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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 135 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    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:  Edgaras Montvidas,  Joyce DiDonato,  Philippe Jaroussky,  Anna Netrebko  ... 
    Conductor:  Kazushi Ono,  Emmanuelle Haïm,  Antonio Pappano,  Eugene Kohn  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seminario Musicale,  L'arpeggiata
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  • 27.
    Vivaldi: Gloria, Magnificat / Muti, Berganza,  Terrani, New Philharmonia Chorus & Orchestra
    Label: Emi Great Recordings Of The Century   Catalog: 18755 Release Date: 03/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
    Performer:  Leslie Pearson,  Norman Jones,  Lucia Valentini-Terrani,  Teresa Berganza
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Chorus
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  • 28.
    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  ... 
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  • 29.
    Placido Domingo - The Opera Collection [26-CD Set]
    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: $107.49
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  • 30.
    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:  Tom Krause,  Arthur Davies,  Gabriel Bacquier,  Pilar Lorengar  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus,  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 31.
    111 - The Collector's Edition 2 [56-CD Set - Limited Edition]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4779142 Release Date: 11/09/2010   Number of Discs: 56
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Maurice Ravel,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Stuart Harling,  Robert Lloyd,  Sherrill Milnes,  Placido Domingo  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  John Nelson,  Leonard Bernstein,  Jerzy Semkow  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers,  George Watson's College Boys' Chorus  ... 
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  • 32.
    111 More Classic Tracks [6-CD Set - Limited Edition]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001483202 Release Date: 11/09/2010   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Franz Liszt,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Géza Anda,  Maurice André,  Stefan Askenase,  Martha Argerich  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Karel Ancerl,  Hans Stadlmair,  John Nelson  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra,  Munich Chamber Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $24.99
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  • 33.
    50 Best Opera
    Label: Emi 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  ... 
    CD: $11.99
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  • 34.
    Liederabend 1985 / Teresa Berganza
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 93705 Release Date: 05/25/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ottorino Respighi,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Gabriel Fauré  ... 
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza,  Juan Antonio Alvarez-Parejo
    CD: $18.99
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  • 35.
    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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  • 36.
    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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  • 37.
    Massenet: Don Quichotte / Van Dam, Berganza, Plasson
    Label: Emi 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
    CD: $24.99
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  • 38.
    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: $24.99
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  • 39.
    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  ... 
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 40.
    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: $16.99
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  • 41.
    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  ... 
    On sale! $77.98
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  • 42.
    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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  • 43.
    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
    On sale! $39.95
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  • 44.
    Haydn: Die Schopfung, Die Jahreszeiten, 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
    CD: $29.99
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  • 45.
    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
    On sale! $33.98
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  • 46.
    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
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 47.
    Great Recordings of the Century - The DVD
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 06788 Release Date: 07/08/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Xavier Montsalvatge,  Manuel de Falla,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Aldo Ciccolini,  Victoria de los Angeles,  Gerald Moore,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Otto Klemperer,  André Cluytens,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
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  • 48.
    Bergonzi, Kabaivanska, Freni, Siepi, Berganza
    Label: Fabula Classica   Catalog: 610 Release Date: 05/27/2008   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Francesco Cilèa,  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Raina Kabaivanska,  Cesare Siepi,  Mirella Freni,  Carlo Bergonzi  ... 
    Conductor:  Nino Bonavolontà,  Bruno Amaducci
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana,  Italian Switzerland Radio/TV Orchestra
    On sale! $119.98
    DVD: $93.99
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  • 49.
    Altaulfo Argenta - Falla: El Amor Brujo, Etc
    Label: Medici Masters   Catalog: 25 Release Date: 02/26/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Manuel de Falla,  Tomás Bretón
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza,  Gonzalo Soriano
    Conductor:  Ataulfo Argenta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  French National Radio Orchestra,  Grand Orquesta Sinfonica
    CD: $16.99
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  • 50.
    Be My Valentine - Music For Two
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000815402 Release Date: 01/08/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Claudio Monteverdi,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Igor Stravinsky  ... 
    Performer:  Sylvia McNair,  Dana Hanchard,  Pierre Fournier,  Ernest Lush  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner,  Thomas Schippers,  James Levine,  Giuseppe Sinopoli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists,  Cambridge Buskers,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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