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 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 92 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    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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  • 27.
    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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  • 28.
    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 Terfel,  Anna Netrebko,  Andrea Bocelli,  Jonas Kaufmann  ... 
    Conductor:  Barry Wordsworth,  Gianandrea Noseda,  Zubin Mehta,  Antonio Pappano  ... 
    CD: $21.99
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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: $98.49
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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:  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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  • 31.
    Mozart Edition - Complete Works
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94051 Release Date: 11/09/2010   Number of Discs: 170
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johann Christian Bach
    Performer:  Angela Bucci,  Baltazar Zuniga,  Elena Biscuola,  Abramo Rosalen  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Favero,  Ton Koopman,  Paul Freeman,  Jaap ter Linden  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oficina Musicum,  Radio Chamber Orchestra,  Musica Amphion  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $168.99
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  • 32.
    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  ... 
    CD: $13.99
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  • 33.
    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
    CD: $18.99
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  • 34.
    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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  • 35.
    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  ... 
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 36.
    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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  • 37.
    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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  • 38.
    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  ... 
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  • 39.
    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
    On sale! $24.98
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  • 40.
    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
    CD: $9.99
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  • 41.
    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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  • 42.
    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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  • 43.
    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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  • 44.
    Label: Myto Records   Catalog: 157 Release Date: 05/27/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jules Massenet
    Performer:  Tino Berri,  Ornella Rovero,  Carlo Badioli,  Boris Christoff  ... 
    Conductor:  Alfredo Simonetto
    CD: $9.99
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  • 45.
    The # 1 Opera Album Vol 2 / Bartoli, Pavarotti, Price, Et Al
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000950602 Release Date: 10/09/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  Edita Gruberova,  Jon [Tenor Vocals] Vickers,  Elizabeth Harwood  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly,  Giuseppe Sinopoli,  Sir Georg Solti,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    CD: $14.99
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  • 46.
    Ultimate Opera - The Essential Masterpieces
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000895102 Release Date: 06/12/2007   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  George Frideric Handel,  Gaetano Donizetti  ... 
    Performer:  Renata Tebaldi,  Marilyn Horne,  Giuseppe Di Stefano,  Dame Joan Sutherland  ... 
    Conductor:  Lamberto Gardelli,  Henry Lewis,  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli,  Lorin Maazel  ... 
    CD: $21.99
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  • 47.
    J. Strauss: Die Fledermaus / Karajan, Kmentt
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000830202 Release Date: 05/08/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.
    Performer:  Ljuba Welitsch,  Leontyne Price,  Hilde Gueden,  Eberhard Wächter  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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    CD: $23.99
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  • 48.
    Rossini: L'italiana In Algeri / Varviso, Berganza, Et Al
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000829502 Release Date: 04/10/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini
    Performer:  Paolo Montarsolo,  Mitì Truccato Pace,  Giuliana Tavolaccini,  Fernando Corena  ... 
    Conductor:  Silvio Varviso
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Florence Maggio Musicale Orchestra,  Florence Maggio Musicale Chorus
    CD: $25.49
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  • 49.
    Rossini: La Cenerentola / Abbado, Berganza, Alva, Capecchi
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000768302 Release Date: 11/14/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini
    Performer:  Renato Capecchi,  Luigi Alva,  Teresa Berganza,  Paolo Montarsolo  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Scottish Opera Chorus
    CD: $14.99
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  • 50.
    Mozart: Don Giovanni / Maazel, Raimondi, Te Kanawa, Et Al
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 87758 Release Date: 08/29/2006   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Malcolm King,  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  Ruggero Raimondi,  Kenneth Riegel  ... 
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Opera Orchestra,  Paris Opera Chorus
    CD: $18.99
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