• 1913 — 2006
Often appears with
Martha Lipton had a major American operatic career as a mezzo-soprano and alto, appearing nearly 300 times at the Metropolitan Opera House between 1944 and 1961.
She studied at the Juilliard, where she debuted as Pauline in Tchaikovsky's Queen of Spades in 1941. She first sang with the New York City Opera in 1944 as Nancy in Flotow's Martha, and in the same year at the Met as Siebel in Gounod's Faust.
She was frequently heard on Metropolitan Opera Saturday broadcasts, and several of those have been released in restored sonics on the Naxos Historical label (generally not available in the United States).
She also recorded for Columbia Records. One of her best known performances was the classic Handel Messiah recording with Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and she appeared in Leonard Bernstein's first recording of Mahler's Third Symphony, one of the first stereo tapings of that work. Another classic recording in which she appeared was the Fritz Reiner-led recording of Verdi's Falstaff, and she also sang the monaural recording of Copland's Emily Dickinson Songs and in his opera The Second Hurricane.
Notable premieres in which Lipton participated include the first American performance of Hugo Wolf's Der Corregidor in a concert realization in New York, and she created the role of Augusta in Douglas Moore's The Ballad of Baby Doe at the Central City Opera House, Central City, Colorado, on July 7, 1956, repeating the performance the following April with the New York City Opera.
Lipton also appeared in Europe, particularly in Paris and Vienna. Since 19690 she has been a Professor of Singing at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, where, faculty rosters indicate, she teaches part-time.