Tag Archives: soprano

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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Montserrat Caballé 1933-2018

The great Catalan soprano died Oct 6. She came to international fame when she substituted for Marilyn Horne in a performance Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia at Carnegie Hall. Though her voice was basically lyric in character, she was able by virtue of a secure vocal technique to sing  bel canto roles, the big Verdi parts, and…


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Zinka Milanov – A Reminscence

The article below was written by Raymond Beegle who served as an accompanist for Zinka Milanov (1906-89) during the years after she retired from performing and devoted herself to teaching. He was also her friend. His moving appreciation of the great soprano was originally published in the Spring 1990 issue of Opera Quarterly to mark her (then) recent death….


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Alida Ferrarini

Alida Ferrarini (1946-2013) was a soprano who specialized in the lighter roles of the operatic repertory. Gilda, Adina, and Michaela were perfect fits for her voice. She also sang baroque and 18th century roles. She sang in San Francisco, but otherwise limited her performances to Europe. She may be best known for her singing of…


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Antonina Nezhdanova

Antonina Nezhdanova (1873-1950) was a Ukrainian soprano who made her career in the last years of Imperial Russia and then continued after the 1917 revolution as a singer and teacher in the Soviet Union. She was the greatest Russian soprano of her era. She had a high lyric voice which negotiated all the obstacles of…


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The 10 Best Sopranos of the 20th Century

This was a tough piece to write. With all the great sopranos of different vocal types active in the 20th century, picking just 10 is a daunting task. But I’m giving it a try regardless. I have excluded the high sopranos like Tetrazzini and Galli-Curci, but I still have a surplus of riches that my…


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Claudia Muzio

Claudia Muzio (1889-1036) was one of opera’s greatest stars during the first part of the 20th century. Born in Pavia, she was the daughter of an operatic stage manager. He moved the family to London when Claudia was 2 years old to practice his craft at Covent Garden. Accordingly, she became fluent in English as…


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Ebben? Ne andrò lontana

Alfredo Catalani (1854-93) is best known for his opera La Wally. And the opera would barely survive were it not for the soprano aria which is the subject of this piece. It occurs near the end of the 1st act. Wally has been ordered by her father to marry a baritone or leave home. Naturally, she…


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Recording of the Week – Birgit Nilsson 10 CD Set

Birgit Nilsson (1918-2005) was one of the vocal marvels of the 20th century. No recording, and she made many, can come close to the impact she made in performance. A voice of limitless power and reserve, she could be heard over the loudest orchestral din. Yet she could modulate her tone to whatever the score…


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