Edith Della Pergola

Edith Della Pergola (b Leb). Soprano, teacher, b Cluj, Rumania, 12 Jun 1915; d Montreal 2 Jul 2009; naturalized Canadian 1961. Edith Della Pergola studied voice at the Bucharest Royal Academy of Music, where her teacher was Luciano Della Pergola, whom she married in 1935.

Della Pergola, Edith

Edith Della Pergola (b Leb). Soprano, teacher, b Cluj, Rumania, 12 Jun 1915; d Montreal 2 Jul 2009; naturalized Canadian 1961. Edith Della Pergola studied voice at the Bucharest Royal Academy of Music, where her teacher was Luciano Della Pergola, whom she married in 1935. Leaving the academy in 1939, she obtained a scholarship to study in Florence and made her Florentine debut that year as Mimi in La Bohème at the Teatro Comunale. She sang in numerous orchestral concerts in Florence before rejoining her husband at the Alberto Della Pergola Conservatory in Bucharest and teaching there 1942-7; she performed for 11 years with the Bucharest Opera as lead soprano. Engaged by the Vienna Staatsoper in 1947, she sang the title role in Aida, followed by the title roles in Tosca and Madama Butterfly and Amelia in Un Ballo in Maschera. She went on to the Zürich opera and also appeared 1950-2 at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples, where she sang the role of the Amica in the Italian premiere (1950) of Von Heute auf Morgen, a comic opera by Schoenberg. She was a guest at theatres in Antwerp, Brussels, Frankfurt, and Munich. In 1955 she and her husband moved to Montreal, where she taught and, jointly with him, directed the McGill Opera Studio. After 1977 she continued the workshop alone until her retirement in 1989 when she was appointed professor emeritus at McGill University. Among her pupils was Jane Ellison, a noted Montreal teacher of pop singers. Della Pergola gave recitals for CBC where she also performed in the programs "The Little Symphonies" on radio and "L'Heure du concert".on TV. In 1946 she received the decoration of the Order of Cultural Merit from King Michael of Rumania.

In 1994, Della Pergola was invested as a member of the Order of Canada. In 2002 she was inducted into the Canadian Opera Hall of Fame.

Writings

Della Pergola, Edith and Luciano; Rea, John, ed. Opera at McGill: The Della Pergola Years 1956-1989 (Montreal 1991)


Further Reading

  • McLean, Eric. "Great Canadian musical figures of the past: Luciano and Edith Della Pergola," Opera Canada, Fall 1993

    Turp, Richard. "Grand tradition: Edith Della Pergola," Opera Canada, Summer 2003

    Chan, Wah Keung. "Edith Della Pergola: A beautiful life," La Scena Musicale, Dec 2002 - Jan 2003