Actress, singer, arts advocate, socialite, TV personality (and New Orleans native) Kitty Carlisle Hart has died at the age of 96. La Carlisle made her Broadway debut in 1933 in the musical Champagne Sec (a version of Die Fledermaus), then went to Hollywood for a brief stay highlighted by her turn as “Rosa Castaldi” in A Night at the Opera. (To die-hard opera queens, no performance of the “Miserere” from Il trovatore is complete without the interpolation of “the Kitty Carlisle high C.”) In 1948 the mezzo-soprano starred in the New York premiere of Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia; later she appeared on the “Straw Hat Circuit” in Carmen and The Merry Widow as well as classic American musicals. On New Year’s Eve 1966, Ms. Hart made her Metropolitan Opera debut as Prince Orlovsky in Fledermaus, a role she reprised for the company’s Parks performances in 1973, and again in 1980 at the New York City Opera for Beverly Sills‘ farewell gala.
A more detailed obituary may be found at broadwayworld.com.
Here’s Kitty Carlisle Hart in a scene from A Night at the Opera, with Allan Jones (and, of course, the Marx Brothers!)