Individual Details

Anna Ruth Turkel

(19 Nov 1902 - 1979)

Allison Levine wrote:

"I remember knowing that Aunt Anna was an opera singer,
but the family was always very modest about that. I
remember Aunt Anna's penthouse apartment in Palm
Beach. The dining room and painted oriental
mural on the wall. And as a young woman I did not
really appreciate her dressing room very much, but now
I understand just how fantastic is was. A large
mirrored room with a bench in the middle, and the
mirrors were doors leading to closets!"

"I heard stories of what a wonderful cook she was, but
at that time, her daughters would no longer let her

".... (I believe Anna lived in the penthouse . . . on Sutton Place)."

Time Magazin

Turkel Over Pashas

Monday, Feb. 23, 1931 Article ToolsPrintEmail The audience which gathered at the Royal Opera House in Cairo one night last week had the feeling that nothing which happened on the stage would be any more exciting than the sight of Prime Minister Ismail Sidky Pasha sitting in his box glowering at Former Prime Minister Mustafa Nahas Pasha, his bitterest political enemy, in a box just opposite. The opera was A?da, a particularly old story for Cairo. Years ago, Khedive Ismail Pasha, swollen over the success of the new Suez Canal, had commissioned Verdi to write it for the opening of that same opera house. The tunes, familiar as the Nile settings, promised no great excitement.

Then the curtain went up and soon A?da, the slave girl, started to sing. Immediately the audience forgot its hostile pashas, thought only of her. After the act she was cheered, and called back a dozen times. So excited was U. S. Minister William M. Jardine that he violated a sacred tradition of the opera house, went back stage to congratulate her. Minister Jardine knew something of her story. Though her immigrant parents had shaken their heads, Anna Turkel had left her home and the seven younger Turkels in Woonsocket. R. I., had gone to Manhattan with a nebulous notion of studying singing. To pay for her living she got a job as candy clerk in the Metropolitan Opera House. During the acts she would sneak downstairs to listen to Ponselle, Bori, Jeritza. Now, a group of Manhattanites* are financing her for three years abroad.

* Among them: Mrs. Frederick Brown, wife of the Manhattan realtor, Mrs. Ralph Jonas, wife of Director Jonas of Manufacturers' Trust Co. of New York, Banker Jules Bache, Board Chairman Ludwig Vogelstein of American Metal Co., Banker Lewis Strauss of Manhattan.

Turkel Tribe website:


Birth19 Nov 1902Woonsocket, Rhode Island, United States
Alt name1915Anna R Tirkel
Census1915Providence, Rhode Island, United States
Residence192059 Plannet Ave., Woonsocket, Rhode Island, United States
Census1930Manhattan, NY, United States
Marriage9 Feb 1937Manhattan, New York, New York, United State - Alexander W Jacobs
MarriageAft 1940Raphael "Rafie" Portugaloff - Porte
Death1979Palm Beach, Florida 33480, United States
OccupationOpera Singer - New York, New York, United States


SpouseRaphael "Rafie" Portugaloff - Porte (1902 - )
SpouseAlexander W Jacobs (1893 - )
FatherAlbert Terkel (1873 - 1926)
MotherLena Novogrodsky (1883 - 1945)
SiblingIrving Stanley Turkel (1907 - 1993)
SiblingHerbert Turkel (1905 - 2007)
SiblingEsther Keren Turkel (1908 - 1986)
SiblingFlorence Paula Turkel (1910 - 1983)
SiblingReeven Joseph Turkel (1912 - 1992)
SiblingSonia R Turkel
SiblingHope T Turkel (1922 - 2000)