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 51-75 of 151 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Mozart: Essential Mozart
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 443762 Release Date: 09/02/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  John Pritchard,  István Kertész
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Uri Segal,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Haydn Orchestra
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  • 52.
    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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  • 53.
    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
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  • 54.
    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
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  • 55.
    An Hour With Mozart
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 697060 Release Date: 01/28/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Alicia De Larrocha,  Philippe Entremont,  Shlomo Mintz,  Vladimir Spivakov  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis,  James Levine,  Erich Leinsdorf,  Bruno Weil  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Canadian Brass,  Moscow Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra,  Members of the Collegium Aureum (Members)
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  • 56.
    Vivaldi: Choral Works
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 566987 Release Date: 01/13/2008  
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza,  Lucia Valentini-Terrani
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Chorus
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  • 57.
    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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  • 58.
    Bel Canto - The Beautiful Voices of Italian Opera
    Label: Bravissimo Opera Library   Catalog: 9803 Release Date: 10/16/2007   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Gaetano Donizetti,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Gioachino Rossini
    Performer:  Renata Scotto,  Luciano Pavarotti,  Piero Cappuccilli,  Agostino Ferrin  ... 
    Conductor:  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli,  Riccardo Muti,  Gianandrea Gavazzeni,  Tullio Serafin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Chorus Turin,  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Turin,  Italian Radio Chorus Rome  ... 
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  • 59.
    Canciones Españolas / Berganza, Yepes
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000916702 Release Date: 08/14/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Luis de Narváez,  Miguel de Fuenllana,  Juan del Encina,  Juan de Triana  ... 
    Performer:  Narciso Yepes,  Teresa Berganza
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  • 60.
    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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  • 61.
    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
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  • 62.
    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
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  • 63.
    Weekend Classics - An Opera Weekend
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000769602 Release Date: 11/14/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Richard Wagner,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Performer:  Hermann Prey,  Matti Salminen,  Hildegard Behrens,  Placido Domingo  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  James Levine,  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Seiji Ozawa  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 64.
    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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  • 65.
    Everybody's Opera
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000707102 Release Date: 09/12/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Richard Wagner,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Leo Nucci,  Teresa Berganza,  Joan Edwards,  Margreta Elkins  ... 
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Patané,  Edward Downes,  Richard Bonynge,  Sir Georg Solti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bologna Teatro Comunale Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  National Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 66.
    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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  • 67.
    Weekend Classics - A Bizet Weekend
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000658202 Release Date: 07/04/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza,  Placido Domingo,  Alicia Nafé,  Yvonne Kenny  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Myung-Whun Chung
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers,  Bastille Opera Orchestra
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  • 68.
    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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  • 69.
    Mozart For My Baby
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 51793 Release Date: 05/02/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Bernhard Flies
    Performer:  Dagmar Schellenberger,  Semeon Skigin,  Andreas Schmidt,  Catherine Pierard  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Franz Welser-Möst,  Roger Norrington,  Jean-Bernard Pommier  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Stockholm Chamber Orchestra,  London Classical Players  ... 
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  • 70.
    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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  • 71.
    Most Relaxing Vivaldi Album In The World...ever!
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 53354 Release Date: 03/21/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
    Performer:  Monica Huggett,  Giovanni Scaramuzzino,  Sonia Maurer,  Franco Gulli  ... 
    Conductor:  Nicholas Kraemer,  Fabio Biondi,  Renato Fasano,  Iona Brown  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Raglan Baroque Players,  Europa Galante,  I Virtuosi di Roma  ... 
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  • 72.
    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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  • 73.
    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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  • 74.
    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
    On sale! $33.98
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  • 75.
    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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