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Anna Moffo collection (MSS 62)

Identifier: PPCI-MSS 62

Scope and Contents

Memorabilia, programs, publicity materials, contracts, reviews, recordings, interviews, biographies, business and personal correspondence and documents, scrapbooks, degrees, honors, awards, and photographs collected and curated by coloratura soprano Anna Moffo (Voice '54) throughout her lifetime. Her operatic roles included:

  • Adina (L'elisir d'amore)
  • Amina (La Sonnambula)
  • Aida (Aida)
  • Cio-Cio San (Madama Butterfly)
  • Clara (Porgy and Bess)
  • Desdemona (Otello)
  • Elvira (I Puritani)
  • Gilda (Rigoletto)
  • Hélène (La belle Hélène)
  • Juliette (Roméo et Juliette)
  • Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi)
  • Leonora (Il Travatore)
  • Liù (Turandot)
  • Lucia (Lucia di Lammermoor)
  • Luisa (Luisa Miller)
  • Magda (La Rondine)
  • Manon (Manon Lescaut)
  • Marguerite (Faust)
  • Marie (La fille du régiment)
  • Mélisande (Pelléas and Mélisande)
  • Mimi (La boheme) (American debut, 1957)
  • Nannetta (Falstaff) (La Scala debut, 1957)
  • Norina (Don Pasquale) (Spoleto debut, 1955)
  • Pamina (Die Zauberflöte)
  • Périchole (La Périchole)
  • Rosalinda (Die Fledermaus)
  • Susanna (La nozze di Figaro)
  • Thaïs (Thaïs)
  • Tosca (Tosca)
  • Violetta (La Traviata) (Met debut, 1959)
  • Zerlina (Don Giovanni)
  • Dates

    • 1932 - circa 2005


    Language of Materials

    Predominantly English and Italian; also German and French

    Conditions Governing Access

    The collection is open for research

    Biographical / Historical

    Born on 27 June 1932 in Wayne, PA, Anna Moffo was an accomplished athlete and excellent student at Radnor High School before winning a place at the Curtis Institute of Music to study voice in 1950. Following her 1954 graduation, she traveled to Italy on a Fulbright Scholarship, where, soon after, her operatic career took off after a televised appearance as Cio-Cio-San in Madame Butterfly. By the early 1960s Moffo had cemented her reputation as a leading lyric-coloratura soprano, performing at, among others, the Vienna State Opera, La Scala, Teatro di San Carlo, The Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and the Royal Opera House. Celebrated as much for her beauty as for her voice (she was christened “La Bellisima”), Moffo dominated the operatic stage for nearly a decade, particularly in her signature role as Violetta in La Traviata. However, a grueling opera schedule coupled with weekly appearances on her namesake variety show led, in 1968, to serious injury to her voice from which she never fully recovered. After formally retiring from singing in 1983, Moffo served as a board member on the Metropolitan Opera Guild and taught master classes around the world until her death in 2006 at age 73.


    5.43 Linear feet

    Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

    All audio recordings are on cassette

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    From the estate of Nick Moffo

    Related Materials

    James Shomate collection (MSS 15)

    Processing Information

    This collection is currently being processed. Please contact the archivist.

    Anna Moffo memorabilia (MSS 62)
    Kristina Wilson
    Description rules
    Describing Archives: A Content Standard
    Language of description
    Script of description

    Repository Details

    Part of the Archives Repository

    1720 Locust St
    Philadelphia PA 19103 United States