Saturday, May 14, 2011

Happy Birthday: Patrice Munsel

Patrice Munsel was born on May 14, 1925, in Spokane, Washington. Munsel studied in New York, and was coached by Giacomo Spadoni. She first sang at the Metropolitan at age 17, in March 1943. She made her official Metropolitan debut on December 4, 1943 at the age of 18, singing Philine in Mignon. Perhaps best known for the role of Adele in Die Fledermaus, she performed 225 times at the Metropolitan. Sir Rudolf Bing called her a "superb soubrette", and implied that she was the world's best. Her opera roles included Rosina in The Barber of Seville, and Despina in Cosi fan Tutte. In 1952 Munsel married Robert C. Schuler, an advertising and public-relations executive, producer and writer. The two were married for fifty-five years and had four children together: Heidi, Rhett, Scott and Nicole. Their marriage ended upon Schuler's death in 2007. Schuler notably
conceived and produced the ABC-TV primetime variety series The Patrice Munsel Show, which of course starred his wife. The program was broadcast on ABC from 1956-1957. He also wrote a 2005 memoir of his life with his wife entitled, The Diva & I. Munsel appeared on many other TV shows during her career, including appearing in the role of Marietta (Countess d'Altena) in the January 15, 1955 live telecast of the operetta Naughty Marietta. She also portrayed the title role in the 1953 film Melba which chronicled the life of the great opera singer, Dame Nellie Melba. Miss Munsel made frequent television appearances on the Bell Telephone Hour. She was nicknamed "Princess Pat." In 1958 she ended her career as an opera singer, and began to perform in musical comedies. [Source]

"One Night of Love"

"Il dolce suono mi colpi di sua voce" Lucia di Lammermoor

"With a Song in My Heart"

"Je suis Titania" Mignon

"All the Things That You Are"

"Vogliatemi bene" Madama Butterfly (w/Richard Tucker)

"Italian Street Song" Naughty Marietta

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