Nan Merriman Biography (Wikipedia)
Katherine Ann "Nan" Merriman (April 28, 1920 – July 22, 2012) was an American operatic mezzo-soprano.
A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, she performed with her pianist brother, Vic (J. Victor) O'Brien (later president of the Pittsburgh National Bank), in cafes and supper clubs in the Pittsburgh area. She studied singing in Los Angeles with Alexis Bassian[who?] and Lotte Lehmann. By the age of twenty she was singing on Hollywood film soundtracks and it was there that she was spotted by Laurence Olivier. He picked Merriman to accompany him and his wife, actress Vivien Leigh, on a tour of Romeo and Juliet, where she performed songs during the set changes.
Her voice was used in two Jeanette MacDonald movies, first in a chorus in Maytime (1937), then in a brief solo early in Smilin' Through (1941).
Merriman sang many roles both live and on radio under the baton of Arturo Toscanini between 1944 and 1953, while he was conductor of the NBC Symphony Orchestra. Among the roles she sang with him, were Maddalena in Act IV of Verdi's Rigoletto, Emilia in Verdi's Otello, Mistress Page in Verdi's Falstaff, and the trousers role of Orfeo in Act II of Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice and also sang in his first and only studio recording of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, with the NBC Symphony Orchestra, in 1952. She was also featured as Dorabella in a 1956 La Scala performance of Mozart's Così fan tutte, which was conducted by Toscanini's short-lived protégé, Guido Cantelli.
Nan Merriman Tracks