Irene Dalis: Diva, Impresaria, Legend (website)
By Linda Riebel
Irene Dalis was an opera star in the twentieth century, performing leading roles alongside Placido Domingo, Leontyne Price, Franco Corelli, Birgit Nilsson, and Jussi Björling at the Metropolitan Opera, Covent Garden, San Francisco, Bayreuth, and other major houses. In this, the first biography of this remarkable woman, we learn about her international career and the successful opera company she started in her hometown, San Jose, California.
Filled with fascinating backstage anecdotes, stories of luck and perseverance, some of the most ecstatic performance reviews ever written, and sketches of the great impresarios Rudolf Bing, Wieland Wagner, Kurt Herbert Adler, and Lotfi Mansouri, Irene Dalis: Diva, Impresaria, Legend is also the story of talented young singers who come to San Jose to launch their careers. The candid and sometimes humorous account is generously illustrated with photographs of Miss Dalis’s family, early career, stardom in America and Europe, and the memorable opera productions staged by Opera San Jose over the last 30 years.
Based on hundreds of hours of interviews with Irene Dalis, conductors, stage directors, former Opera San Jose resident artists, board members, orchestra members and patrons, Irene Dalis: Diva, Impresaria, Legend is also a celebration of something unique in America: an opera company that hires talented singers for years at a time, creating a stable ensemble of singers that the audience grows to know and love in their wildly varying roles.
Irene Dalis: Diva, Impresaria, Legend is also a must-read for arts administrators, as an inspiring story of making a vision into a reality, overcoming obstacles, attracting the right people, and keeping one’s institution in the black.
302 pages. Includes appendix, selected discography, complete lists of Opera San Jose productions and resident artist singers, references and index.
Foreword by Speight Jenkins
Sara Rubenstein, photographer