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Fiorenza Cossotto (born April 22, 1935) is an Italian mezzo-soprano.

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Life and careerEdit

Born on April 22, 1935, in Crescentino,[1] Province of Vercelli, Italy, Cossotto attended the Turin Academy of Music and studied with Mercedes Llopart. She made her operatic debut as Sister Matilde in the world premiere of Poulenc's Dialogues of the Carmelites in 1957 at La Scala in Milan. Her international debut was at the 1958 Wexford Festival as Giovanna Seymour in Donizetti's Anna Bolena. Her Covent Garden debut was in 1959 as Neris in Cherubini's Médée, with Maria Callas in the title role. A 1962 performance of the lead in La favorita at La Scala led to wider fame and she made her American debut in the same role in 1964 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and as Amneris at the Metropolitan Opera in 1968.

Between the seasons of 1967–68 and 1988–89, Cossotto gave 148 performances at the Met (exclusively leading roles). She was considered an expert in portrayals of major mezzo/contralto roles in mid-19th-century Italian opera such as Favorita (La favorita), Amneris (Aida), Azucena (Il trovatore), Eboli (Don Carlos), Preziosilla (La forza del destino), Maddalena (Maddalena), Ulrica (Un ballo in maschera) and Laura (La Gioconda). She also portrayed Carmen, Mozart's Cherubino, Urbain in Meyerbeer's Les Huguenots, Bellini's Romeo and Marfa in Khovantschina.

In 2005, Cossotto celebrated her 70th birthday with a performance of Suor Angelica at the Théâtre Royal in Liège, Belgium.

Cossotto was married to the Italian bass Ivo Vinco for over 40 years (ending in divorce). They had a son.

According to the book Opera, "She [Cossotto] and Giulietta Simionato were the leading Italian mezzo-sopranos of the 1960s and 1970s. She [Cossotto] won plaudits in the annals of operatic history for her wonderful vocal timbre, her perfect singing technique, and the ease with which she could master different registers. Besides singing the great mezzo roles, she also took the outstanding alto parts of the Italian operatic repertoire."

Apart from mezzo and alto roles, Cossotto also sang soprano roles traditionally sung by mezzos such as Santuzza (Cavalleria Rusticana) and Adalgisa (Norma).

She sang Adalgisa next to the Normas of Callas, Joan Sutherland, Montserrat Caballé, Leyla Gencer, and Elinor Ross[2]

Her repertory at the Met included Amneris, Eboli, Adalgisa, Santuzza, Azucena, Dalila, Carmen (only on tour and in outdoor park concerts), Principessa (Adriana Lecouvreur) and Mistress Quickly (which she added in 1985, singing with Giuseppe Taddei as Falstaff).

Studio discographyEdit

Year Work
Role
Conductor
Cast members
Label
1957 La sonnambula,
Teresa
Antonino Votto
Maria Callas
Nicola Monti
EMI Classics
1957 Andrea Chénier,
Bersi
Gianandrea Gavazzeni
Renata Tebaldi
Mario del Monaco
Decca
1958 Madama Butterfly,
Suzuki
Tullio Serafin
Renata Tebaldi
Carlo Bergonzi
Decca Records
1959 La Gioconda,
Laura
Antonino Votto
Maria Callas
Piero Cappuccilli
EMI Classics
1959 The Marriage of Figaro,
Cherubino
Carlo Maria Giulini
Giuseppe Taddei
Elisabeth Schwarzkopf
EMI Classics
1959 Requiem (Verdi),
Mezzo-Soprano
Tullio Serafin
Boris Christoff
Eugenio Fernandi
Testament Records
1961 Don Carlos,
Eboli
Gabriele Santini
Boris Christoff
Antonietta Stella
Deutsche Grammophon
1963 Il trovatore,
Azucena
Tullio Serafin
Carlo Bergonzi
Antonietta Stella
Deutsche Grammophon
1964 Rigoletto,
Maddalena
Rafael Kubelík
Renata Scotto
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
Deutsche Grammophon
1965 Cavalleria rusticana,
Santuzza
Herbert von Karajan
Carlo Bergonzi
Giangiacomo Guelfi
Deutsche Grammophon
1967 Medea,
Neris
Lamberto Gardelli
Gwyneth Jones
Bruno Prevedi
Decca Records
1967 Requiem (Verdi),
Mezzo-Soprano
Herbert von Karajan
Leontyne Price
Luciano Pavarotti
Deutsche Grammophon
(audio and video)
1968 Cavalleria rusticana,
Santuzza
Herbert von Karajan
Gianfranco Cecchele
Giangiacomo Guelfi
Deutsche Grammophon
(Film)
1970 Requiem (Verdi),
Mezzo-Soprano
Sir John Barbirolli
Montserrat Caballé
Jon Vickers
EMI Classics
1970 Il trovatore,
Azucena
Zubin Mehta
Leontyne Price
Plácido Domingo
RCA Records
1972 Norma,
Adalgisa
Carlo Felice Cillario
Montserrat Caballé
Plácido Domingo
RCA Records
1973 Suor Angelica,
La zia Principessa
Bruno Bartoletti
Katia Ricciarelli
Maria Grazia Allegri
RCA Records
1974 Un giorno di regno,
Marchesa del Poggio
Lamberto Gardelli
Jessye Norman
José Carreras
Philips Records
1974 Aida,
Amneris
Riccardo Muti
Montserrat Caballé
Plácido Domingo
EMI Classics
1974 La favorite,
Leonora
Richard Bonynge
Luciano Pavarotti
Gabriel Bacquier
Decca Records
1975 Un ballo in maschera,
Ulrica
Riccardo Muti
Martina Arroyo
Plácido Domingo
EMI Classics
1976 Macbeth,
Lady Macbeth
Riccardo Muti
Sherrill Milnes
José Carreras
EMI Classics
1976 La forza del destino,
Preziosilla
James Levine
Leontyne Price
Plácido Domingo
RCA Records
1978 Tancredi,
Tancredi
Gabriele Ferro
Lella Cuberli
Nicola Ghiuselev
Warner Fonit
1978 Arie di Verdi,
Abigaille (Nabucco)
Elvira (Ernani)
Medora(Il Corsaro)
Eboli (Don Carlo)
Amelia (Un ballo in maschera)
Nello Santi
Ivo Vinco
Warner Fonit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Francesco Sanvitale, La romanza italiana da salotto, Studi, tesi, ricerche, 3 (Turin: EDT, 2002), p. 454.
  2. ^ http://www.archiviostoricolafenice.org

External linksEdit