From Development server
13 May 2022

Spanish Mezzo Teresa Berganza, 87, Whose Charisma and Virtuosity Shone in Opera and Recital, has Died

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A CHARISMATIC, brilliantly accomplished artist in opera and recital, Berganza achieved stardom in her twenties with her performances of Mozart and Rossini. She made her European stage debut as Dorabella at Aix-en-Provence in 1957 and first sang in the U.S. at Dallas Opera, as Isabella in L’Italiana in Algeri, in 1958. A deft actress and an immaculate exponent of florid music, Berganza was especially admired at the Glyndebourne Festival, where she made her company debut as Cherubino, in 1958, and at Covent Garden, where she bowed as Rossini’s Rosina in 1960.

Berganza made her Met debut in 1967, in a revival of Le Nozze di Figaro. Despite admiring reviews, Berganza sang only fifteen performances for the Met—nine as Cherubino and six as Rosina in Barbiere. She made her San Francisco Opera debut in 1968, as Rosina, and returned there for La Cenerentola (1969), Così Fan Tutte (1970) and Carmen (1981). 

Berganza had one of her greatest career successes with her first Carmen, at the 1977 Edinburgh Festival, with Claudio Abbado conducting her and Plácido Domingo in a staging by Piero Faggioni. The Festival offered Bizet’s opera in the intimate King’s Theatre, a venue that Berganza believed showed her voice, which was not overly large, to its best advantage. Berganza’s film and television appearances included Zerlina in Joseph Losey’s 1979 movie of Don Giovanni, conducted by Lorin Maazel.

A full obituary will be published in a future issue of OPERA NEWS. spacer 

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