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Meet our Relatives - Christopherson Branch

Eileen Emily CHRISTOPHERSON Keller
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Meet our Relatives
Oddstad Branch

Revised: October 11, 2011

Leona nee Oddstad Gordon
Soprano Opera Singer

Famous opera star who toured all over the world giving concerts.
Died at 49 of Cancer.
A very special thanks to Vern Austman for helping Roy and the relatives get to know Leona!

Marriage: Marcus Gordon (see end of page-APR 2012)
From cousin Indira
I went to redacted confirmation at church in Connecticut. Leona & I drove from NYC. At one point Leona & I were singing Amazing Grace w congregation...while looking at each other. "Uncle Herman" Lowen whom she married became dear friend. When Leona passed Herman married Barbara Shuttleworth w whom I'd sung shows. redacted

Leona who was married to Marcus Gordon, parents of Andrea & Marsh. Oddstad or Stoneson maiden name?

Leona's Siblings were:
1. Andres Fjelsted Sveinbornson Oddstad a.k.a. Andy Oddstad
2. Elma Mendola
3. Sylvia Oddstad Haskins, worked as a substitute teacher in San Mateo County,
and is a very fine artist.[19]
4. Must be missing Pearl Farkas, was a registered nurse working as a hospital administrator at Devonshire-Oaks
Convalescent Home in Redwood City. Pearl lived in Redwood City [1].

Leona is Aunt to Sandy and Elena.
Leona is Roy Christopherson's Cousin, 1x Removed, if listed properly.
She is Joe Stoneson's Niece, through his sister, Stephania known as Emma, Joe's other sister was Gudrun.

Season (*)5 Opera/Concert (*) Role/Part (*) Artist Name (*) U.S. Debut Role Debut
see LeonaOddstadGordon_rptOpera-id1326

1964 Der Rosenkavalier, A noble orphan Leona Gordon Cast Page† Record
see LeonaOddstadGordon_rptOpera-id1356 [View image of this cast page]

1964 Der Rosenkavalier, (Los Angeles) A noble orphan Leona Gordon Cast Page† Record
see see LeonaOddstadGordon_rptOpera-id1323

1964 Parsifal, Klingsor's Maiden Leona Gordon Cast Page† Record
see LeonaOddstadGordon_rptOpera-id1353 [View image of this cast page]

1964 Parsifal (Los Angeles) Klingsor's Maiden Leona Gordon Cast Page† Record

While they debate over at this video posting, which you could watch at YouTube,
the following may clear things up.


King And I Soundtrack CD
Principal cast includes: Yul Brynner (The King) Deborah Kerr/Marni Nixon (Anna Leonowens); Rita Moreno/Leona Gordon (Tuptim);
Music composed by Richard Rodgers. Lyrics written by Oscar Hammerstein II.

The CD starts off with the music for the "main title" of the film; and this also serves as an appetizer to whet out appetites for what's to come. "I Whistle A Happy Tune" gives us Marni Nixon singing the vocals for Deborah Kerr; the melody is infectiously catchy; this song is one of the highlights of the CD. "My Lord And Master," performed by Leona Gordon who sang the vocals for Rita Moreno, is another masterpiece with a softness to it that belies the pain Rita's character Tuptim feels because she is separated from her one true love. "The March Of The Siamese Children" is performed by the 20th Century Fox Orchestra to perfection without a single superfluous note; the melody infuses this number with an Asian flavor as well.
We Kiss In A Shadow - Leona Gordon/Reuben Fuentes
I Have Dreamed - Leona Gordon/Reuben Fuentes
?"My Lord And Master," performed by Leona Gordon who sang the vocals for Rita Moren?

According to Wikipedia, Leona Gordon sang in the movie, not Rita! [2]

Digitally remastered by Darcy M. Proper, Jen Wyler (Sony Music Studios, New York, New York).

Leona Gordon Lowin Memorial Fund (our Leona?)
Gail Dobish, Opera Singer
Oshkosh native soprano singer Gail Dobish graduated from Oshkosh High School (1972), Ripon College (1976) and Julliard School of Music. Her awards include winner of the Leona Gordon Lowin Memorial Fund, 1981 Metropolitan Opera National Auditions, reci...
Lowin, Leona Gordon, d. 1977 (Singer) 1977

Leona Gordon was hired to augment the singing of Rita Moreno [1].

Leona Gordon listed at The Internet Movie Database, except christopherson.net has more info. [3]

Leona is also listed on Ebay, if you wish to buy the Ads shown to right.

ADDITIONAL INFO sent to Roy's sister in OCT, 2010
10.     We Kiss In A Shadow - Leona Gordon/Reuben Fuentes   

11.     I Have Dreamed - Leona Gordon/Reuben Fuentes

Non Singing Voice: In the 1956 film, Marni Nixon dubbed Deborah Kerr, who played Anna, Leona Gordon dubbed Rita Moreno, who played Tuptim (Moreno did her own singing for "Small House of Uncle Thomas"), and Rueben Fuentes dubbed Carlos Rivas, who played Lun Tha. The 1999 film also includes some non singing voices, noted below.

It was an event of considerable splendor: Had the performers been in costume, it could have been called a “spectacle” without any irony or exaggeration. There was the Municipal Chorus, the State College Chorus, most of the San Francisco Symphony, four soloists, a narrator, and the composer, Marc Lavry, flown over from Israel, to conduct. The Opera House was packed. I don’t feel moved to “criticize” it, as I might if it was one of Beethoven’s last Quartets or a Webern Sonata. The music was sumptuous, if not very deep; everybody committed himself commendably; Leona Gordon as Esther was lovely and sang well and with more identification with the role than is usual with oratorio
soloists; Howard Thurman, whom many of us had known and loved when he was here as co-pastor of Friendship Church, made a magnificent Narrator — and why shouldn’t he have? He has one of the most stirring speaking voices in America; so stirring, in fact, that he came close to\ stealing the show.

At one point, just before Esther’s solo at the climax, there was some delicate, sensitive musical writing, a haunting phrase passed back and forth from one soloing instrument to another, and at the end, after what seemed innumerable climaxes with full brass, cymbals and tympani, the whole orchestra and chorus got going at once, all out. All we needed was the cannon from the 1812 Overture. The audience just loved it. [4]

Better price
Here she is singing

free on YouTube


The King and I--a distinguished, beautiful score laced with tenderness and sorrow.......2007-04-08
The King And I soundtrack is presented magnificently on this excellent 76 minute CD.

"My Lord And Master," performed by Leona Gordon who sang the vocals for Rita Moreno, is another masterpiece with a softness to it that belies the pain Rita's character Tuptim feels because she is separated from her one true love.

No Blu-Ray version of "The King and I" out yet (Amazon on SEPT 2011)


Following graciously scanned and passed to here by Sue nee Pashley Graham

Leona Gordon
APR 2012: Roy just spotted a card from Leona Gordon Image 3723 featuring Marcia Lee as a baby, from Marcus and Leona Gordon.
Fronm the Sig & Hank Christopherson Collection

Leona Gordon
Daughter of Andres Fjeldsted Oddstad
and Stephanie Ingjibjorg Maria Oddstad

leona Oddstad Gordon
Leona Gordon

For more photos see Stoneson Clan page
(Leona is in photo with Eileen and Dottie.
and Vern Austman's Oddstad PDF