Teresa Berganza


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 Così 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 26-50 of 98 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Rossini: Il Barbiere Di Siviglia / Giulini, Berganza, Alva, Corena, Vinco
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5046 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini
    Performer:  Ronald Lewis,  Fernando Corena,  Teresa Berganza,  Luigi Alva  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
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  • 27.
    Falla: La Vida Breve / Berganza, Nafe, Carreras, Pons, Navarro
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 435851 Release Date: 11/07/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Manuel de Falla
    Performer:  Ramon Contreras,  Manuel Cid,  José Carreras,  Paloma Pérez Iñigo  ... 
    Conductor:  Luis Garcia-Navarro
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Ambrosian Opera Chorus
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  • 28.
    Klemperer Edition - Mozart: Le Nozze Di Figaro
    Label: Emi Studio   Catalog: 63849 Release Date: 09/22/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Margaret Price,  Clifford Grant,  Willi Brokmeier,  Werner Hollweg  ... 
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  John Alldis Choir,  New Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 29.
    J. Strauss, Jr.: Die Fledermaus / Karajan, Gueden, Kmentt, Resnik
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 2018 Release Date: 09/13/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Franz Lehár,  Louis Ferrari,  Frederick Loewe  ... 
    Performer:  Waldemar Kmentt,  Erika Köth,  Walter Berry,  Erich Kunz  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 30.
    Puccini: Madama Butterfly / Sinopoli, Freni, Carreras
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001572002 Release Date: 07/12/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza,  Juan Pons,  Anthony Laciura,  Mark Curtis  ... 
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ambrosian Opera Chorus,  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 31.
    The Opera Album 2011
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001566102 Release Date: 06/14/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Giacomo Puccini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Alfredo Catalani  ... 
    Performer:  Bryn [Bass-Baritone Vocal] Terfel,  Anna Netrebko,  Andrea Bocelli,  Jonas Kaufmann  ... 
    Conductor:  Barry Wordsworth,  Gianandrea Noseda,  Zubin Mehta,  Antonio Pappano  ... 
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  • 32.
    Opera 2011
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 96666 Release Date: 04/19/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Antonio Caldara,  Giacomo Puccini,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Joyce DiDonato,  Edgaras Montvidas,  Philippe Jaroussky,  Anna Netrebko  ... 
    Conductor:  Kazushi Ono,  Emmanuelle Haïm,  Antonio Pappano,  Eugene Kohn  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seminario Musicale,  L'Arpeggiata
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  • 33.
    Essential Vivaldi
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 07159 Release Date: 02/15/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Christopher Parkening,  Emmanuel Pahud,  Han-Na Chang  ... 
    Conductor:  Alberto Lysy,  Iona Brown,  Richard Tognetti,  Christopher Warren-Green  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Matheus,  Virtuosi of England,  Teatro Lirico  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 34.
    Placido Domingo - The Opera Collection
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001515202 Release Date: 01/25/2011   Number of Discs: 26
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Pietro Mascagni  ... 
    Performer:  Geoffrey Pogson,  Jean Lainé,  Alicia Nafé,  Richard Amner  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Ion Marin,  Georges Prêtre,  Giuseppe Sinopoli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $98.49
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  • 35.
    Mozart: Cosi Fan Tutte / Solti, Lorengar, Berganza, Krause
    Label: London/Decca Grand Opera Series   Catalog: 430101 Release Date: 01/18/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Jane Berbié,  Pilar Lorengar,  Gabriel Bacquier,  Tom Krause  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
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  • 36.
    50 Best Opera
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 57531 Release Date: 06/29/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss,  Gustave Charpentier  ... 
    Performer:  Cornelius Hauptmann,  Margareta Lilowa,  Carolyn Watkinson,  Ursula Kunz  ... 
    Conductor:  Roger Norrington,  Bernard Haitink,  Rafael Kubelik,  Peter Schneider  ... 
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  • 37.
    Liederabend 1985 / Teresa Berganza
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 93705 Release Date: 05/25/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ernani Braga,  Gabriel Fauré,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Ottorino Respighi  ... 
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza,  Juan Antonio Alvarez-Parejo
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  • 38.
    Rossini: Il Barbiere Di Siviglia Highlights / Abbado, Prey
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 423584 Release Date: 03/30/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini
    Performer:  Stefania Malagú,  Renato Cesari,  Luigi Alva,  Paolo Montarsolo  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ambrosian Opera Chorus,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 39.
    Espana - Berganza, Caballe, Carreras, Domingo, Bernstein
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 435852 Release Date: 02/25/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Emmanuel Chabrier,  Anonymous,  Manuel de Falla,  Enrique Granados  ... 
    Performer:  Narciso Yepes,  Teresa Berganza,  Montserrat Caballé,  José Carreras  ... 
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa,  Luis Garcia-Navarro,  Leonard Bernstein,  Reynald Giovaninetti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra  ... 
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  • 40.
    Massenet: Don Quichotte / Van Dam, Berganza, Plasson
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 09100 Release Date: 02/09/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jules Massenet
    Performer:  Gérard Blatt,  Isabelle Vernet,  Nicolas Rivenq,  José Van Dam  ... 
    Conductor:  Michel Plasson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toulouse Capitole Chorus,  Toulouse Capitole Orchestra
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  • 41.
    111 Years Of Deutsche Grammophon [6 CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001340802 Release Date: 10/20/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Gidon Kremer,  Martha Argerich,  Pierre-Laurent Aimard,  Hans Hotter  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Strauss,  James Levine,  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Andalucian Dogs
    CD: $26.99
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  • 42.
    Mozart Gala - Famous Arias
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 458233 Release Date: 06/05/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Martti Talvela,  Teresa Berganza,  Geraint Evans,  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti,  John Pritchard,  Bryan Balkwill,  István Kertész  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Chorus Konzertvereinigung,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 43.
    Handel Gold - Bartoli, Fleming, Kozena, Terfel, Villazon, Te Kanawa, Sutherland, Et Al
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001280102 Release Date: 04/14/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  Crispian Steele-Perkins,  Cecilia Bartoli,  Placido Domingo  ... 
    Conductor:  Barry Rose,  Marc Minkowski,  Marcello Viotti,  Richard Bonynge  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Les Musiciens du Louvre,  Verdi Grand Symphonic Orchestra Milan  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 44.
    The Record of Singing Vol 5 - From the LP to the Digital Era
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 28949 Release Date: 03/10/2009   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Jacques Offenbach,  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  John Shirley-Quirk,  Luciana Serra,  Neil Shicoff,  Alain Vanzo  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks,  Sylvain Cambreling,  Georges Prêtre,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Brussels Théâtre de la Monnaie Orchestra,  Paris Opera Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $68.99
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  • 45.
    Musica Española - Songs; Granados, Cobos, Falla, Turina, Etc
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 433917 Release Date: 02/18/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Enrique Granados,  Fernando J. Obradors,  Manuel de Falla,  Joaquin Nin  ... 
    Performer:  Pilar Lorengar,  Alicia De Larrocha,  Roger Vignoles,  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa  ... 
    Conductor:  Jesús Lopez-Cobos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Suisse Romande Orchestra
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  • 46.
    Label: Myto Records   Catalog: 164 Release Date: 11/25/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Luigi Cherubini
    Performer:  Jon [Tenor Vocals] Vickers,  Maria Callas,  Peter Binder,  Teresa Berganza  ... 
    Conductor:  Nicola Rescigno
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  • 47.
    Rossini: L'italiana In Algeri / Sanzogno, Palombini, Berganza, Petri
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4032 Release Date: 11/11/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini
    Performer:  Mario Petri,  Teresa Berganza,  Vittoria Palombini,  Sesto Bruscantini  ... 
    Conductor:  Nino Sanzogno
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan RAI Chorus,  Milan RAI Orchestra
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  • 48.
    Haydn: The Creation, The Seasons, Canzonettas, Arias
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 4695639 Release Date: 09/15/2008   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
    Performer:  Josef Protschka,  Edita Gruberova,  Robert Holl,  Angela Maria Blasi  ... 
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Raymond Leppard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Arnold Schoenberg Choir,  Scottish Chamber Orchestra
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  • 49.
    Canciones Españolas / Berganza, Yepes, Lavilla
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 435848 Release Date: 09/02/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Xavier Montsalvatge,  Joaquin Turina,  Federico Garcia Lorca,  Manuel de Falla  ... 
    Performer:  Felix Lavilla,  Teresa Berganza,  Narciso Yepes
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  • 50.
    Classic Opera - Mozart, Haydn, Gluck
    Label: London/Decca Opera Gala Series   Catalog: 421329 Release Date: 09/02/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Christoph W. Gluck,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza,  Marilyn Horne,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Brigitte Fassbaender  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
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