Thursday, December 25, 2008

Lina Cavalieri

Italian opera soprano Lina Cavalieri was born today (25th December ) in 1874.

A prominent star in both pre-Revolutionary Russia and New York, the cabaret performer, courtesan, and international star, described as "the most beautiful woman in the world", was one of the most frequently photographed personalities of her time and features on many antique postcards.

Her career moved from early experiences in café-chantant and variety theatres in Paris, London, and St. Petersburg, through to a highly successful operatic career in which she sang in many of the world's leading opera houses with such celebrities as Caruso and Ruffo.

In 1914, Cavalieri became the first great opera singer to appear in silent movies, making her debut in Manon Lescaut and continuing with a series of successful films. Her life was ended by an Allied air raid in World War II, on 7 February 1944.

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