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Eula Beal (Contralto)

Born: January 25 1919 - Riverside, California, USA
Died: July 29, 2008 - Napa, California, USA

The American contralto, Eula Beal, was born in Riverside, California, where she got her start in music singing at the Redlands Bowl and in local competitions. She was well known in the classical music world in the 1940's. She had a career as a concert contralto touring the USA and appeared with several orchestras including the Phoenix Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. With the latter ensemble, she performed in two works by Gustav Mahler: his Eighth Symphony, under Eugene Ormandy at the Hollywood Bowl, and Kindertotenlieder.

Eula Beal's present fame rests on her participation in Concert Magic, an unscripted film from 1947 presenting, as the title would suggest, a classical concert. This 1947 film was billed as "the first motion picture concert." Beal was the sole vocalist; instrumentalists included pianists Adolph Baller, Jakob Gimpel, and Marguerite Campbell; violinist Yehudi Menuhin; and an orchestra billed as "Symphony Orchestra of Hollywood" under the baton of Antal Doráti. Interspersed with purely instrumental selections, Beal performed the Bach-Gounod Ave Maria; Franz Schubert's Erlkönig and Ave Maria; Tchaikowsky's None but the lonely heart; and Lord, Have Mercy on Me from the St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244) of J.S. Bach. During the 1948 season she appeared in the San Francisco Opera as Erda in Siegfried and as the Innkeeper in Boris Godunov. She also sang at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City, at the Tanglewood Festival in Lenox, Massachusetts with the Boston Pops Orchestra, with the Phoenix Symphony and all across the USA.

Eula Beal married well known-aerial photographer (and later professor at Berkeley) William A. Garnett on September 14, 1942 and remained his wife until his death in August 2006, bearing him three sons. Her touring career only lasted a decade as she chose to focus on being a wife and mother. Nonetheless, she continued to perform locally (northern California) over the decades with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, the Santa Rosa Symphony, and the Napa Symphony. She was also an active singer and soloist in the Napa "Silverado Singers" choral group and sang for many years in the Napa Valley for funerals and churches. Eula Beal died in her home in Napa in 2008. She was survived by her three sons: Bill, Don, and Jay; and three grandchildren: Erin, Nick, and Geoff.

Source: Wikipedia Website (November 2007, December 2009); Obituary in San Francisco Chronicle (August 2008)t
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (October 2007, May 2010)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Antal Doráti


Aria from BWV 244 [Movie]

Links to other Sites

Eula Beal (Wikipedia)
Eula Beal (IMDB)

Garnett, Eula Beal - obituary (The San Francisco Chronicle) [Aug 2008]

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