CLARAMAE TURNER - PIERRE MONTEUX: CARMEN (Bizet): Séguidille; En vain pour éviter (Card Song) San Francisco Symphony Orchestra 9 March 1952 (live performance). Miss Turner made her début in CARMEN as Mercedes with the San Francisco Opera in 1945 with Risë Stevens in the title part. Turner's assumption of title role with the SFO followed in the fall of 1951 when she shared the part with Blanche Thebom in student performances. Miss Turner's leading partners were Kurt Baum and Giuseppe Valdengo under the baton of Karl Kritz. Her first assumption of the title role in a regular SFO regular performance series was to have been conducted by Gaetano Merola who died at the end of August 1953, slightly less than a month before the first performance. On 27 September 1953 the contralto was partnered by David Poleri, Dorothy Warenskjold, Frank Guarrera, Lorenzo Alvary, Alessio De Paolis and George Cehanovsky under the leadership of Fausto Cleva. After the Company visited Los Angeles in the vast reaches of the Shrine Auditorium for a performance of CARMEN on 27 October 1953, Albert Goldberg commented in the Los Angeles Times (28 October 1953, pg. 22) "Miss Turner has more than voice to commend her: she possesses temperament to an extent that few American singers are gifted with, and her portrayal of the gypsy was heydenish, tempestuous, and earthy with a vigorous realism that never overstepped the boundaries of good taste." Miss Turner sang opposite a number of Don Josés including Kurt Baum, Richard Cassily, Jon Crain, Giuseppe Di Stefano, Giovanni (João) Gibin, Ken Neate and Robert Rounsiville. Young Plácido Domingo, a future José, was El Remendado in one of the contralto's Mexican performances, in Monterrey. Carmen was a role that Miss Turner performed frequently to high acclaim in theatres throughout the United States and Mexico including Cincinnati, Houston, New York and Philadelphia.