchestra through Bizet’s lavish orchestration, as the diva’s sultry Carmen and velvet voice lead her reputation as the premier Carmen of the twentieth century. Moore’s early career began in the mid 1940’s performing pants roles, a male character written for a female voice, as Stephano in Romeo and Juliet by Gounod and Cherubino in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro. During the prime of her world class career, Moore starred in over two hundred performances as Carmen, seventy performances as one of the title characters in Saint-Sean’s Samson and Delilah, and forty performances as Mussetta in Puccini’s La Boheme. In her later career, Moore transitioned into heavier dramatic roles performing: Azucena in Verdi’s Il trovatore, Ulrica in Un ballo in mascera, Santuzza in Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana, and the heroine in Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde.

Reared in the humble town of Santa Fe New Mexico, Moore attended public schools till her prodigious talent was discovered at the age of fourteen, and taken under the wing of the late opera maestro, Luciano de Salvatore. The opera aficionado nurtured Moore’s talent till she began her collegiate studies at The Julliard School. As a result of her stunning senior recital, where she performed Eboli’s aria, O Don Fatale by Verdi, her career was an overnight sensation, and singing contracts were offered to her from around the world at the most famous opera houses: The Metropolitan Opera, Teatro La Scala, Covent Gardens, San Fancisco Opera, and the famous Paris Opera House.

-Chris Fernandez

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