Conchita Supervia Collection

Collection: Conchita Supervia Collection
Reference code: ROH/SUP
Date: 1888 - 1936
Date notes: The majority of the materials are dated 1888, 1893 and the period 1931-1936.
Level: Fonds
Extent: 1 box containing 2 photograph albums; 1 box containing 2 press cutting albums, 6 certificates and a diary; 4 loose mounted photographs; 1 loose mounted poster
Scope and content: The collection contains photographs, press cuttings, legal certificates, a tour poster, and a diary all relating to the personal life and career of Conchita Supervia.

ROH Collections has additional material on Supervia: two artist files containing photographs, correspondence, press cuttings, and a programme for the 1934 concert at Queen's Hall; material in production files, and in the programme, poster, and press cutting collections.
Creator: Conchita Supervia
History/biography: Spanish mezzo-soprano Conchita Supervia (1895-1936) made her debut in 1910 in Buenos Aires with the Spanish Opera Company. Whilst in Argentina she performed in 'Blanca de Beaulieu' and 'Los amantes de Teruel' and featured as Lola in 'Cavalleria rusticana'. The following year she performed the most prominent role of her early career: Octavian in 'Der Rosenkavalier' at the Costanzi Theatre in Rome. In 1912 she sang the role of Carmen at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in her hometown of Barcelona. It was a role she was identified with for the rest of her career. Supervia starred again as Carmen in Havana in 1914, where she also appeared in 'Mignon' and 'La Favorita'. In the 1915/16 winter season, she sang Carmen again with the Chicago Opera Association, also appearing in the title role in 'Mignon' and as Charlotte in 'Werther'.
For the next fifteen years Supervia confined her performances to Spain and Italy. This period saw her establish a strong association with Rossini mezzo-soprano roles, including Angelina in 'La Cenerentola', Isabella in 'L'Italiana in Algeri' and Rosina in 'Il barbiere di Siviglia'. In January 1932 she undertook a two-month tour to North America, consisting of concert recitals in Washington, D.C., New York, Montreal and Kansas City and elsewhere, and performances of 'Carmen' in Chicago and Boston.

In 1931 she moved to London and married timber broker Benzion Rubinstein. In 1934 she made her Royal Opera House debut in 'La Cenerentola', and the following year appeared in 'Carmen', 'La Cenerentola' and 'L'Italiana in Algeri'. She had been engaged to appear in the Imperial League of Opera's 1935 autumn season at Covent Garden, but had to cancel her appearances as a result of her pregnancy.

In addition to her opera career, Supervia made a number of recordings and appeared regularly in concert. She also starred in the Victor Saville film 'Evensong' in 1934. Supervia died during childbirth on 30 March 1936 at the age of 40.

Sources: Sadie, S (ed.) Grove Dictionary of Opera, New York: MacMillan, 1992; record liner notes by Professor Stanley Henig at http://www.; Rosenthal, Harold Two Centuries of Opera at Covent Garden, London, Putnam & Co, 1958.
Source of acquisition: Gift of Elizabeth Lloyd Roberts, 31 March 2009.
System of arrangement: The collection is arranged by material type.
Access conditions: The collection is available for viewing in ROH Collections by appointment only.
Language: English; Danish; Italian; Spanish; French; Hebrew
Copyright: Copies are available subject to copyright restrictions and the condition of the original material.
Condition: Good.