by Annika Thor
Choice Pons was an important operatic presence in the US and Europe during the 1930s and '40s, and at last readers have a portrait that is much better than the average volume about an opera singer. Pons would today be called a "phenom": a petite, glamorous, charming French diva, she came to the US from an undistinguished career in France and captivated opera lovers, especially those who knew her primarily through the Metropolitan Opera broadcasts, with her small but wondrously agile voice. She was also lucky, arriving on the scene just as Amelita Galli-Curci was ending her career and before Maria Callas emerged to dominate the world of opera. The editors of the present volume were determined to present as complete a picture as the evidence could reveal. They base their presentation on documents preserved by loving collectors, weaving together information and quoting from reviews and memories of Pons's colleagues. The book follows Pons's career as she went from sparkling young singer, to busy performer, to patriot who sang throughout the world during the war years, and finally to aging diva whose flaws became ever more apparent. Put together with integrity and good taste, the book includes numerous pictures from throughout Pons's career and a comprehensive discography. All opera collections. M. S. Roy; Pennsylvania State University, University Park Campus
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.