For the first time in operatic history, this revealing and long-awaited biography uncovers the tragically short yet elegant life and glorious career of the beautiful California soprano Sibyl Sanderson. A great read for opera romantics of all generations and a true story with all the drama of period fiction, this biography is enhanced by Jack Winsor Hansen's complete access to the Sanderson family archives and decades of dedicated research about her life in Europe and the United States. It includes exclusive, previously unpublished correspondence, diaries, memoirs, and extensive interviews with the people who knew Sanderson and those around her. Hardcover.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Sybil Sanderson Story based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Born in 1864 in Sacramento, CA, Sibyl Sanderson was the first in a long line of celebrity opera singers running to Maria Callas and Beverly Sills in recent years. Yet, the first of this line of modern divas, she was vulnerable in ways that those following her were not--vulnerable both to illusions she created in her own mind and also to the designs of others on her. These others included Gilded Age tycoons and European royalty she met as she performed throughout the U. S. and Europe. Her marriage to a Cuban Lothario named Antonio Terry was especially destructive. With little protections against the harmful penchants of her own nature or guidance from any cautionary tales in the new environment of celebrity, media, high financial stakes, and notoriety by association that many sought from her, Sanderson suffered breakdowns onstage and practically continuous emotional pain and confusion. She died at 38 from an illness made worse by her ignoring her doctor's advice; which led some to believe she had intentionally brought on her own death. Hansen's is a voluminous biography of this latter 19th-century opera star whose fame in her day has been eclipsed by others who followed in her pattern of international fame, cult-like adulation, and impetuousness. With research from papers kept by Sanderson's relatives--often quoting from these--and a skillful balance of the many sides of her life, it's a basic resource for any study of Sanderson. Winsor uses his impressive background in music for a biography that is sympathetic and insightful.