Antonia Mastrocristino Sirena, American (1929 - 2006)

Sirena
A.M. Sirena was born in White Plains, N.Y., on January 13th 1929. her father died a few months later. In 1931, because of the Depression, Sirena's mother went to her parents' native Italy, where starvation and then World War II, brought about the death of her eight children. Only Sirena survived when she was rescued from a burning train by an opera singer, who later discovered the little girl's four octave vocal range voice and trained her to sing grand opera. In 1943 Sirena made her singing debut in Naples.

After the War, in 1947, Sirena returned to New York, where the Lew Walters Agency signed and booked her on singing engagements throughout the world. Years later, particulary because of an almost fatal illness, Sirena abandoned her singing career. After five cloistered years of self-taught painting, in 1965 she started showing her paintings in many renowned galleries, from the U.S.A. to Italy, France, Holland. Picasso said of Sirena's paintings: "They should be shown
throughout the world..."

In addition to painting, Sirena has composed music and lyrics, and also wrote poetry. The artist died in 2006.

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