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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • EAT MORE FISH, 1917

The Sopranos: 1920

The Sopranos: 1920

New York circa 1920. "Viafora and Herbert." The sopranos Gina Ciaparelli-Viafora (seated) and Evelyn Herbert. G.G. Bain Collection. View full size.

 

The Ladies

Gina Ciaparelli-Viafora was an Italian born mezzo who was married to a sculptor named Gianni Viafora who was apparently well enough known to Giacomo Puccini that he introduced the composer on a recording made before his return to Italy in 1908. Gina appeared on a number of occasions at the Met between about 1907 and 1910 playing Mimi in La Boheme.

Evelyn Herbert (1898-1975) studied with Caruso in New York. He persuaded the Chicago opera to hire her, however she developed voice problems and had to retrain. She became popular on the Broadway stage performing in operettas, most famously as Barbara Frietchie in "My Maryland" and in Oscar Hammerstein II's "New Moon." This photo may date from the period when she was retraining her voice.

Lost to the ages

This is sad, as the treasured photos they have on the walls are probably the unnamed ones I see in various flea markets selling for ten cents apiece. Name and date the backs of your photos now. Then make sure your children get them.

It must be over

When she sings.

Lots of worn pages

Must be some hard-working sopranos!

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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