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Berganza, Teresa

Picture: Berganza, Teresa

Madrid. The names of the most important international festivals and the most prestigious opera houses frame the profession of this mezzosoprano born in Madrid and whose performances of Monteverdi, Bach, Mozart, Haendel, Rossini, Purcell, Offenbach, Bizet or Massenet are considered historical references. Together with these authors, the names of the lieder repertoire find an exceptional vehicle in the voice of Teresa Berganza, performer without comparison of Schubert, Schumann, Mahler, Wolf, Richard Strauss, Fauré or Mussorgsky. Her refined technique and extraordinary diction allows her to confront the performance of french, german, italian, russian, brazilian or portuguese Songs, without forgetting the spanish repertoire (Falla, Turina, Granados). Musically educated at the Madrid Real Conservatory of Music, she studied voice in depth with Lola Rodriguez de Aragón (herself a student of Elisabeth Schumann and representative of the 'lieder' school in Spain). In her biographies, Teresa Berganza emphasizes the influence of her father in her artistic career. In the fifties, she begins her performances in Madrid and she participates in numerous zarzuela recordings with Ataúlfo Argenta. Since her debut at the 1957 Aix-en-Provence Festival, Berganza becomes a mythical performer for the mezzosoprano roles of the operas by Mozart and Rossini. Her international activity has made her to share the stage with artists as Maria Callas, Boris Christoff, Titto Gobbi, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Teresa Stich Randall and so outstanding conductors as Herbert von Karajan, George Solti, Claudius Abbado, Karl Böhm, Carlo Maria Giulini and Daniel Barenboim. Awarded by her performances and recordings many times (including the 'Great Prize of the Record' in 6 occasions), she is also Commandeur aux Arts et Lettres of France and she has been named 'Académica de Número' at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid. Berganza was distinguished in 1982, by the King of Spain, with the Gold medal to the Merit of the Fine Arts. At the moment, she is Head Professor of the Alfredo Kraus Voice Chair, sponsored by the Fundación Ramon Areces at the Reina Sofía School of Music.

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