Thursday, April 17, 2014
Melita Powell Rovig -- A Sour Note
During the years 1910-1912 Rovig sang with the New York Metropolitan Opera Company under the stage name "Horatia Powell." Relocating to Los Angeles, the retired singer started manufacturing an exclusive line of cosmetics targeted at an upscale clientele. In 1935, she married Charles Rovig, a 53-year-old sales manager for a liquor house. On the night of January 13, 1936, the pair was enjoying a quiet evening in their apartment at 706 South Mariposa Avenue when Rovig, 44, accused her husband of numerous marital indiscretions. A loud argument ensued in which Melita Rovig, brandishing a revolver, threatened to kill him. The liquor salesman disarmed the hysterical woman, hid the gun in a bureau drawer, and retired to bed. Shortly after daybreak, the opera singer shot the sleeping man in the stomach and chest, and turned the gun on herself. He survived long enough to notify police and give a dying declaration. In a note addressed to her sister, Melita Rovig wrote she was contemplating suicide because she feared her husband planned to leave their marriage.