Opera Singer. A soprano, she is remembered for her long career in both Chicago and at New York's Metropolitan Opera. Born Gloria Linari, she was raised in the Chicago suburb of Highwood, had early musical ambitions, graduated from Highland Park High School, and trained with the legendary soprano Rosa Raisa prior to relocating to New York where she sang in a 1949 Broadway revival of "Sweethearts". Returning home, she ran a dress shop in Highwood and was back in the Big Apple to sing Rosalinda in a 1954 Broadway production of Johann Strauss II's "Der Fledermaus", then later in 1954 joined the Lyric Opera of Chicago. There, her roles included Musetta of Puccini's "La Boheme" and Clotilde in a production of Vincenzo Bellini's "Norma" featuring Maria Callas as the title Druid Priestess; Gloria bowed at the Metropolitan Opera on January 22, 1957 as Helmwige of Wagner's "Die Walkure" and while at the Met sang with the operatic royalty of her day, her assignments including Musetta, the Third Norn in Wagner's "Gotterdammerung", Frasquita from Georges Bizet's "Carmen", a Lady-in-Attendance in Verdi's "Macbeth", and the Overseer of Richard Strauss' "Elektra". After bidding farewell to the Met on April 30, 1962, she continued performing, giving recitals in America and Europe for a number of years and on at least one occasion in Toledo assuming the demanding title lead of Puccini's "Madame Butterfly". Following her 1971 marriage to John Bently, she helped her husband run a swimming pool instillation and supply business, still sang occasionally, was a highly respected voice teacher, giving lessons in her home while holding a faculty position at Chicago's American Conservatory of Music, and for a few years ran the Little Opera Company of Highwood, a venue in which rookie singers could gain experience. Gloria continued teaching till she was around 85 and died of Alzheimer's Disease; she can be heard on some archived Met broadcasts.
Bio by: Bob Hufford