Sunday, March 11, 2007

Diva Natalie Bodanya Dead At 98

Opera singer Natalie Bodanya, who sang soprano at the Metropolitan Opera in the 1930's, has died in Santa Barbara, Calif, at 98.

Her death was announced by Paul Gorman, her son, the New York Times reported Saturday.

Originally born Natalie Bodanskaya, she later shortened her last name to Bodanya so as to avoid confusion with the conductor Artur Bodanzky.

She was born in New York, N.Y., in 1908. Her first break was when an employee of the local music school, the Union Settlement, arranged an audition for her with soprano Marcella Sembrich.

Sembrich took Bodanya as a student and helped to steer her to the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia.

Bodanya went on to debut at the Metropolitan Opera in "Carmen," in 1936, where she performed in numerous operas over the next five years.

In 1944, she returned to the stage with the New York City Opera, as well as numerous nightclub and radio appearances.

After finishing her career in singing she became a voice teacher for several years.

She is survived by her son, Paul, and a granddaughter.

© 2007 UPI


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