The Canadian Nightingale
Bertha Crawford and the Dream of the Prima Donna
April 4, 1915, Bertha Crawford bowed to tumultuous applause before a glittering audience at the Tsar’s Imperial Mariinsky Theatre. How had a young soprano from Ontario become a darling of the Russian capital eight months into the First World War?
The Canadian Nightingale vividly resurrects the forgotten life of Bertha Crawford, a determined Canadian singer who chased the celebrity dream of her time to find unprecedented success on the opera stages of Russia and Poland. Meticulous historical research and compelling dramatic vignettes restore Crawford and her era to life. After a rollercoaster ride to fame that was ultimately derailed by broken trust, one big question remains: how was a Canadian story this fascinating left untold for more than eighty years.