Today she is probably best remembered for designer Piero Fornasetti's designs. He created more than 11,000 items, many featuring Lina Cavalieri as a motif. The 'Tema e Variazioni' plate series based on Cavalieri's face number more than 350.
There is something about opera that holds a special place in my heart, probably because I've felt drawn to sing it for much of my adult life. However, with no classical training I'm left on my own to doodle around with musical theatre songs, twitter parts of arias, and enjoy the work of those whose bel canto and coloratura skills I so admire.
I do think that she reminds of of one of my favourite opera divas of today - Anna Netrebko. Do you agree? Let me know in the comments below!
Natalina "Lina" Cavalieri (December 25, 1874 — February 7, 1944) was an Italian opera soprano singer, actress, and monologist.
Renowned as much for her great beauty as for her singing voice (and acting ability), she became one of the most photographed stars of her time. Frequently referred to as the "world's most beautiful woman," she was part of the tightlacing tradition that saw women use corsetry to create an "hour-glass" figure.
Lina took voice lessons and made her opera debut in Lisbon, Portugal, in 1900 (as Nedda in Pagliacci), the same year she married her first husband, the Russian Prince Alexandre Bariatinsky. In 1904, she sang at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo then in 1905, at the Sarah Bernhardt Theatre in Paris, Cavalieri starred opposite Enrico Caruso in the Umberto Giordano opera, Fedora. From there, she and Caruso took the opera to New York City, debuting with it at the Metropolitan Opera on December 5, 1906.
Other operas in her repertoire included La bohème, La traviata, Faust, Manon, Andrea Chénier, Thaïs, Les contes d'Hoffmann (as the courtesan Giulietta), Rigoletto, Mefistofele (as both Margarita and Elena), Adriana Lecouvreur, Tosca, Hérodiade (as Salomé), Carmen (the title role), Siberia, and Zazà.
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