American Soprano Anna Case (1888-1984)
"Edison's Favorite Singer"
1. Connais-tu le pays / Mignon (Thomas)
2. O Sleep, Why Dost Thou Leave Me? (Handel)
Recorded: November 16, 1928 --
The following is from "A Concise Biographical Dictionary of Singers" / K.J. Kutsch & Leo Riemens (Chilton Book Company - 1969)
American soprano, born in Clinton, New Jersey on October 29, 1888, the daughter of a blacksmith. Case was leading the chorus and playing organ at the Dutch Reformed Church in her community by the age of 15, without ever having formal music lessons. She began studying with a local music teacher who gave up when Case's potential proved too great, and was then sent to a private teacher in New York. Referred to as "Edison's favorite singer," Anna Case made numerous recordings for the great American inventor. She made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in a minor role on November 20, 1909, remaining with the company until 1919, Aida & Carmen considered to be her best roles. In 1913 she sang Sophie in the American premiere of Rosekavalier. She began to record on Edison wax cylinders with "Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms (June 21, 1912) and two other numbers before making some 98 Diamond Discs, the first on September 19, 1913 ("Charmant Oiseau" from Perle de Bresil) and the last on June 24, 1926 ("A Night of Love"). Her recorded repertoire consisted of primarily concert songs, though she included a number of arias. Case appeared often on stage demonstrating Edison's "Tone Tests," where the lights were dimmed and the audience was to guess when a singer stopped and the phonograph began. Two of the experimental Edison long-playing records of 1928 included Case's voice, doing four songs on each disc. She made only one Victor record, taking part in the ensemble of "Du also bist mein" from Zauberflote (April 6, 1913). Following some work for Vitaphone, Case moved to Columbia where she made 41 discs from 1928 to 1930, again drawing on the concert repertoire. She retired in 1930, and the following year married ITT executive Clarence MacKay. Anna Case died in New York on January 7, 1984.