Cher Public

Marta Eggerth, 1912-2013

Operetta and film star Marta Eggerth died yesterday in New York. She was 101. [Die Zeit]

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    at age 82:

    I will miss seeing her.

    • Evenhanded


      Quanto, thank you SO much for posting this. I attended this concert and had never sought out the video. Eggerth was utterly charming, sincere, and stylish. What a thrill. May she rest in peace.

    • Bill

      An absolute legend !

  • zinka

    Last season Piotr introduced me to Jan Kiepura Jr. in the dressing room, and he proiceeded to call “mom.” She sang at a Licia Gala and had the great style,even in her 90’s…May we all treasure her memory!!!!!

  • decotodd

    Hi Charlie — Did you ever meet Ida & Louise Cook? I recently re-read the book “Safe Passage.” In it, Ida (I think she’s the writer of the 2 sisters) details their budding love of opera and attending performances in the 20s at Covent Garden and the Met. Although the book’s raison d’etre is the sisters’ efforts to help get Jews out of Nazi-occupied countries, the book also details their friendships with so many singers of that era (Ponselle, Galli-Curci, Rethberg, Pinza, pivotally Ursuleac and conductor Clemens Kraus and much later Callas).

    One big hole in the lives of the sisters(for me anyway)was that there is never any mention of any romances. To my knowledge neither sister ever married. I sort of found myself wondering if they were gay as a way of explaining this vacuum.

    Curious is others have read this book or have any other knowledge of these interesting women.

    • MontyNostry

      There was a big article in Opera magazine some years ago about the Cook sisters -- extraordinary story. It would make a good movie!

  • Flora del Rio Grande

    Deco: NIce to see mention of the Cook sisters. I met Ida Cook — I think it was
    summer 1955 in London; she was a camp creature! I had her book and thought
    it was named “We Followed our Stars,” but maybe not. “Safe Passage” may be a
    different book or the UK title for Stars. If you still have a copy could you let me
    know the date of publ. etc. ?
    Many thanks! I think the great love of Ida’s life was Ponselle; they also doted
    on Eva Turner. “My dear Rosa was a creature, but what a creature,” Ida said!
    Just reply here would be fine, most kind of you. Thanks!
    Flora del Rio Grande (formerly The World’s Greatest Flora Bervoix)

    • Batty Masetto

      Still available from Amazon in a 2008 edition:

      Inside cover material says “Originally published as We Followed Our Stars,” first copyrighted 1950

    • decotodd

      Dear Flora,

      Yes the book was originally published in 1950 as “We Followed Our Stars” and then was republished in 1976 (and updated, hence the Callas references among others) as “Safe Passage.”



  • Gualtier M

    I actually met Marta Eggerth backstage after a Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation Gala back in what must have been 1997. So she was about 85 at the time. Anyway, she said it was the bicentennial of Schubert’s birth so she wanted to sing some Schubert but felt that nobody wanted to hear her sing Schubert so she sang a Viennese operetta medley instead. She also said that when she came to New York she was disappointed to learn that the Schubert Theatre was named after J.J. and not Franz Schubert. Anyway, I hung around after the show and told her that if she had sung something from “Lilac Time” she could have done both Schubert and operetta! She laughed this charming musical laugh and said “You are right!”. Very sweet, old school charmer.

    • operaassport

      There is NO Schubert Theater in NYC, there is a Shubert Theater.

    • marshiemarkII

      Funny Gualtier, I was going to mention the same thing as I saw her in the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation Gala in 1994, or 95? it was the one where Anna Moffo also sang the “legendary” Ballatella. Marta Eggerth sang a beautiful operetta aria, can’t remember which, it was with a microphone as she had a tiny wisp of a voice, but what beautiful singing! Wonderful lady indeed!!!!
      She must have been a regular at those Licia thinggies then, if she went every year. I remember I sat with Charlie Riecker, and his wife Valerie Cleva, and they told me that Anna Moffo had just told them that she was finished preparing Norma (!?!?!?!?!!), and was ready to take it on the road. I’d put a smiley, but it would be so cruel, both ladies are now in heaven, and Charlie also, Tempus fugit……

  • Flora del Rio Grande

    Thank you Deco and Betty — good responses, which I appreciate.
    How interesting that the old book has been updated and renamed; I
    found an inexpensive paperback of it on Amazon and it’s on the way.
    Huggz to you two!

  • RobNYNY

    Danielle Darrieux. She’s next after a long, good run.

  • zinka

    I just LOST IT,when the intermission at the Met played exc.from the careers of the singers we lost this year..When they playes Resnik and Stevens, I just could not hold back my tears!!!!!!!!Remember, i knew Regina 50 years and I was a member of Rise’s club and we went to her apt.every year.
    What all of the artists contributed to our lives and to music in general is unforgettable.They will never be forgotten.

    I am so glad they made special tribute to Martha Eggerth.

    The only people who do not appreciate what I said would be the people (??) who complain I am obsessed with the past…They are sad characters.

    • Camille

      It is good to cry for those we have loved for those tears unshed stick to our hearts and harden them -- in the end stopping them.

      You have good reason to mourn those two wonderful artists.

      Now stop and listen to your Marcello who is singing in the here and now, and be happy again.

      • zinka

        Well.I got annoyed today on chat because i sincerely felt a few people were deliberately nasty and i am not the type to shut up;however our glorious leader did write to me that I should ignore..not easy for me.
        Giordani sounded a bit effortful in act three,but GEE, some “Tucker cries!!”

        • Flora del Rio Grande

          Yes, Charlie, just so; but why did Marcello drop out
          of the duet measure leading to the high B-natural, leaving
          Sondra to sing it solo? Didn’t you hear that? It’s a glorious
          tone for both singers; was he momentarily tired or what?
          How did it sound to you. I like his ultra-brilliant top register,
          and often it seemed to be working well.

          • zinka

            Wow…I must have been stoned…..I heard it together last week..He must have had some problem..the voice was rather tight in the act…
            I might have fault..well,he was not that well last week..maybe it caught up to him.
            I dosee why some do not like him..the voice does not have a mellifluous kind of quality..but chacun a one’s goo goo.