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
Bizet: Carmen / Abbado, Berganza, Domingo, Cotrubas, Et Al
Release Date: 03/08/2005   Label: Dg The Originals  
Catalog: 000402902   Number of Discs: 2
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Mozart: La Finta Semplice / Hager, Donath, Ihloff, Berganza
Release Date: 05/23/1995   Label: Orfeo  
Catalog: 85843   Number of Discs: 3
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Penella: El Gato Montés / Roa, Domingo, Berganza, Pons
Release Date: 10/13/1992   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 435776   Number of Discs: 2
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Purcell: Didon Et Énée / Corboz, Berganza, Wahlgren, Et Al
Release Date: 08/01/2005   Label: Cascavelle  
Catalog: 5005   Number of Discs: 1
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Rossini: La Cenerentola / Abbado, Berganza, Alva, Capecchi
Release Date: 11/14/2006   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 000768302   Number of Discs: 2
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Browse 76-98 of 98 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    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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  • 77.
    Massenet: Don Quichotte / Plasson, Berganza, Van Dam, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics Special Import   Catalog: 54767 Release Date: 09/04/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jules Massenet
    Performer:  José Van Dam,  Marie-Ange Todorovitch,  Christian Papis,  Jean-Claude Barbier  ... 
    Conductor:  Michel Plasson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toulouse Capitole Orchestra,  Toulouse Capitole Chorus
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  • 78.
    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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  • 79.
    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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  • 80.
    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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  • 81.
    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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  • 82.
    Zarzuela Castiza / Teresa Berganza, Enrique Garcia Asensio
    Label: Ensayo   Catalog: 9710 Release Date: 11/23/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Simeon José Serrano,  Francisco Asenjo Barbieri,  Reveriano Soutullo,  Ruperto Chapi  ... 
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza
    Conductor:  Enrique Garcia-Asensio
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  • 83.
    Rossini: La Cenerentola / Abbado, Berganza, Alva, Et Al
    Label: Opera D'oro   Catalog: 1212 Release Date: 09/14/1999   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini
    Performer:  Renato Capecchi,  Paolo Montarsolo,  Margherita Guglielmi,  Laura Zannini  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chorus,  Orchestra
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  • 84.
    Treasures Of Baroque Opera / Sutherland, Horne, Baker, Et Al
    Label: London/Decca Opera Gala Series   Catalog: 458217 Release Date: 06/09/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean-Philippe Rameau,  Thomas Augustine Arne,  Niccolò Piccinni,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Gérard Souzay,  John Shirley-Quirk,  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Harry Dilley  ... 
    Conductor:  Paul Bonneau,  Raymond Leppard,  Anthony Lewis,  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Symphony Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra  ... 
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  • 85.
    Rossini: Il Barbiere Di Siviglia / Abbado, Prey, Et Al
    Label: Dg The Originals   Catalog: 457733 Release Date: 05/12/1998   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini
    Performer:  Luigi Roni,  Stefania Malagú,  Renato Cesari,  Enzo Dara  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Ambrosian Opera Chorus
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  • 86.
    Rossini: La Cenerentola / Rossi, Berganza, Monti, Et Al
    Label: Opera D'oro   Catalog: 1135 Release Date: 09/16/1997   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza,  Nicola Monti,  Sesto Bruscantini,  Mario Petri  ... 
    Conductor:  Mario Rossi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Naples,  Naples Teatro San Carlo Chorus
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  • 87.
    Stravinsky: Le Sacre Du Printemps, Etc / Abbado, London So
    Label: Dg Double   Catalog: 453085 Release Date: 07/15/1997   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza,  John Shirley-Quirk,  Ryland Davies,  Leslie Howard
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 88.
    Mozart: Don Giovanni (Highlights) / Maazel, Raimondi, Et Al
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 62663 Release Date: 09/10/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  Kenneth Riegel,  Malcolm King,  Teresa Berganza  ... 
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Opera Orchestra,  Paris Opera Chorus
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  • 89.
    Domingo Duets
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 447270 Release Date: 07/16/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Pietro Mascagni,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Ileana Cotrubas,  Rosalind Plowright,  Cheryl Studer  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlos Kleiber,  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Myung-Whun Chung,  Lorin Maazel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Opera Orchestra,  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Orchestra,  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Chorus  ... 
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  • 90.
    Mozart: La Finta Semplice / Hager, Donath, Ihloff, Berganza
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 85843 Release Date: 05/23/1995   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Robert Holl,  Jutta-Renate Ihloff,  Thomas Moser,  Robert Lloyd  ... 
    Conductor:  Leopold Hager
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra
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  • 91.
    Opera's Greatest Moments - Domingo, Price, Caballe, Et Al
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 61440 Release Date: 11/10/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Dmitri Hvorostovsky,  Robert Merrill,  Placido Domingo,  Helen Donath  ... 
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa,  Erich Leinsdorf,  Nello Santi,  Giuseppe Patané  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $8.99
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  • 92.
    Penella: El Gato Montés / Roa, Domingo, Berganza, Pons
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 435776 Release Date: 10/13/1992   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Manuel Penella
    Performer:  Ricardo Muñiz,  Teresa Berganza,  Placido Domingo,  Lorenzo Jiménez  ... 
    Conductor:  Miguel Roa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Madrid Symphony Orchestra,  Escolania de Nuestra Señora del Recuerdo
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  • 93.
    Duruflé: Requiem, Four Motets / Corboz, Berganza, Van Dam
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 45230 Release Date: 02/03/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Duruflé
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza,  José Van Dam
    Conductor:  Michel Corboz,  Jean Sourisse
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Colonne Concerts Orchestra,  Colonne Concerts Chorus,  Audite Nova Vocal Ensemble
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  • 94.
    More Amore - The Great Italian Love Duets
    Label: Cbs Masterworks   Catalog: 46705 Release Date: 01/18/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Pietro Mascagni,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Francesco Cilèa,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Adriana Morelli,  Placido Domingo,  Richard Tucker,  Eileen Farrell  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Fausto Cleva,  James Levine,  Lorin Maazel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 95.
    Puccini: Madama Butterfly / Sinopoli, Freni, Carreras, Et Al
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 423567 Release Date: 09/12/1989   Number of Discs: 3
    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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  • 96.
    Puccini: Madama Butterfly Highlights / Freni, Carreras, Sinopoli
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 427358 Release Date: 06/12/1989   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  José Carreras,  Mirella Freni,  Teresa Berganza,  Juan Pons  ... 
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 97.
    Rossini: L'italiana In Algeri / Varviso, Berganza, Et Al
    Label: London/Decca Grand Opera Series   Catalog: 417828 Release Date: 05/23/1989   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini
    Performer:  Paolo Montarsolo,  Teresa Berganza,  Mitì Truccato Pace,  Giuliana Tavolaccini  ... 
    Conductor:  Silvio Varviso
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Florence Maggio Musicale Chorus,  Florence Maggio Musicale Orchestra
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  • 98.
    Falla: Nights In The Gardens Of Spain, La Vida Breve, Etc
    Label: London/Decca Jubilee   Catalog: 4177712 Release Date: 08/25/1988   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Manuel de Falla
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza,  Alicia De Larrocha
    Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet,  Sergiu Comissiona
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra
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