Verdi : Traviata

New York, Met, 1949 (Audio)

Director: Giuseppe Antonicelli



  • Robert Merrill (Germont)
  • Giuseppe Di Stefano (Alfredo)
  • George Cehanovsky (Douphol)
  • Thelma Votipka (Flora)
  • Elanor Steber (Violetta)Archivos para descarga:


Eleanor Steber was born in Wheeling, West Virginia, where she grew up in a musical familiy. Her mother was a singer and taught her voice and piano, took her to concerts, and arranged for coaching.
She later studied at the New England Conservatory in Boston. At the beginning she did a lot of radio, oratorio, and church work, but made then her debut on stage in 1936, appearing as Senta (!) with the Commonwealth Opera. In 1939, Steber went to New York to study with Paul Althouse who had a great influence on her. In 1940 she won first prize at the Met Auditions, earning a Met contract. Her first role there was Sophie in Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier.
During the next years she benefited from conductors such as Bruno Walter, Sir Thomas Beecham, Erich Leinsdorf and George Szell. She was a versatile artist and appeared in Italian, French and German operas. Things began to change for her at the Met when Rudolf Bing took over the company in 1950. By this time, her career extended well beyond New York (San Francisco, Glyndebourne, Chicago and Bayreuth). At the Met, though, she began to feel that she was being passed over for mainstream Italian roles in favor of Tebaldi and Callas. She occasionally sang Tosca, Elisabetta, Desdemona and Manon Lescaut, but her best opportunities were the great Mozart roles.
She was also the company’s first Arabella in 1955 and its first Marie in Wozzeck in 1959. In 1958 she created Barber’s Vanessa (but it was first offered to Callas and Jurinac who both declined). She was not very happy in private life either, two marriages had fallen apart and she got into problems with alcohol and asthma. In 1961, when Bing offered her a contract that only provided “covering” roles, she declined. Thereafter she sang concerts, appeared in musicals and taught subsequently at The Juilliard School of Music. She died in Pennsylvania in 1990.