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 51-75 of 96 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Teresa Berganza - Live In Concert
    Label: Fabula Classica   Catalog: 603 Release Date: 09/26/2006  
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Gioachino Rossini,  Manuel de Falla
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza
    Conductor:  Nino Bonavolontà
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Switzerland Radio/TV Orchestra
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  • 52.
    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
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  • 53.
    Holnd Fstvl - A Dutch Miracle - Fifty Years - 1947-1997
    Label: Globe   Catalog: 6900 Release Date: 05/09/2006   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Rudolf Escher,  Richard Strauss,  Manuel de Falla  ... 
    Performer:  Renato Capecchi,  Teresa Berganza,  Giulietta Simionato,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini,  George Szell,  Jean Fournet,  Kiril Kondrashin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hague Residentie Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus,  Danzi Woodwind Quintet  ... 
    On sale! $63.98
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  • 54.
    Mozart: Operas (Complete)
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 92114 Release Date: 04/04/2006   Number of Discs: 44
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Francine Van der Heijden,  Marije van Stralen,  Cecile van de Sant,  Kim Young Hee  ... 
    Conductor:  Jed Wentz,  Leopold Hager,  Max Pommer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica ad Rhenum,  Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra,  Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $118.99
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  • 55.
    Mozart 250 - A Celebration
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 75944 Release Date: 02/07/2006   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Lin Cho-Liang,  Jaime Laredo,  Alicia De Larrocha,  James Galway  ... 
    Conductor:  Raymond Leppard,  Sir Colin Davis,  Eduardo Mata,  Erich Leinsdorf  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 56.
    Grand Tier - Rossini: La Cenerentola / Rossi, Et Al
    Label: Opera D'oro   Catalog: 7019 Release Date: 10/11/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini
    Performer:  Ornella Rovero,  Nicola Monti,  Mario Petri,  Sesto Bruscantini  ... 
    Conductor:  Mario Rossi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Naples Teatro San Carlo Chorus
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  • 57.
    Mozart: La Clemenza Di Tito / Böhm, Varady, Schreier, Et Al
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 429878 Release Date: 09/13/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Edith Mathis,  Teresa Berganza,  Peter Schreier,  Marga Schiml  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Böhm
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Radio Chorus,  Dresden Staatskapelle
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  • 58.
    Purcell: Didon Et Énée / Corboz, Berganza, Wahlgren, Et Al
    Label: Cascavelle   Catalog: 5005 Release Date: 08/01/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry Purcell
    Performer:  Per Arne Wahlgren,  Teresa Berganza
    Conductor:  Michel Corboz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lausanne Instrumental Ensemble
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  • 59.
    Rossini: Il Barbieri Di Siviglia / Abbado, Prey, Berganza, Alva
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000427909 Release Date: 06/14/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini
    Performer:  Renato Cesari,  Luigi Alva,  Teresa Berganza,  Enzo Dara  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
    DVD: $32.99
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  • 60.
    Rossini: Il Barbiere Di Siviglia Highlights / Abbado
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 463086 Release Date: 03/15/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini
    Performer:  Luigi Alva,  Renato Cesari,  Hermann Prey,  Teresa Berganza  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Ambrosian Opera Chorus
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  • 61.
    Bizet: Carmen / Abbado, Berganza, Domingo, Cotrubas, Et Al
    Label: Dg The Originals   Catalog: 000402902 Release Date: 03/08/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Yvonne Kenny,  Alicia Nafé,  Gordon Sandison,  Geoffrey Pogson  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers,  George Watson's College Boys' Chorus
    CD: $25.49
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  • 62.
    100 Best Opera Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 862112 Release Date: 02/15/2005   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Gioachino Rossini,  Richard Wagner,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Gary Lakes,  Maria Callas,  Tito Gobbi,  Nicolai Gedda  ... 
    Conductor:  James Conlon,  Alceo Galliera,  Lamberto Gardelli,  James Levine  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 63.
    Una Voce Poco Fa - Portrait Of Teresa Berganza
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000233502 Release Date: 05/11/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jesus Guridi,  Gioachino Rossini,  Jesús y Gárate Arámbarri,  Manuel de Falla  ... 
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza,  Felix Lavilla Munarriz,  Roger Hager,  Geoffrey Parsons
    Conductor:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Sir Alexander Gibson,  Gerardo Gombau,  Benito Lauret  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sir Alexander Gibson,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $24.99
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  • 64.
    Essential Mozart Opera
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 473824 Release Date: 03/11/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Pilar Lorengar,  Teresa Berganza,  Gabriel Bacquier,  Ryland Davies  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti,  István Kertész,  Sir Colin Davis,  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $11.99
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  • 65.
    Rapture - Opera's Most Heavenly Moments
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 471717 Release Date: 10/08/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Georges Bizet,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Marilyn Horne,  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Teresa Berganza,  Mirella Freni  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Richard Bonynge,  Giuseppe Sinopoli,  Sir Colin Davis  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsche Oper Chorus,  Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 66.
    The Voice Of The Baroque - Bartoli, Berganza, Price, Et Al
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 472315 Release Date: 05/14/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Claudio Monteverdi,  George Frideric Handel,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Gottfried H. Stölzel  ... 
    Performer:  Dana Hanchard,  Sylvia McNair,  Bryn Terfel,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Karl Richter,  Barry Rose  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists,  Scottish Chamber Orchestra,  Munich Bach Orchestra  ... 
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  • 67.
    Hommage À Teresa Berganza
    Label: Claves   Catalog: 2000/3 Release Date: 04/09/2002   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Manuel de Falla
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza,  Juan Antonio Alvarez-Parejo
    Conductor:  Jesús Lopez-Cobos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lausanne Chamber Orchestra
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  • 68.
    The Voice of Italy / Pavarotti, Freni, di Stefano...
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 470829 Release Date: 04/09/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Umberto Giordano,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza,  Manuel Ausensi,  Luciano Pavarotti,  Giuseppe Di Stefano  ... 
    Conductor:  Silvio Varviso,  Leone Magiera,  Piero Gamba,  Franco Patanè  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Naples Rossini Orchestra,  Vienna Volksoper Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $17.98
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  • 69.
    Mozart: Le Nozze Di Figaro / Abbado, Berganza, Prey, Et Al
    Label: Opera D'oro   Catalog: 1328 Release Date: 01/08/2002   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Maria Borgato,  Mirto Picchi,  Mirella Freni,  José Van Dam  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus
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  • 70.
    Falla: Atlantida, Etc / Schippers, Argenta, Stratas, Et Al
    Label: Opera D'oro   Catalog: 1307 Release Date: 07/10/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Manuel de Falla
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza,  Teresa Stratas,  Giulietta Simionato,  Roger Browne  ... 
    Conductor:  Ataulfo Argenta,  Thomas Schippers
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
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  • 71.
    Ravel: Melodies / Berganza, Lott, Mesple, Bacquier
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 69299 Release Date: 07/10/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza,  Philippe Boucly,  Dalton Baldwin,  Gabriel Bacquier  ... 
    Conductor:  Michel Plasson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toulouse Capitole Orchestra,  Orchestre de Paris Ensemble
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  • 72.
    Rossini Gala / Sutherland, Pavarotti, Horne, Berganza, Et Al
    Label: London/Decca Grand Opera Series   Catalog: 458247 Release Date: 02/13/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza,  Fernando Corena,  Luigi Alva,  Rolando Panerai  ... 
    Conductor:  Silvio Varviso,  Alberto Erede,  Henry Lewis,  Richard Bonynge  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Florence Maggio Musicale Orchestra,  Florence Maggio Musicale Chorus,  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Orchestra  ... 
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  • 73.
    The Glories Of Handel Opera / Berganza, Kirkby, Horne, Et Al
    Label: London/Decca Grand Opera Series   Catalog: 458249 Release Date: 02/13/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Marilyn Horne,  Sir Geraint Evans,  Renata Tebaldi  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Bonynge,  Henry Lewis,  Bryan Balkwill,  Sir Neville Marriner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Cantata Orchestra,  Suisse Romande Orchestra  ... 
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  • 74.
    Falla: Three-Cornered Hat, El amor brujo / Ansermet, Berganza
    Label: London/Decca Legends   Catalog: 466991 Release Date: 07/18/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Manuel de Falla
    Performer:  Marina De Gaburain,  Teresa Berganza
    Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra
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  • 75.
    Cherubini: Medea / Maria Callas, Et Al
    Label: Gala   Catalog: 521 Release Date: 06/06/2000   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Luigi Cherubini
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Carlos Giuchandet,  Fedora Barbieri,  Elizabeth Carron  ... 
    Conductor:  Vittorio Gui,  Nicola Rescigno
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Florence Maggio Musicale Chorus,  Florence Maggio Musicale Orchestra,  Dallas Civic Opera Chorus  ... 
    On sale! $15.98
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