Description: American operatic soprano Marion Weed (1865-1947) energetically signed and inscribed this portrait photo dressed as “Kundry” in Parsifal by Richard Wagner. The oval vignette photograph shows Weed dressed in a dramatic, flowing garment draped with pearls. Her hands are held in front of her chest as she gazes into the distance with a melancholy expression.
Marion Weed began her singing career at sixteen in the Rochester Central Church Ladies’ quartette. She went on to perform in a New York Fifth Avenue church, and while she was living in New York, she saw Lilli Lehmann as “Isolde” in Tristan und Isolde, which inspired her to study under Lehmann in Germany. Weed debuted in 1896 as “Donna Anna” in Don Giovanni, and went on to become an internationally recognized talent.
She played the role of “Kundry” in the first American performances of Parsifal. Parsifal was Wagner’s last opera and he originally wanted it to only be performed in the Bayreuth Festspielhaus. Staged performances were banned in all other venues and countries by Wagner’s family, though in 1903, when a court ruled that performances in the United States could not be prevented, the New York Metropolitan Opera staged the complete opera, using many Bayreuth-trained singers, including Marion Weed. Her participation in the production caused Weed to be shunned and boycotted at Bayreuth.
After her international stage career, Weed returned to Rochester, New York to teach as the Dean of Women at the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music.
10 ½” x 7”. Item #A00873.
Condition: Fine condition with a clear, bold signature.