By popular demand, beginning in the year 2000, The Rosa Ponselle Foundation's audio visual, educational, lecture program will be offered as a 3-part mini-series to universities, opera center programs, opera guilds and musical institutions in the United States, Canada and abroad.
The audio visual lecture was originally created in 1981 by Miss Elayne Duke, the President of The Rosa Ponselle Foundation,. and former director of the Rosa Ponselle Museum "Villa Pace". Miss Duke, whose association with Ponselle spanned over 35 years, is the last living close personal friend of the legendary American diva, considered by operatic cognoscenti to be the greatest vocal artist of the 20th century. Said Maria Callas of Ponselle, "I think we all know that Ponselle is simply the greatest singer of us all."
The audio visual lecture was originally delivered by Miss Duke for tour groups to the Rosa Ponselle Museum. As its popularity grew, requests were made by various organizations locally, nationally and internationally for Miss Duke to present the lecture as an educational adjunct to their in-house and cultural out-reach programs. Over the years, The Rosa Ponselle Foundation's collection of original slides increased to 300. The slides were produced from Rosa and Carmela Ponselle's personal photographic archives of over 75 years. Augmenting the lecture are published and nonpublished recordings and professional and home film footage.
Due to the supplementary material now available, the program will be presented as a mini-series of three one-hour segments. The program will include Ponselle's family history and early childhood development, entrance into her childhood career, her professional vaudeville career with sister, Carmela, and her operatic career between 1918 and 1937. An entire segment will be dedicated to her retirement years in Baltimore, her contribution to the nurturing and launching of young aspiring singers; her affiliation with the Baltimore Opera Company between 1949 and 1979; her struggle with emotional setbacks and clinical depression; her personal friendships, and her surviving relatives.
A period during the final segment of the series will allow for questions. The lecture may be abridged for groups wishing the program to be offered in one segment only.
Because Ponselle's undying wish was to impart her legacy as a lasting contribution to Baltimore and to music lovers worldwide, no charge is made by The Rosa Ponselle Foundation for the lectures.
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