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FISCHER, Elizabeth

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FISCHER, Elizabeth. (Milwaukee, WI- ). Fischer, an ACADEMY OF THE VISITATION (THE) student and daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Fischer, began her musical training attending music lessons being given to her sister at the Academy. After attending the Academy one year, she transferred to Mount St. Clare College. She then moved to the University of Michigan where he received a bachelor's degree in music education. She applied for and received two scholarships for study at Pius XII Institute of Fine Arts in Florence, Italy from which she received her master's degree. Returning from Europe, she taught for several years in the Glendale Public School, a suburb of Milwaukee. She also taught voice part-time at the University of Wisconsin, in Milwaukee. She resigned her teaching position to study performance full time. (1)

Fischer won the special award in the final contest of the 1961 Young Artists competition sponsored by the National Federation of Music Clubs. She then placed first in the annual Illinois Opera Guild Auditions of the Air in Chicago. In 1962 she was the Upper Midwest Regional winner of the Metropolitan Opera Auditions in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This entitled her to compete in the national finals in New York where she won the Euclid McBride Award. She was also able to make her operatic debut in the fall of 1962 in Milan and Florence. She was a Michaels Award finalist and sang with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Ravina. (2)

Fischer continued her performances with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Cincinnati Opera and Michigan Opera and has been a soloist with NBC-TV and Grant Park, Chicago, Milwaukee, Detroit, and Chautauqua symphony orchestras. She was also been a recitalist, master class teacher, and adjudicator for vocal competitions. (3)

While working at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Fischer met her husband, Salvatore Monastero, a successful Chicago restauranteur, who was also a member of the Lyric opera chorus. Together they founded the Chicago Bel Canto Foundation; an organization which operated an international singing competition whose prize affords winners the opportunities to study opera in Italy with important artists. Past teachers associated with the organization included opera legends Tito Gobbi, Carlo Bergonzi, and Renata Tebaldi. The couple have four children and several grandchildren together. (4)

In 1973 Fischer Monastero joined the voice faculty at Northwestern University where she taught for more than 30 years. Her notable pupils include baritone Victor Benedetti, mezzo-soprano Edyta Kulczak, contralto Helen Tintes-Schuermann and sopranos Dara Hobbs and Maria Russo among others. (5)



1. "Elizabeth Fischer: Mezzo-Soprano Comes Home," Telegraph Herald, December 30, 1962, p. 15

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid.

4. "Elizabeth Fischer" Online: http://www.digplanet.com/wiki/Elizabeth_Fischer_Monastero

5. Ibid.