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BLANCHE THEBOM

The mezzo-soprano Blanche Thebom was born in New York of Swedish parents in 1918. Studying with both Margarete Matzenauer and Edyth Walker, it was as a concert singer that she made her début in 1941. Her first appearance with the Metropolitan Opera on tour was as Brangäne in Tristan in November 1944, with her New York house début as Fricka in Die Walküre the following month. She remained a member of the company until the 1966-67 season, giving 236 performances of 26 rôles. Thebom sang at Glyndebourne in 1950 and made a much talked-about appearance in the first English professional production of Berlioz’s Les Troyens at Covent Garden in 1957. Her other rôles had included Marina (Boris Godunov), Herodias (Salome), Orlovsky and Amneris. She was also much admired as a concert performer throughout the United States. After retiring in 1967 she became General Manager of the short-lived Atlanta Opera Company before teaching at the University of Arkansas.


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