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Lina Abarbanell

Lina Abarbanell’s expressive voice inspired more than one light opera, but even after she retired from the stage, her talent for casting and directing other performers shaped powerful performances like the world tour of Porgy and Bess. Abarbanell made her debut with the Berlin Court Opera at the age of fifteen, selling out performances of Die Fledermaus and making command appearances before European royalty. After a stunning performance at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, she performed in Broadway shows and national tours for almost thirty years. She had a gift for lighter musicals and operettas with complicated, Viennese flourishes, and a number of composers wrote parts specifically for her distinct soprano. Abarbanell stopped performing after the death of her husband, becoming a respected casting director who chose the players for shows like the world tour of Porgy and Bess. She produced a number of Broadway shows and even directed several musicals herself, working steadily in the theater world until the end of her life in 1963.

Lina Abarbanell
Full image
Lina Abarbanell.
Photograph courtesy of the Billy Rose Theatre Collection.
Date of Birth
January 3, 1879
Place of Birth
Date of Death
January 6, 1963

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Lina Abarbanell." (Viewed on February 19, 2019) <>.


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