POSNO, Rosaline “Rose” – Of London, Ontario, age 97, passed peacefully at Arbor Trace Alzheimer’s Special Care Center on Monday, September 29, 2014. Mrs. Posno was born in Philadelphia, Pa. on April 17, 1917 and was raised in London, Ontario. A singer of great talent, she began her musical career at a young age, winning the gold medal at the Canadian Music Festival when she was sixteen years old. Soon after, she returned to Philadelphia to study at the Curtis Institute of Music. Geoffrey O’Hara, the well known Canadian composer and musician, who was a friend of Mrs. Posno, once described her in the London Free Press: “One of the very infrequent sopranos who sing in the correct Italian tradition. She fits into the matrix of perfection seldom achieved.” She was chosen to sing the lead soprano in Handel’s Messiah conducted by Sir Ernest MacMillan in 1949 and again in 1950. She married the late William Posno in 1958 and moved to St. Petersburg, Florida. Mr. Posno was himself a singer. In addition to concertizing both in St. Petersburg and on tour around the U.S. and Canada, they helped found the Bel Canto Opera Company in St. Petersburg. The Bel Canto Opera Company was a forerunner to the St. Petersburg Opera Company. They produced and sang in many operas through the years, including Aida, Madame Butterfly, La Traviata and Tosca. They also soloed in numerous masses, oratorios and requiems including Mozart’s Coronation Mass, Bach’s St. Matthew’s Passion, Haydn’s The Creation and Faure’s Requiem. Mr. and Mrs. Posno built Posno Flowers in 1961, which became one of the largest flower shops in St. Petersburg, a fixture in the city for over twenty-five years. Mrs. Posno moved back to London in her later years, but continued to teach voice, both in London and in St. Petersburg, mentoring and coaching vocal students in both cities. She conducted master classes at St. Petersburg College and led the St. Jude’s Cathedral Arts Choir. She sang and gave concerts well into her 80’s and gave master classes in voice into her 90’s. She is survived by her daughter, Trudi Di Trolio, son-in-law, Frank Di Trolio, two granddaughters, Laura Di Trolio and Elisa Di Trolio. She was the proud great-grandmother of nine year old, Will Schmidt. Special thanks to the dedicated and caring staff at Arbor Trace Special Care Center. The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at Holy Family Parish, 777 Valetta Street, London, on Friday, October 3, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. with visitation one hour prior. Although Mrs. Posno loved flowers and appreciated flowers at every occasion, she would have also appreciated a donation made in her name to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer Outreach Services of McCormick Home (London, Ontario) or your local Humane Society. Online condolences may be made at www.westviewfuneralchapel.com
For more information about this obituary visit http://www.westviewfuneralchapel.com.