Abraham : Ball im Savoy (excerpts)1932 (Audio)
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Gitta Alpar was a soprano who performed in the principal theatres of Europe during the years prior to World War II.
Born Regina Klopfer into a musical family (her father was a Cantor), Miss Alpar showed early evidence of talent. After private voice and piano study, she entered the University of Budapest in 1916, and made her operatic debut in Budapest in 1923.
Through the 1920s, she sang the leading coloratura soprano roles in the major opera houses of Berlin and Vienna, with particular success as the Queen of the Night in Mozart's "The Magic Flute", Rosina in Rossini's "The Barber of Seville", and Gilda in Verdi's "Rigoletto". Her London debut was as Sophie in Strauss' "Der Rosenkavalier" in 1929, after which she branched-out into operetta and film. In 1932, she created the role of Madeleine de Faublas in Paul Abraham's "Ball im Savoy"; her initial silver screen appearance came the same year in "Gitta entdeckt ihr Herz". After making several movies, her career, and her marriage to actor Gustav Frolich, were ended by the Nazis. (As a Jew, her marriage to a Gentile was illegal). She emigrated to England, where her movie and singing success continued, and thence to the United States. After one final screen appearance, the 1941 "The Flame of New Orleans", she largely faded from view.
Her success in America was probably limited by her heavy accent and poor command of English. Miss Alpar was honored in Berlin in 1987 for her pre-war movies. A number of recordings, of both opera and operetta, from her years in Europe are available on CD. Her year of birth is sometimes given as 1900, but most sources list the later date. (by: Bob Hufford)
Herbert Ernst Groh