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Farewell to mezzo-soprano Teresa Berganza, artist with an aristocratic singing

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Farewell to the great Spanish mezzo-soprano Teresa Berganza. The singer passed away today in Madrid at the age of 89. The family announces it with a post on facebook: “” Goodbye ‘by Rossini,’ Goodbye ‘by Teresa. I want to leave without making any noise … I don’t want public announcements, no wake, nothing. ‘he is shrewd, so I wish the same when I leave’. The whole family respects his will. Our homage will be to remember it in all its fullness and continue to enjoy it through his interpretations to always remember it “. Teresa Berganza Vargas was born in Madrid on March 16, 1933 and was one of the most refined mezzosprani of her generation for expressive intensity, stylistic mastery, perfect legate, clear diction, noble accent and extraordinary vocal technique. Rossini interpreter of the first level, she is responsible for the comedian Rossini performed in a workmanlike manner. She with Claudio Abbado she recorded in 1971 the ‘Barber of Seville’ in the critical edition of Alberto Zedda which for many marks the beginning of the Rossini renaissance. Again with Abbado in 1977 you performed a ‘Carmen’ in Edinburgh, an edition delivered the following year to the record for the Deutsche Grammophon label, unreleased in many respects. Berganza clearly explained her choice of interpretation of the famous gypsy in a letter addressed to the director of the Edinburgh Festival and attached to the record edition of the work. The result is an intimate reading of the character obtained through a process of vocal miniaturization and following all the nuances of Bizet’s writing which continually prescribes to sing softly and lightly. Among the characters always interpreted in a superb way, stand out Dorabella from ‘Cosi fan tutti’ and Cherubino from Mozart’s’ Marriage of Figaro ‘, Ruggiero dell’Alcina’ by Handel, Neris from ‘Medea’ played alongside Maria Callas, Ottavia from ‘Coronazione di Poppea’ by Monteverdi and the Rossini Rosina of the ‘Barbiere’, Angelina of the ‘Cenerentola’, Isabella of the ‘Italian in Algeri’ and the Isolero of the ‘Conte Ory’. In her career there is also a lot of liederism and a small opening to French opera (Thomas and Massenet), but never roles in the great romantic melodrama and above all in realism. A vocal intelligence and a rigor in the choice of the repertoire that allowed Berganza to sing for almost half a century with unchanged technique and aristocratic style. Berganza’s musical training was at 360 degrees, having studied as a young piano, harmony, composition, organ and cello, before devoting himself to singing with Lola Rodríguez Aragón. He made his debut in 1957 in the role of Dorabella in ‘Cosi fan tutte’ at the festival in Aix-en-Provence (France) and in the same year he was the page Isoiero in Rossini’s ‘Conte Ory’ at La Scala. United Kingdom at the Glyndebourne Festival and his debut with Maria Callas in a Medea a year later in Dallas (United States). From there, to Vienna, in 1959, together with Karajan with Mozart’s ‘The Marriage of Figaro’, then an excursion into the vocality of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries with Purcell, Monteverdi, Haendel in the early 1960s, up to belcanto, next to to the tenor Alfredo Kraus, the Metropolitan and the return to La Scala with Claudio Abbado with ‘The Marriage of Figaro’ and ‘The Barber of Seville’. He is Zerlina in a film production of Mozart’s ‘Don Giovanni’ directed by Joseph Losey and Lorin Maazel in buca. A brilliant career continued in the seventies with various stops in Salzburg, Edinburgh, at the Liceu in Barcelona, ​​directed by Karajan, Abbado, Kubelik, Giulini, and other great drumsticks. In 1992 she sang ‘Himno a la alegría’ with Giacomo Aragall, José Carreras, Montserrat Caballé and Plácido Domingo in the opening ceremony of the Games of the XXV Olympiad. You have won the Grand Prix Académie Charles Cros three times. In 1994 she became the first woman elected to the Royal Academy of Arts of Spain. In 1996 she won the Premio Nacional de Música. You have taught singing at the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía and given Master Classes all over the world. She is an artist who has been able to navigate tradition without the fear of radical modernity, with a unique intelligence in the choice of the repertoire. In an interview released on the occasion of her seventy-fifth birthday, Berganza said: “If I had let myself be carried away by what the record companies wanted, I would not have lasted even two years. The records do not excite me … Even if I have recorded almost 200. The record may be perfection, but the theater is emotion. What I like is making love with the public “.

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