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 Ina Souez

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Ina Souez

  • Original Name Ina Mary Rains
  • Birth 3 Jun 1903 Windsor, Weld County, Colorado, USA
  • Death 7 Dec 1992 Santa Monica, Los Angeles County, California, USA
  • Burial Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
  • Plot section 1 site 248
  • Memorial ID 32374263

Opera Singer. A lyric soprano who later turned to jazz, she is principally remembered for her career as a Mozartean in England during the 1930s. Born Ina Mary Rains to a Cherokee Indian family, she manifested her talent early and following study in Denver with Canadian alto Florence Hinman journeyed to Milan, Italy, for further training. Taking her maternal grandmother's name for the stage, she made her 1928 professional bow at Ivrea as the tragic seamstress Mimi of Puccini's "La Boheme". Following success in Palermo, Rome, and Paris, Ina had her May 1929 Covent Garden, London, debut as Liu from Puccini's "Turandot" opposite Dame Eva Turner. Making her home in London over the next decade, she was soon heard at Covent Garden as Micaela of Georges Bizet's "Carmen" and at Glyndebourne where she created a sensation in one of her signature pieces, Fiordiligi in Mozart's "Cosi fan tutte". Ina sang in Sweden and Holland as well as in England, was praised for her performances of Verdi's "Manzoni Requiem", and on one occasion learned the part of Marguerite from Charles Gounod's "Faust" in five hours. Adding another signature to her repertoire, Donna Anna of Mozart's "Don Giovanni", she kept busy up until the outbreak of World War II. Ina returned home after her apartment was destroyed in a bombing raid and in 1941 bowed with New York's New Opera Company as Fiordiligi. She spent the war years in the US Army Women's Army Corps (WACs) and in 1945 had her debut with the New York City Opera, again as Fiordiligi. Ina soon walked away from opera when comedic bandleader Spike Jones offered her more money to join his City Slickers then over the coming years sang jazz and served as straight girl for Jones' jokes. After leaving the stage Ina taught voice in San Francisco and Los Angeles, spent her final years in a nursing facility, and died of age related problems. Today she can be heard on preserved clips from the "Spike Jones Show" and on highly acclaimed complete Glyndebourne recordings of "Cosi fan tutte" and "Don Giovanni" which have been in print more or less continuously since they were cut in the 1930s.

Bio by: Bob Hufford

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Linda Dukes
  • Added: 23 Dec 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 32374263
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Ina Souez (3 Jun 1903–7 Dec 1992), Find A Grave Memorial no. 32374263, citing Los Angeles National Cemetery, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .