Tag Archives: soprano

Leyla Gencer

Leyla Gencer (1928-2008) was a Turkish soprano who made most of her career in Italy. She was a lirico-spinto who like Maria Callas could sing just about anything in the Italian repertory. Unlike Callas, because of an outstanding technique she was able to do so for a long career. To my ears she had a…


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Raina Kabaivanska

A regular reader asked why I had never written about Raina Kabaivanska. I had no reason apart from inadvertence and said I would put something together about her. This is it. Ms Kabaivanska (born 1934) is a Bulgarian soprano now retired. She currently devotes her time to teaching. She was a lirico-spinto (with more emphasis…


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The Verdi Soprano – Pace, Pace, Mio Dio!

Verdi wrote soprano parts for a variety of vocal types. The roles of Abigaille (Nabucco), Violetta (Traviata), and Leonora (Trovatore and Forza) have quite different requirements. The first asks for a spinto capable of both forceful declamation and great agility, but floated high notes and a velvet tone are not needed. Traviata seems as though…


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Angel Blue

Angel Blue is a young (b 1984) American soprano who opened this season at the Met as Bess in Gershwin’s opera. Thus far she has sung 31 performances at the New York house all in La Bohème or Porgy and Bess. Oddly for such a gifted singer who is headed for the pinnacle of opera’s…


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O Mio Babbino Caro

Puccini’s only comic opera, Gianni Schicchi, moves like a torrent. In its skill and vitality it’s up to the best of Rossini and is evocative of Verdi’s Falstaff. But no matter the pace, the master from Lucca could, and seemingly was compelled, to write a great tune for his leading lady. And unlike Tosca’s Vissi…


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Hilde Zadek

Hilde Zadek (1917-2019) had one of the most interesting lives of the past century. Interesting has its downside. For example, in medicine about the worst that can happen to you is to be an interesting case. Born in Bromberg when it was in Prussia (today it’s in Poland), she grew up in Stettin which like…


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Lisette Oropesa

Lisette Oropesa (b 1983) is an American soprano who recently has been making news on the world’s opera stages. This year she was awarded both the Beverly Sills and Richard Tucker prizes. She’s on the cover of this month’s Opera News. Inside there is a six page spread devoted to her career. She’s been associated…


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Depuis le Jour – Redux

I’ve done this before, but decided to have another go at it – NK Opera has a number of one hit wonders. French Composer Gustave Charpentier (1860-1956) is one of the few half hit wonders. He was a French proto-hippy whose worldview is perfectly expressed in his first opera Louise. The title character is the…


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Maria Carbone

Maria Carbone (1908-2002) was mentioned in my last post about Nicola Fusati. It turns out that she’s another singer with a medical connection. She studied medicine for 4 years before switching to vocal studies. I don’t know what university she attended when a medical student. Her training in singing was at the Conservatorio di San…


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Renata Tebaldi

In my post on the 10 Best Sopranos of the 20th Century I failed to include Renata Tebaldi (1922-2004). Inadvertance is the only reason I can offer for her omission. She came to prominence in the years following the second World War. Toscanini hired her to perform in the reopening of La Scala and her…


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