by Phyllis Chesler
Elinor Ross, (nee Rosenthal, Mrs. Diamond), Metropolitan, Fenice, and La Scala Opera star, died on March 6th and was buried on March 8th. I was privileged to know her. Even in her nineties, Ross was sharp, witty, and held strong opinions. We tended to agree on most matters operatic. For example, neither of us appreciated the ways in which historical operas have been ruthlessly modernized. Although she’d been ill for quite a while, she did not let it stop her from doing everything, almost anything, she wanted to do. Her robust spirit and determination was wondrous.
Once, Ross—one of the greats—sang with so many of the other now long departed greats: Jussi Bjorling, Franco Corelli, Mario Del Monaco, Richard Tucker, and Guiletta Simianato, to name only a few. A strong dramatic soprano, Ross triumphed in a dazzling range of roles: Aida, Tosca, Norma, Medea, Leonora, Elizabetta, Gioconda, and Santuzza.
I have no doubt. Right about now, she is warming up to sing for the angels and for God.
Let’s go back in time to 1966/1967 to hear Ross singing Norma’s signature aria: Casta Diva.
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