Eleanor Steber

Biography

Born: July 17, 1914; Wheeling, WV   Died: October 3, 1990; Langhorne, PA  
Steber was one of the most important sopranos in the United States during the 1940s and 1950s, with a sweet and yet full voice and outstanding versatility. Her recitals were practically vocal pentathlons for their wide range of styles and vocal demands, and the day she sang Desdemona in Verdi's Otello for a Met matinee and Fiordiligi in Mozart's Cosě fan tutte that evening is still legendary. She is perhaps most famous for her creation of the Read more title role in Samuel Barber's Vanessa (actually as a substitute for Sena Jurinac), and for commissioning his Knoxville: Summer of 1915. In addition to opera and recitals, she was a frequent guest on The Voice of Firestone's television broadcasts. However, her career outlasted her voice, and most of her later appearances and recordings were gravely technically flawed.

Her mother was an accomplished amateur singer, and strongly encouraged her to study and to sing in school and community shows. She entered the New England Conservatory of Music, originally intending to major in piano, but her voice teacher, William Whitney, persuaded her to focus on singing, instead. Her opera debut was in 1936 in a WPA production of Wagner's The Flying Dutchman, a demanding role indeed for a 21-year-old. She won the 1940 Metropolitan Auditions of the Air, and made her Met debut later that year as Sophie in Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier. Her easy upper range, coupled with a rich, smoothly produced lower voice made her a natural for Mozart roles such as the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro, Pamina in The Magic Flute, and even Konstanze in the Abduction from the Seraglio, with its vocal pyrotechnics. As her voice matured, she sang some of the spinto roles in both the German and Italian repertoire, including Tosca, Desdemona, Elsa in Lohengrin, and the Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier. She also sang Marie in the first Metropolitan production of Alban Berg's Wozzeck in 1959. Her relationship with the Met was not an easy one, for many reasons on both sides, and she turned her attention more and more towards recitals and concerts during the 1960s. She and her husband opened and managed a record label, ST/AND (combining their names), but when they attempted to expand, it was a dismal flop. She made some appearances on Broadway, mostly in supporting parts, and also gave one of the notorious bathhouse concerts in New York in 1973. Read less
Voice Of Firestone - Great Sopranos / Steber, Sutherland, Price, Et Al
Release Date: 11/16/2004   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 2442   Number of Discs: 1
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Eleanor Steber In Opera And Oratorio
Release Date: 04/30/2013   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 2408   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 1-25 of 28 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Eleanor Steber In Opera And Oratorio
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 2408 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Various,  Richard Wagner,  Franz Lehár,  Ruggero Leoncavallo  ... 
    Performer:  Eleanor Steber
    Conductor:  Howard Barlow
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 2.
    Hector Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique; Nuits D'ete (Ii-vi)
    Label: Praga   Catalog: 350071 Release Date: 02/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz
    Performer:  Eleanor Steber
    Conductor:  Pierre Monteux,  Dimitri Mitropoulos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic
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  • 3.
    Puccini: La Fanciulla Del West / Mitropoulos, Steber, Del Monaco, Giacomo, Guelfi, Tozzi, Et Al
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 2080 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Giangiacomo Guelfi,  Vito Susca,  Enzo Viaro,  Eleanor Steber  ... 
    Conductor:  Dimitri Mitropoulos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Florence Maggio Musicale Chorus,  Florence Maggio Musicale Orchestra
    CD: $21.99
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  • 4.
    Puccini: The Great Operas [13-CD Set]
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 9011 Release Date: 01/22/2013   Number of Discs: 13
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Victoria de los Angeles,  Jussi Björling,  Robert Merrill,  John Reardon  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Victor De Sabata,  Gianandrea Gavazzeni,  Giuseppe Morelli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra,  Columbus Boychoir,  RCA Victor Chorus  ... 
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  • 5.
    Label: Andromeda   Catalog: 5020 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  John Brownlee,  Ezio Pinza,  Eleanor Steber,  Charles Kullman  ... 
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Chorus,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
    CD: $9.99
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  • 6.
    Wagner: The Complete Opera Collection / Bavarian State Opera, Bayreuth Festival, Badische Staatskapelle, Cagliari Theater...
    Label: Membran International Gmbh   Catalog: 233106 Release Date: 10/25/2010   Number of Discs: 43
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Franz Klarwein,  Luise Willer,  Viorica Ursuleac,  Georg Hann  ... 
    Conductor:  Clemens Krauss,  Robert Heger,  Joseph Keilberth,  Günter Neuhold  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Opera Orchestra,  Bavarian State Opera Chorus,  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $73.99
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  • 7.
    Eleanor Steber - Mozart, Gounod
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 60521 Release Date: 05/06/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Charles Gounod,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Eleanor Steber
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 8.
    Beethoven: Fidelio / Toscanini, Steber, Bampton, Peerce
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 60273 Release Date: 03/27/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Eleanor Steber,  Herbert Janssen,  Rose Bampton,  Jan Peerce  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra,  NBC Symphony Chorus
    On sale! $29.98
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  • 9.
    Sopranos In The Grand Tradition / Dal Monte, Flagstad, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 67179 Release Date: 09/24/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Amilcare Ponchielli,  Arrigo Boito  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Zamboni,  Rosetta Pampanini,  Toti Dal Monte,  Gina Cigna  ... 
    Conductor:  Lorenzo Molajoli,  Carlo Sabajno,  Franco Ghione,  Oliviero de Fabritiis  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Rome Opera Teatro Reale Orchestra  ... 
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 10.
    Festspieldokumente - Barber: Vanessa / Mitropoulos, Steber
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 653062 Release Date: 01/30/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Samuel Barber
    Performer:  Nicolai Gedda,  Ira Malaniuk,  Rosalind Elias,  Alois Pernerstorfer  ... 
    Conductor:  Dimitri Mitropoulos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus
    Recommendation
    CD: $39.99
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  • 11.
    Mozart: The Impresario; Cosě Fan Tutte Excerpts / Steber, Curtin
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4385 Release Date: 06/27/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Eleanor Steber,  John Kuhn,  Jacquelynne Moody,  David Lloyd  ... 
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Schauzer
    DVD: $28.99
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  • 12.
    San Francisco Opera Gems Volume 2 / Merola, Et Al
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 2287/89 Release Date: 02/22/2005   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Richard Strauss,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Umberto Giordano  ... 
    Performer:  Eleanor Steber,  Alessio De Paolis,  John Garris,  Mack Harrell  ... 
    Conductor:  Georges Sebastian,  Kurt Herbert Adler,  Gaetano Merola
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Opera Orchestra,  San Francisco Opera Chorus
    On sale! $35.98
    CD: $32.99
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  • 13.
    Voice Of Firestone - Great Sopranos / Steber, Sutherland, Price, Et Al
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 2442 Release Date: 11/16/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Oscar Straus,  Victor Herbert,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Eleanor Steber,  Jeanette MacDonald,  Patrice Munsel,  Roberta Peters  ... 
    On sale! $19.99
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  • 14.
    Walter Conducts Beethoven
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 1142 Release Date: 07/27/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Nan Merriman,  Eleanor Steber,  William Hain,  Lorenzo Alvary
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra,  Westminster Choir
    CD: $17.99
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  • 15.
    Rca Red Seal Century - Vocalists
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 63860 Release Date: 11/06/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Jean-Philippe Rameau,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Luisa Tetrazzini,  Titta Ruffo,  Giovanni Martinelli,  Alma Gluck  ... 
    Conductor:  Josef Pasternack,  Rosario Bourdon,  Renato Cellini,  Marcello Viotti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra,  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra,  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $29.98
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  • 16.
    Jussi Bjoerling - Rarities
    Label: Vai Audio   Catalog: 1189 Release Date: 06/06/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Hugo Alfvén,  Charles William Glover,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Jussi Björling,  Donald Dickson,  Grace Moore,  Eleanor Steber  ... 
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy,  Ille Gustafsson,  Donald Voorhees,  Erno Rapée  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ford Motor Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Swedish Army Band,  Bell Telephone Hour Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $15.99
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  • 17.
    Modern American Vocal Works - Premiere Recordings 1950-1953
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 60899 Release Date: 06/29/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Virgil Thomson,  Aaron Copland,  Samuel Barber
    Performer:  Virgil Thomson,  William C. Smith,  Joseph James,  Clyde S. Turner  ... 
    Conductor:  William Strickland
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Music Quartet,  Dumbarton Oaks Chamber Orchestra
    Recommendation
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  • 18.
    Mozart: Cosi Fan Tutte / Steber, Peters, Stiedry
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 60652 Release Date: 10/20/1998   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Eleanor Steber,  Josef Blatt,  Richard Tucker,  Frank Guarrera  ... 
    Conductor:  Fritz Stiedry
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
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  • 19.
    Berlioz: Les Nuits d'Ete, La Captive, Le Jeune Patre Breton / Eleanor Steber
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 62356 Release Date: 10/01/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  George Frideric Handel,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Eleanor Steber
    Conductor:  Max Rudolf,  Jean Paul Morel,  Dimitri Mitropoulos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra
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  • 20.
    Berlioz: Les Troyens / Lawrence, Resnik, Steber, Cassilly
    Label: Vai Audio   Catalog: 1006 Release Date: 01/09/1996   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz
    Performer:  Richard Cassilly,  Martial Singher,  Chester Watson,  Regina Sarfaty  ... 
    Conductor:  Robert Lawrence
    On sale! $49.95
    CD: $41.99
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  • 21.
    Eleanor Steber Sings Richard Strauss
    Label: Vai Audio   Catalog: 1012 Release Date: 11/06/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Eleanor Steber,  Otto Wiener,  Christel Goltz,  Set Svanholm  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine,  Karl Böhm
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
    CD: $15.99
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  • 22.
    Leonard Warren - His First Recordings
    Label: Vai Audio   Catalog: 1017 Release Date: 11/06/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Leonard Warren,  Rose Bampton,  Lucielle Browning,  Jean Dickenson  ... 
    Conductor:  Wilfrid Pelletier
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chorus
    CD: $15.99
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  • 23.
    Eleanor Steber Sings Mozart
    Label: Vai Audio   Catalog: 1031 Release Date: 04/06/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Eleanor Steber
    CD: $15.99
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  • 24.
    The Elenor Steber Collection Vol 1 (1938-1951)
    Label: Vai Audio   Catalog: 1072 Release Date: 12/27/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  James A. Bland,  Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Eleanor Steber,  George Cehanovsky,  Leonard Warren,  Armand Tokatyan
    Conductor:  Howard Barlow,  Wilfrid Pelletier,  Sir Eugene Goossens
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
    CD: $15.99
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  • 25.
    Dittersdorf: Arcifanfano / Jenkins, Steber, Russell, Et Al
    Label: Vai Audio   Catalog: 1010 Release Date: 12/12/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf
    Performer:  John McCollum,  Heinz Rehfuss,  Joseph Sopher,  David Smith  ... 
    Conductor:  Newell Jenkins
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Clarion Music Society
    CD: $10.99
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