Emma Calvé (1858-1942)
Emma Calvé in Cavaleria Rusticana
Produced at Covent Garden, London.
"Mme Calvé sheds new light upon the character of Santuzza. Others have depicted well enough the sufferings of the poor girl; but it has remained for Mme Calvé to bring out the true dog-like nature of this pitiable creature; to express by look and gesture her sense of utter helplessness; to fill in the picture with a hundred little artistic touches that tell the story where the librettist and musician cannot. It is a study from the life. Watch her attitude as she recounts her sad tale to Mamma Lucia; note her shrug of the shoulders as she sits, arms akimbo, pretending not to hear the taunts of Lola; observe her gestures of anger, defiance, affection, pleading, and despair as she struggles for love and kindness with Turiddu. She is a Sicilian to the finger-tips.
"But besides being a superb actress Mme Calvé is a remarkably fine singer. Her voice, still fresh and unimpaired by hard work, is one of those expressive organs that can convey a given emotion without the aid of language. Her command of tone-colour is extraordinary; there are moments when the power and intensity of her notes thrill one to the core. The timbre is wonderfully bright and resonant, the character of the voice essentially dramatic, and from top to bottom of the scale there is not a trace of vibrato".
Sunday Times - 16th May, 1892
Movie Credits (source www.imdb.com)
1918 - La chambre de la bonne
1922 - Fleur du mal [Madame Verviers]
1934 - Le paquebot Tenacity [Mother of Bastien]