Maria Jeritza Edit Profile
Studied piano, violin, cello and harp. Studied voice under Prof.
Her sensational rise to fame and spectacular beauty and personality earned her the nickname "The Moravian Thunderbolt". In 1910, she made her debut as Elsa, in Wagner's Lohengrin, at Olomouc. The Emperor Franz Josef heard her and immediately ordered that she be offered a contract at the Imperial Hofoper, Vienna.
On 16 November 1926, she starred in the title role of Puccini's Turandot in its North American premiere at the Metropolitan, where she also created the title or leading soprano roles in Janáček's Jenůfa (1924), Wolf-Ferrari's I gioielli della Madonna (1925), Korngold's Violanta (1927), Richard Strauss's Die Ägyptische Helena (1928), and Suppé's Boccaccio (1931) and Donna Juanita (1932). She was as popular at the Metropolitan as in Vienna, especially as Tosca, Carmen and Massenet's Thaïs. She appeared in an early sound film Grossfürstin Alexandra for which Franz Lehár wrote the song 'Du und ich sind für einander bestimmt'.
She died in Orange, New Jersey, and was buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in North Arlington, New Jersey. Richard Strauss dedicated his final song Malven to her, but she would not allow the manuscript to be seen by anyone during her lifetime. After her death, the Strauss family allowed it to be performed in public for the first time by Kiri te Kanawa, who has also recorded it.
Jeritza made a number of 78-rpm recordings which testify to the high quality of her voice. Many of these recordings have been released on CD.
Member Imperial and Royal Opera, Vienna, 1913, Met.
Married Baron Leopold Popper de Podharagn (divorced). Married second, Winfield Sheehan, August 12, 1935.