Myrna Docia Sharlow was built-in July 19, 1893, to David and Almira “Myra” (Smith) Sharlow. David was a Stutsman County academy teacher, and Myra was the niece of Milton H. Smith, admiral of the Nashville Railroad Co. In 1897, the Sharlows confused to St. Louis, area David was alive as a policeman.
At a actual aboriginal age, Myrna approved a arresting agreeable aptitude, but because of David’s bashful salary, he was clumsy to pay for an accomplished agreeable apprenticeship for his daughter. One of the bodies who empiric Myrna’s aptitude was Marcus Epstein, a acclaimed pianist and co-founder of the Beethoven Conservatory of Music in St. Louis.
He gave Myrna chargeless piano acquaint and additionally provided “her with chargeless articulate instruction. Her aboriginal articulate abecedary was Ferdinand Jaeger, son of Aurelia Jaeger,” the administrator of the Metropolitan Opera Academy in New York City.
In 1909, Myrna anchored an assurance with an eminent aggregation that gave performances in St. Louis and Louisville. It was at this time that her mother’s uncle, Milton Smith, abstruse of Myrna’s absurd agreeable ability and agreed to accommodate banking assistance.
Myrna accustomed operatic music apprenticeship at the Beethoven Conservatory, affecting arts training at the Perry Academy of Oratory and Affecting Art, and adopted accent apprenticeship at the Berlitz Academy of Languages. After graduation from aerial academy and the achievement of her specialized courses, Myrna larboard for New York City to abstraction beneath the administration of Frederick Bristol, who was a acceptable acquaintance of both Ferdinand and Aurelia Jaeger.
Bristol had assisted in abstraction the operatic careers of some of the best singers in the country, including Olive Fremstad, Alice Nielsen and Marie Sundelius, who were all sopranos for the New York Metropolitan Opera.
Myrna advised beneath Bristol for two years, and during that time, she was featured in bounded productions of “Kismet.” Bristol abiding an audience for her with Otto H. Kahn, admiral of the New York Metropolitan Opera Company, who showed a aboveboard absorption in signing her.
Before he could do that, Henry Russell, the architect of the Boston Opera Aggregation (BOC), abiding Myrna to accompany his aggregation in October 1912. Later that year, she fabricated her operatic admission with the BOC as the “pretty and coquettish” Musetta in the Puccini archetypal “La Boheme.”
Even admitting Myrna was in a acknowledging role, critics acclaimed that she was a fresh, new aptitude with absolute potential. After a few added acknowledging roles, Myrna, on April 2, 1913, was accustomed the advance changeable role of Marguerite in the opera “Faust,” which fabricated her the youngest prima donna with a above American opera company. After a few added roles, Myrna fabricated the best of a amazing breach she accustomed on March 7, 1914.
Opera admirers in Boston were aflame because the world-famous soprano, Nellie Melba, was about to accord a command achievement with the BOC, arena the advance role of Mimi in “La Boheme.” Less than an hour afore the alpha of the show, Melba a Mr. Russell that she was too ill to go on stage. Hastily, he contacted Myrna to be Melba’s replacement, and her achievement was so amazing that she accustomed nine blind calls.
At the aing of the opera season, Myrna aing the BOC for a alternation of concerts in Paris. When the concert bout was over and the added associates alternate home, Myrna was summoned to London to arise in the admission of Zandonai’s new opera, “Francesca de Rimini.”
After abiding home and assuming in a brace of operas, Myrna put on concerts beyond the U.S. On May 11, 1915, the BOC went bankrupt, and she was promptly alive by Cleofonte Campanini, the aqueduct of the Chicago Grand Opera Company. From 1915 to 1920, Myrna “became one of Chicago’s added alive sopranos” and she again took a three-year leave of absence to go on tour.
From March to aboriginal May 1921, she put on concerts in London, and from backward May to aboriginal July, performed in a cardinal of concerts in Paris. Myrna again catholic to Naples, Italy, area she affiliated Edward “Ted” Hitch, a “newspaper man and author.”
Myrna alternate to Chicago in 1923 to resume her assignment with the Chicago Opera Association and additionally aing the adroitness of the Millikin Conservatory of Music to advise voice. Except for a brace of operatic tours to Italy in 1924 and 1926, she maintained her abject of operation in Chicago.
In 1930, she confused to New York City and became a casting affiliate of the Metropolitan Opera, and in 1935, relocated to Boston, area she generally sang with Boston Pops Orra.
Myrna Sharlow remained in Massachusetts until her afterlife on Aug. 14, 1952.
“Did You Know That” is accounting by Curt Eriksmoen and edited by Jan Eriksmoen of Fargo. Send your comments, corrections, or suggestions for columns to the Eriksmoens at [email protected]
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