Tag Archives: soprano

Beverly Sills

Born Belle Miriam Silverman in 1929 in Brooklyn to immigrant parents she acquired the nickname “Bubbles” as a child. Its shadow stayed with her as a friendly reminder of her early days. She started singing when she was three and began vocal lessons at seven. She adopted her professional name Beverly Sills at nine. She…


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Lina Bruna Rasa

The life of Lina Bruna Rasa (1907-84) is one of opera’s saddest tales. A phenom, she made her debut in 1925 at age 18. Her last performance was in 1942 when she was 34. She was one year younger than Zinka Milanov, yet the two sopranos seem of different eras. Milanov sang at the Met…


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Celestina Boninsegna

Celestina Boninsegna (1877-1947) was an Italian soprano best known for her facility with Verdi’s great soprano parts. Born in Reggio Emilia she was something of a vocal prodigy. Her first appearance on stage was as Norina in Donizetti’s Don Pasquale; she was 15. Following the completion of her vocal studies at the Conservatorio Gioachino Rossini in…


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Victoria de los Ángeles

Victoria de los Ángeles (1923-2005) was a Catalan soprano who had a voice of haunting beauty. Though most of her roles were the mainstays of the Italian soprano repertory, she had a rich middle and lower register that allowed her to sing mezzo roles such as Rosina in Rossini Barber and the title role of…


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Vissi d’Arte

Giacomo Puccini knew as much about the workings of the theater as anyone whoever entered one. Accordingly, his mature works are models of dramatic cohesion. He lashed his librettists like galley slaves until they gave him scripts that satisficed his very high standards. These standards are why he produced only 12 operas in 40 years…


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Rosanna Carteri

Rosanna Carteri (1930-2020) was an Italian soprano who achieved great renown at a very young age. Born in Verona, she was raised in Padua. She began vocal studies before she was a teenager. By 14 she was learning complete roles under the tutelage of Ferruccio Cusinati who was the chorus master of the Verona Arena…


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Megan Marie Hart

Megan Marie Hart (b 1983) is an American soprano based in Germany. [Thanks to a German reader (Franco) who alerted me to Ms Hart’s impressive voice] Born in Eugene Oregon, she studied with Mignon Dunn and then with Marilyn Horne. She won Horne’s Song Competition in 2010. She began her career more than a decade…


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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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