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Marni Nixon , born Margaret Nixon McEathron (Altadena, California, February 22, 1930-24 July 2016), was an American soprano famous for performing the dubbing of the voices of famous actresses for the songs of well-known musical films. This earned him the nickname of “The Voice of Hollywood.” He devoted much of his career to performing in concerts with symphony orchestras on tours around the world and performed in operas and musicals in the United States. United.
Nixon began singing from an early age in choirs. At the age of 14, he joined the new Los Angeles Concert Youth Chorus choir, whose members included Marilyn Horne (who was then 13 years old) and Paul Salamunovich (who was then 19 years old), under the baton of Roger Wagner. This choir evolved into Roger Wagner Chorale in 1948 and later into Los Angeles Master Chorale in 1964.
Marni dedicated herself to singing and opera with Carl Ebert, Jan Popper, Boris Goldovsky and Sarah Caldwell. He embarked on a varied career that included films and musical comedies, operas and concerts, appearances on American television and dubbing of famous actress songs in films like The King and I, West Side Story or My Fair Lady. His light, flexible and widely recorded soprano voice with great musicality gave him much value to participate in classic works with personalities such as Anton Webern, Igor Stravinsky, Charles Ives, Paul Hindemith or Alexander Goehr, many of whom recorded on disk. / p>
Marni Nixon’s operatic repertoire included roles such as Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos, Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Blonde and Konstanze in Die Entfürung aus dem Serail, Violetta in La Traviata, the starring role of La Périchole and Philine in Mignon . He performed at the Los Angeles Opera, Seattle Opera, San Francisco Opera and the Tanglewood Festival among others. In addition to offering recitals, he sang along with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Leonard Bernstein, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Philharmonic Orchestra of Israel among others.
He also taught at the California Institute of Arts between 1969 and 1971 and became part of the faculty of the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara in 1980, where he taught for many years.
The Marni Nixon song dubings include:
- The voices of the angels that Ingrid Bergman hears in Joan of Arc (1948).
- The voice of Margaret O’Brien in The Secret Garden (1949).
- She brought some sharp notes to the interpretation of the song “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” by Marilyn Monroe in The Knights Prefer Blondes (1953).
- An indistinct voice heard in the movie Dementia (1955).
- Deborah Kerr’s singing voice in The King and I (1956) (in a number removed before publication, the voices of both were cleverly mixed) as well as in An Affair to Remember (1957)
- Natalie Wood’s singing voice in West Side Story (1961) and The Race of the Century. Nixon also sang some of the songs of Anita’s character played by Rita Moreno, sharing the task with Betty Wand and Rita Moreno herself. In parts of the quintet of the song “Tonight”, sing both Maria’s and Anita’s parts.
- The singing voice of Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady (1964).
Except for Dementia, where he appeared in the credit titles as Featured Voice, his participation in the dubbing did not appear in the movie credits, and Nixon’s participation did not begin to register until the publication, decades then, of all these movies on video.
My Fair Lady and Smiles and tears
Marni Nixon gained notoriety for her participation in My Fair Lady, when journalists, eager for information, unveiled the secret of her dubbing. Rumors of the film industry say it was the cause of Audrey Hepburn’s failure to get the Oscar Award nomination.
Nixon finally appeared on the screen singing to himself as Sister Sofia in Smiles and tears. Julie Andrews, the protagonist of this film and who played Eliza Doolittle in the theater with My Fair Lady, who had lost the role in the film by Audrey Hepburn, received Marni Nixon with a warm handshake and told him how much he He liked his work (I really love your work!). In fact, both had worked on the same piece in Mary Poppins, where Marni Nixon put the voice of the trio of geese in the animated sequence “Jolly Holiday”. Nixon also recorded songs by Mary Poppins for a collection of songs from the film released by Disneyland Records in 1964, with arrangements considerably different from those used in the film.
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