MILKA TRNINA (Milka Ternina)

Municipality of Kriz 2013, hardcover 218 pp

ISBN 978-953-96371-4-7

(book cover,as Isolde) <


A few months ago the Municipality of Kriz (Croatia) published what looks like the definitive and final book on Milka Ternina. It's the third book on the legendary Wagnerian soprano who also taught Zinka Milanov. The first being her biography written by a close friend of hers, the second was published alongside an exhibition in London in 2006 (see below). This new book is divided in several chapters, most of them focussing on the cities where she appeared in going from Zagreb to her career in the US.

8 authors contributed for the several chapters. As the book is - understandably so - written in Croatian the main interest lies in the photo captions (illustrations abound) which can easily be figured out and the chronology. For English speakers a sixteen page summary is nevertheless provided in the book. Some parts overlap with the previously catalogue book but as that volume has now completely dried up many will welcome this new release. Again this is a limited edition so you better hurry if the soprano is of interest to you.

Click here to read more about her career.



And the Royal Opera House

By Nada Premerl
211 pp, Zagreb 2006
ISBN 953-6942-24-0

This wonderful and most lavishly illustrated (catalogue) book was issued alongside an exhibition devoted to the Croatian singer (1863-1941) at the Royal Opera House. This exhibition ended last January but apparently will also travel to Munich, Bayreuth, New York and Boston later on though concrete plans for this seems to be lacking at the moment.
Ternina was one of those legendary artists who didn’t make any records and whose voice can only be ‘heard’ on the famed Mapleson cylinders. But as Lord Harewood writes in the book ‘to think one gains any genuine impression would be an illusion’. For those who nevertheless persist Ternina is featured as ‘a superb’ (quote Jean de Reszke)  Isolde and Tosca on Symposium CD 1284.
I can’t praise the book enough and if it is of some interest to you grab it before it is too late as only 500 copies were printed! It was still available through the bookshop of the Royal Opera House on February 21.

Rudi van den Bulck (2007)