Rossini : El Barbero de Sevilla (Il Barbiere di Siviglia) (Excerpts)

New York, Met, 1941 (Audio)

Director: Emil Cooper



  • Josephine Antoine (Rosina)
  • Richard Bonelli (Figaro)
  • Nino Martini (Almaviva)
  • Vittoria Trevisan (Bartolo)
  • Virgilio Trevisan (Basilio)Archivos para descarga:


The day of this broadcast was also the day that the USA declared war on Japan following Pearl Harbor.

Josephine Antoine, coloratura soprano, sang at the Metropolitan Opera from 1936 through 1948 in 76 appearances, and was well known in “Un ballo in maschera”, “Il barbiere di Siviglia”, “Les contes d’Hoffmann”, “Le Coq d’Or”, “Don Giovanni”, “Lucia di Lammermoor”, “Mignon”, “Parsifal”, “Rigoletto”, and “Die Zauberflöte.”

She made at least six commercial recordings for Columbia, but there may be more. Her career also included radio where she appeared on “Chevrolet Musical Moments Revue” in 1937. Miss Antoine was a regular star on NBC Radio’s “The Carnation Contented Hour” (“The Melody Hour,” without commercials, at Armed Forces Radio Service) with Percy Faith during World War II.

Miss Antoine was a favorite at Chautauqua Institution, New York where she had been soloist for many seasons. Hence she was affectionately known as “Chautauqua’s Sweetheart.”

In 1921 Miss Antoine began studying voice with Alexander Grant, a faculty member at the University of Colorado, and continued with him until she graduated from the University of Colorado with a B. A. in 1929. That same year she won the Atwater Kent Audition Contest which provided her with scholarship money and the opportunity to go to the east coast to study vocal music. She also received the first Master of Music degree ever granted by University of Colorado. In 1930-31 she studied at Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, and from 1931 to 1934 studied at Juilliard in New York City.

She trained under the legendary Marcella Sembrich at Curtis and Juilliard with whom she was often compared. Her voice was remarkable for its bell-like quality in the high register as well as its warmth and power throughout the entire vocal range. Arthur Bodansky conductor at the Metropolitan Opera heard her sing in a student performance of Strauss’ “Ariadne Auf Naxos” and arranged an audition with Giulio Gatti-Casazza, General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera.

In 1935 Josephine Antoine signed with the Met and subsequently she made her debut in 1936 as Philine in “Mignon”, broadcast on January 4, 1936.

Her career with the Met lasted through February 28, 1948. During this period she also sang for other opera companies including the Chicago Opera, the San Francisco Opera, the Cincinnati Opera and the Chautauqua Opera.

Josephine Antoine was an internationally known artist. She toured throughout the United States, Canada, Newfoundland and Puerto Rico appearing as soloist with orchestras in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Worcester, Massachusetts, Washington, D. C., and the southwest (The Chautauquan Daily; August 18, 1962). The peak of her touring occurred during the 1938–1940 seasons when Miss Antoine appeared on stages of the Allied Arts Events at Oklahoma State University (1939), the Santa Fe Concert Association (1939–40), the Sarasota Concert Association (1938–39), and the Wisconsin Union Theater (1938–39), in addition to her responsibilities at the Metropolitan Opera.

Outside of incidental occasions such as with Bing Crosby on KPO, October 22, 1936, Miss Antoine appeared for some years on “The Carnation Contented Hour” radio program. According to Frank Buxton and Bill Owen’s “The Big Broadcast 1920–1950”, (1972)[4], the Carnation Contented Hour was a long-running music program sponsored by the Carnation Milk Company. It first appeared on NBC in 1931. The music theme was “Contented.” The program was a variety show originating from Chicago featuring Percy Faith and his orchestra (1940–1947). During the Antoine era key personnel included the orchestra, the Carnation Contented Chorus, Ralph Nyland, tenor; Reinhold Schmidt, bass; and Josephine Antoine, soprano. The announcer was Vincent Pelletier. Producers were Harry K. Gilman and C. H. Cottington.

During World War II, the Armed Forces Radio Service obtained rights to rebroadcast the program for the entertainment of military personnel. Commercial messages were edited out and the program was re-titled “The Melody Hour.” It was a 30 minute show.

Jay Hickerson’s compendium “The Ultimate History of Network Radio Programming and Guide to all Circulating Shows” (1992) indicates that during this era, the program was on NBC at 8:00 p. m. from October 31, 1932 and as of November 21, 1932 until September 26, 1949 then moved to 10:00 p. m. He reports that there are 43 recorded shows available, 36 bearing dates.