Program at Goucher College Wednesday commemorates Rosa Ponselle

The history of opera has witnessed many great singers whose names continue to resonate through the years and whose artistic standards continue to inspire. Ranking very high on this luminous list is Rosa Ponselle.

The soprano died 30 years ago in Baltimore, where she had long made her home and was the driving force behind the Baltimore Opera Company for a good deal of its history.


She is being remembered in "The Life and Times of Rose Ponselle" Wednesday at Goucher College Hall. This presentation will be made by Elayne Reynolds Duke, the most ardent keeper of the Ponselle flame, and eminent record producer Ward Marston, famed for his restoration of vintage recordings.

The program will include ...

audio and film rarities, including items from Ponselle's private collection and the MGM archives.

Duke, just about the only close friend of the soprano still alive, will share her memories of the legendary artist during the program. Marston will discuss and play recordings of Ponselle and her illustrious colleagues.

This is the first of what Duke and Marston envision as a long-range project aimed at promoting and preserving the Ponselle legacy. That's an awfully worthy goal at a time when, judging by what we hear in opera houses these days, a lot of young singers could use more exposure to Ponselle's exceptional technique and interpretive gifts.