Teresa Berganza

Biography

Born: March 16, 1935; Madrid, Spain  
Mezzo-soprano Teresa Berganza's career always had something of a Spanish flavor to it, even though she excelled in Mozart and Rossini roles and other elements of the traditional repertory. She consistently championed Spanish music, from zarzuela (the Spanish musical theater genre), to the songs of Granados and Falla. She also sang the title role of Carmen frequently, bringing her own unique sense of the character (as well as extensive research, Read more much of it in Spain, observing Spanish gypsy women) to both stage and recordings. A musician of unusual breadth and ability, Berganza was an accomplished pianist and organist, and even studied conducting and composition. Her voice, which had an impressive upper extension, managed to cross boundaries as well: in 1960 she was offered the role of Violetta -- a mainstay of the soprano repertory -- in Verdi's La traviata at La Scala in Milan.

Berganza studied at the Madrid Conservatory, under Lola Rodriguez Aragon, who herself studied with Elisabeth Schumann. She credits her teacher with the complete process of her development, from a raw talent to a polished artist; throughout her career, she continued to study with Aragon, developing interpretations or working out minor vocal problems. Berganza made her professional debut in 1956 at the Madrid Athenaeum in Schumann's song cycle Frauenliebe und -Leben, and made her operatic debut at the Aix-in-Provence Festival as Dorabella in Cosě fan tutte. She made her Glyndebourne debut in 1958 as Cherubino.

In the same year, she made her U.S. debut in Dallas, singing the comprimario role of Neris in a production of Medea. The Medea was Maria Callas, and Berganza later declared that she never learned as much about musical drama and stage discipline as from Callas, who treated her "like a younger sister," even insisting that Berganza be allowed to portray Neris as a young woman close to Medea's own age, rather than an older, matronly figure, as was customary. Berganza made her Covent Garden debut as Rosina in 1960; throughout the 1960s and early 1970s she sang mostly Rossini and Mozart. She made her Met debut as Cherubino in 1967.

Berganza first sang Carmen in 1977, and described it later as a deeply liberating experience -- personally as well as musically. In preparing the role, she visited Seville to observe gypsy women, read the original novel by Prosper Merimee, and studied the score deeply. She developed her own perceptions of Carmen: she was a free spirit within a restrictive culture, but far from being a prostitute or a tramp, and even possessing a certain sweetness. While many critics applauded her presentation, others found it lacking in blood and guts -- too "ladylike." (Berganza countered this with her observation that, far from being the flamboyant, hand-on-the-hip, promiscuous creatures of popular thinking, real Spanish gypsy women in fact follow a fairly rigid standard of decorum.) She brought the same kind of original thinking to the role of Zerlina in Don Giovanni, and in the famous Joseph Losey film, she sang her as a fully mature and sensual young woman, rather than a simple and bedazzled girl.

Berganza was also a prominent recitalist, specializing in Spanish song. Among her recordings, her Rosina (one of the most beautiful on record), and her collection of Spanish songs on Claves are both outstanding. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 100 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Opera Gold: 100 Great Tracks
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002503602 Release Date: 06/03/2016   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Umberto Giordano  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  Marilyn Horne,  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Mirella Freni  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Henry Lewis,  Richard Bonynge,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  John Alldis Choir,  Wandsworth School Boys' Choir,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $21.99
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  • 2.
    The Decca Sound [Repackaged Edition]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002434502 Release Date: 01/29/2016   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Manuel de Falla,  Claude Debussy,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Enrique Granados  ... 
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza,  Alfredo Campoli,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Cecilia Bartoli  ... 
    Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet,  Ataulfo Argenta,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Vladimir Ashkenazy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $181.49
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  • 3.
    111: The Collector's Editions [111 CDs]
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002422702 Release Date: 12/11/2015   Number of Discs: 111
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Maurice Ravel,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Igor Oistrakh,  Sviatoslav Richter,  Martha Argerich  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Daniel Barenboim,  Lorin Maazel,  Franz Konwitschny  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Amadeus Quartet,  Orchestre de Paris  ... 
    CD: $325.49
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  • 4.
    The History of Classical Music in 24 Hours
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002403602 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 24
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Pérotin,  Guillaume de Machaut,  John Dunstable  ... 
    Performer:  Konrad Ragossnig,  Charles [Tenor Vocals] Daniels,  Susan Gritton,  Trevor Pinnock  ... 
    Conductor:  Pater Godehard Joppich,  David Munrow,  Josef Ulsamer,  Bruno Turner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Early Music Consort of London,  Ulsamer-Collegium,  Hamburger Bläserkreis für Alte Musik  ... 
    CD: $75.49
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  • 5.
    Vivaldi: Gloria; Magnificat
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 551693 Release Date: 08/28/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
    CD: $12.99
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  • 6.
    Karajan - The Opera Recordings
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002328102 Release Date: 07/31/2015   Number of Discs: 70
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Christoph W. Gluck,  Franz Lehár,  Franz von Suppé  ... 
    Performer:  Heinz Zednik,  Christine Barbaux,  Katia Ricciarelli,  José Van Dam  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Paris Opera Chorus,  Schöneberg Boys Choir  ... 
    CD: $279.49
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  • 7.
    Manuel de Falla - When the Fire Burns, Nights in the Gardens of Spain
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2061108 Release Date: 05/26/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Manuel de Falla
    Performer:  Alicia De Larrocha,  Teresa Berganza,  Nicanor Zabaleta,  Justino Diaz
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Montreal Symphony Orchestra
    DVD: $24.99
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  • 8.
    100 Classical Masterworks
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002188102 Release Date: 01/06/2015   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Edvard Grieg,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Lorin Maazel,  Neeme Järvi,  Herbert von Karajan,  Carlo Maria Giulini  ... 
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel,  Neeme Järvi,  Herbert von Karajan,  Carlo Maria Giulini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bolshoi Theater Violin Ensemble,  Ansbach Bach Week Soloists Union,  Salzburg Mozarteum Camerata Academica  ... 
    CD: $29.99
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  • 9.
    Great Italian Operas - Tosca, Falstaff, Il Barbiere Di Siviglia / Molinari-Pradelli, Giulini [6-CD Set]
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5131 Release Date: 10/28/2014   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gioachino Rossini
    Performer:  Howell Glynne,  Noreen Berry,  Rhydderch Davies,  Tito Gobbi  ... 
    Conductor:  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli,  Carlo Maria Giulini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $48.99
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  • 10.
    Rossini: L'italiana In Algeri / Varviso, Berganza, Corena
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 121235 Release Date: 09/09/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini
    Performer:  Paolo Montarsolo,  Teresa Berganza,  Mitě Truccato Pace,  Giuliana Tavolaccini  ... 
    Conductor:  Silvio Varviso
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Florence Maggio Musicale Orchestra,  Florence Maggio Musicale Chorus
    CD: $29.99
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  • 11.
    Mozart: Complete Edition
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 1116167 Release Date: 09/02/2014   Number of Discs: 170
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johann Christian Bach
    Performer:  Margaret Urquhart,  Pieter-Jan Belder,  Marten Boeken,  Remy Baudet  ... 
    Conductor:  Jaap ter Linden,  Paul Freeman,  János Ferencsik,  Kurt Masur  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Mozart Academy,  Musica Amphion,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $224.99
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  • 12.
    The Early Domingo
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 975792 Release Date: 08/26/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Jacques Halévy  ... 
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Georgetta Psaros,  John McCaw,  Franklyn Whiteley  ... 
    Conductor:  Edward Downes,  Nello Santi,  Sherrill Milnes,  James Levine  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  John Alldis Choir  ... 
    CD: $14.99
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  • 13.
    Rossini: Il Barbiere di Siviglia, La Cenerentola, L'italiana in Algeri, La Donna del Lago, Mose
    Label: Bravissimo Opera Library   Catalog: 9920 Release Date: 07/08/2014   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza,  Ornella Rovero,  Nicola Monti,  Mario Petri  ... 
    Conductor:  Mario Rossi,  Piero Bellugi,  Claudio Abbado,  Wolfgang Sawallisch  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Naples Teatro San Carlo Chorus,  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Turin  ... 
    Recommendation
    On sale! $33.98
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  • 14.
    Rafael Kubelik - The Symphony Edition [23-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002054802 Release Date: 06/24/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Robert Schumann,  Antonín Dvorák,  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Helen Donath,  Teresa Berganza,  Wieslaw Ochman,  Thomas Stewart  ... 
    Conductor:  Rafael Kubelik
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $108.49
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  • 15.
    Erato - 50 CD Collection
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 46441 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Tomaso Albinoni,  Giuseppe Tartini,  Georg Philipp Telemann,  Giuseppe Torelli  ... 
    Performer:  Maurice André,  Pierre Pierlot,  Paul Hongne,  Jacques Chambon  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Jean-François Paillard,  Frigyes Sándor,  Kent Nagano  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ens.,  Paillard Chamber Orchestra,  Vienna Soloists  ... 
    On sale! $299.98
    CD: $230.49
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  • 16.
    Mozart: Operas / Otto Klemperer [11-CD Set]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 43782 Release Date: 03/26/2013   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Margaret Price,  Yvonne Minton,  Sir Geraint Evans,  Luigi Alva  ... 
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  John Alldis Choir,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Chorus  ... 
    Recommendation
    On sale! $49.98
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  • 17.
    100 Best Operetta
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 972635 Release Date: 11/19/2012   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Various,  Franz Lehár,  Carl Zeller,  Johann Strauss Jr.  ... 
    Performer:  Mady Mesplé,  Régine Crespin,  Hermann Prey,  Victoria de los Angeles  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 18.
    Solti Conducts The Mozart Operas [15-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001745402 Release Date: 10/16/2012   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Tom Krause,  Arthur Davies,  Gabriel Bacquier,  Pilar Lorengar  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus,  London Opera Chorus  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $63.49
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  • 19.
    Michel Plasson & L'Opera Francais [38-CD Set]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 36363 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 38
    Composer:  Albéric Magnard,  Jules Massenet,  Charles Gounod,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Performer:  Nadine Denize,  Gary Lakes,  José Van Dam,  Hildegard Behrens  ... 
    Conductor:  Michel Plasson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toulouse Capitole Orchestra,  Orféon Donostiarra,  Toulouse Capitole Chorus  ... 
    CD: $121.99
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  • 20.
    Mozart: La Finta Semplice / Hager, Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94374 Release Date: 07/31/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Thomas Moser,  Robert Lloyd,  Robert Holl,  Teresa Berganza  ... 
    Conductor:  Leopold Hager
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra
    Recommendation
    CD: $17.99
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  • 21.
    Opera 2012
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001675802 Release Date: 05/08/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Umberto Giordano,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Andrea Bocelli,  Anna Netrebko,  Jonas Kaufmann,  Cecilia Bartoli  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Fabio Luisi,  Antonio Pappano,  Giovanni Antonini  ... 
    CD: $21.99
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  • 22.
    Rossini: Operas / Claudio Abbado [9-CD Collector's Edition]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001676502 Release Date: 05/08/2012   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini
    Performer:  Luigi Roni,  Stefania Malagú,  Renato Cesari,  Enzo Dara  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Ambrosian Opera Chorus,  Prague Philharmonic Chorus  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 23.
    Falla: Siete Canciones Populares Espanolas, La Vida Breve, El Amor Brujo / Bream, Reiner, Mata
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 35636 Release Date: 04/26/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Manuel de Falla
    Performer:  Felix Lavilla,  Teresa Berganza,  Julian Bream,  Nati Mistral  ... 
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner,  Eduardo Mata,  Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Spanish National Orchestra  ... 
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 24.
    Label: Urania Records   Catalog: WS121.159 Release Date: 03/01/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Mirella Freni,  Luigi Alva,  Graziella Sciutti  ... 
    Conductor:  Piero Bellugi,  Richard Bonynge
    CD: $29.99
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  • 25.
    Best Of José Carreras
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 7317012 Release Date: 02/14/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Charles Gounod,  Georges Bizet,  Jacques Halévy  ... 
    Performer:  José Carreras,  Teresa Berganza
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Jacques Delacôte,  Michel Plasson,  Riccardo Muti  ... 
    CD: $7.99
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