Florence Brimson

Florence (Anne) Brimson. Soprano, b Newmarket, near Toronto, 2 Oct 1873, d Santa Barbara, Cal, 4 Oct 1953. After initial study with W. Elliott Haslam at the Toronto College of Music she spent four years with Mathilde Marchesi in Paris.

Brimson, Florence

Florence (Anne) Brimson. Soprano, b Newmarket, near Toronto, 2 Oct 1873, d Santa Barbara, Cal, 4 Oct 1953. After initial study with W. Elliott Haslam at the Toronto College of Music she spent four years with Mathilde Marchesi in Paris. Marchesi is said to have suggested Brimson's singular nom de théâtre: Mlle Toronta. Although Brimson had sung publicly as a student in Toronto and Paris, her official debut was at the Philadelphia Academy of Music, 29 Nov 1897, as Siebel in Faust, under the auspices of the Damrosch-Ellis Opera. With that company she toured for two seasons, her repertoire including Micaëla in Carmen, Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana, and the Forest Bird in Siegfried. In 1899 she sang with great success in Toronto performances of Elijah and Messiah. In that year she married Clarence Graff of New York and retired from the stage. After many years in England the Graffs settled in Santa Barbara, where Clarence Graff became a founding member (1946) and first president (1947) of the Music Academy of the West.