Sunday, September 30, 2012

Leontyne Price Debut

So the SF Opera program has a long article on company history. It's got some mighty awkward writing, but that's not the primary thing I'm complaining about tonight. On a list of San Francisco Opera debuts, they've got this:

Leontyne Price, 1957*

The asterisk means "professional opera debut."

Now look. There's an awful lot of weaseling required to put Leontyne Price's professional opera debut in 1957. She was in a revival of Virgil Thomson's Four Saints in Three Acts in 1952; the production ran for a couple of weeks on Broadway, then moved to Paris for a while. Then she sang for some time in a revival of Porgy and Bess.

Is anyone disputing the operatic status of either Four Saints or Porgy? I sure hope not.

Is anyone claiming that Price didn't get paid for those appearances? I bet she collected a paycheck.

Apparently what's really meant is that her 1957 debut at San Francisco Opera was her debut with a permanent opera company.

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