Maria Zamboni (Peschiera am Gardsee 1895 – Verona 1976)
She was an Italian operatic soprano who had a prolific career in Italy and South America between 1921 and 1936. Admired for her vivid character portrayals and expressive singing, Zamboni was a popular and frequent performer at both La Scala and the Teatro Costanzi. Her repertoire encompassed a broad spectrum, from Verdi and Wagner heroines to French grand opera and verismo roles. She became particularly associated with the works of Giacomo Puccini and notably sang the role of Liu in the original 1926 production of Turandot.
Zamboni was born at Peschiera del Garda. She studied at the Il Conservatorio di Musica Arrigo Boito in Parma under M. Silva before making her professional opera debut in 1921 at Piacenza as Marguerite in Gounod's Faust. Over the next few years she appeared at numerous major opera houses throughout Italy, including the Teatro Regio di Torino, Teatro di San Carlo, Teatro Regio di Parma, and Teatro Comunale di Bologna among others. Her roles included Violetta in Verdi's La traviata, Desdemona in Verdi's Otello, Annchen in Der Freischutz, the title role in Massenet's Manon, and the title role in Puccini's Tosca among others.
Zamboni became particularly associated with the Teatro Costanzi in Rome and La Scala in Milan. She sang regularly at the Teatro Costanzi from 1922-26 and 1929-30; most notably singing the role of Maria in the 1930 world premiere of Pizzetti's Lo straniero. In 1924 she joined the roster at La Scala where she sang numerous roles until 1931. Her first role with the company was as Mimi in Puccini's La boheme. Most notably, she sang the role of Liu in the original 1926 production of Puccini's Turandot under the direction of Arturo Toscanini. Her other roles at La Scala included Euridice in Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice, Elsa in Wagner's Lohengrin, Eva in Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg, the title part in Puccini's Manon Lescaut, and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni.
Zamboni also had a successful career internationally. She toured South America frequently during the 1920s appearing in operas in Rio de Janeiro, Montevideo, Sгo Paulo and Santiago. She became a particularly popular artist at the Teatro Colуn in Buenos Aires where she sang annually from 1924-1926. In Europe she had a considerable amount of success in Holland, singing in numerous Italian operas during the 1930s.
In 1936 Zamboni retired from the stage shortly after appearing as both Liu in Turandot and in the title role of Mario Persico’s Morenita at the Teatro San Carlo. Her last performance was on radio in a 1936 national Italian broadcast of Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg as Eva. Following the end of her singing career, Zamboni worked as a singing teacher in Milan for more than twenty years before retiring to Verona where she died in 1976.
Chronology of some appearances
1918 Lecco Teatro Sociale Boheme (Mimi)
1919 Vicenza Teatro Eretenio Boheme (Mimi)
1919 Bologna Teatro Verdi Carmen (Micaela)
1919 Varese Teatro Sociale Carmen (Micaela)
1919 Treviso Politeama Garibaldi Lohengrin (Elsa)
1922 Torino Politeama Chiarella Lohengrin (Elsa)
1922 L'Aquila Teatro Comunale Manon Lescaut (Manon)
1924 Roma Teatro Costanzi Boheme (Mimi)
1924 Buenos Aires Teatro Colon Boheme (Mimi)
1924 San Paolo Teatro Municipal Boheme (Mimi)
1924 Rio de Janeiro Teatro Municipal Boheme (Mimi)
1924 Milano Teatro La Scala Boheme (Mimi)
1925 Milano Teatro La Scala Lohengrin (Elsa)
1925 Milano Teatro La Scala Manon Lescaut (Manon)
1925 Varese Teatro Sociale Manon Lescaut (Manon)
1925 Torino Teatro Regio Manon Lescaut (Manon)
1927 Macerata Teatro Della Filarmonica Manon Lescaut (Manon)
1927 Napoli Teatro San Carlo Manon Lescaut (Manon)
1928 Rimini Teatro Vittorio Emanuele Manon Lescaut (Manon)
1929 Trieste Politeama Rossetti Manon Lescaut (Manon)
1930 Firenze Teatro Comunale Lohengrin (Elsa)
1931 Genova Politeama Genovese Madama Butterfly (Cio-Cio-San)
1931 Palermo Teatro Massimo Manon Lescaut (Manon)
1931 Genova Politeama Genovese Manon Lescaut (Manon)
1936 Bari Teatro Petruzzelli Madama Butterfly (Cio-Cio-San)
RECORDINGS FOR SALE
Turandot: Tu che di gel sei cinta Columbia B1014 D1572
Turandot: Signore, ascolta Columbia B1014 D1572
Cavalleria rusticana: Mamma, quel vino e generoso with Beniamino Gigli HMV 2-052175 1409aj
Faust: Tardi si fa!.. addio with Dino Borgioli Columbia L 2077 WBX 92/93
Faust: Sempre amar… Tardi si fa! addio! With Beniamino Gigli HMV 2-054114, 2-054105, 1053aj, 1046 aj
Lohengrin: Cessaro i canti...O ciel quai detti with Ettore Parmeggiani Columbia GQX10271, GQX10271, BX600, BX602
Boheme: O soave fanciulla with Beniamino Gigli HMV 2-054106 1048aj
Il Piccolo Marat: Va nella tua stanzetta... Se viene l'alba with Ettore Bergamaschi Fonografia Nazionale 1059,1060