Lily Pons

Lily Pons
Associated Press

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Lily Pons
Music: South side of the 7000 block of Hollywood Boulevard
Opera Singer
Born April 12, 1898 in Cannes, France
Died Feb. 13, 1976 of cancer in UT Southwestern Medical Center, TX

Lily Pons was the prima donna who sang for more than a quarter-century with the New York Metropolitan Opera.

Pons, a French-born coloratura, was a petite woman of great beauty who, while building an international reputation as an opera star, also starred in motion pictures.

Her principal opera roles included Lucia in "Lucia di Lammermoor," Guilda in "Rigoletto," Rosina in "Barber of Seville" and Lakme in "Lakme."

She was the first singer in half a century to hit the high F in the "Bell Song," from "Lakme."

Pons went to the Metropolitan Opera in 1931, making her debut there in the role of Lucia. Years later, she told of having had to sing four arias twice during her Met audition because "they wanted to see if I am strong enough to last through a performance."

She weighed 96 pounds at the time.

Her movie roles included "I Dream Too Much" in 1935, "That Girl From Paris" in 1936 and "Hitting a New High" in 1938.

Pons made her stage farewell at the Metropolitan singing Lucia in 1958.

In 1961, she left New York to live in Dallas. She denied it was retirement—"Retirement doesn't exist for me," she said—and she remained active in the affairs of the Dallas Civic Opera and the Dallas Symphony.

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