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Antonietta Stella

Biography

Born: March 15, 1929; Perugia, Italy  
Seeming from time to time a serious contender for consideration with the great prima donnas of her time -- Callas, Tebaldi, and Milanov -- Antonietta Stella never quite pulled together all the elements of her lavish gift. An immensely attractive woman with large, deep-set eyes and a figure that would have found favor in Hollywood, she presented an appealing stage presence but was not always able to control her impulsive histrionic inclinations. Read more Although her vocal endowment led her to an early debut, her lovely spinto-weight soprano was not sufficiently technically secure and not supported consistently enough to endure.

By her mid-teens, Stella had determined she would become a professional singer and began her vocal training. After studies in her native Perugia, and later in Rome, she won first prize in the 1949 Bologna Concorso. In 1950, she made a pre-professional appearance on-stage at Spoleto's Sperimentale and followed that in 1951 with her official debut at the Rome Opera singing Leonora in La forza del destino. A recording of Simon Boccanegra shortly thereafter revealed both a promising voice and some ungainly phrasing. Nonetheless, she was entrusted with the role of Lavinia in the world premiere of Guido Guerrini's Enea, mounted by the Rome Opera in 1953. Italy welcomed the young soprano, despite her lack of experience. Engagements took her to many of the country's most prominent theaters, foremost among them La Scala, where she sang Desdemona in 1954 just a year after she had won good reviews in Florence for her performance in Verdi's Aroldo. Several of the lighter Wagner roles also came her way with such parts as Elsa and Elisabeth and (less suitably) Sieglinde and Senta. The world beyond welcomed her as well: she was introduced as Aida at Covent Garden in 1955 and at the Teatro Colón in 1956. Stella became a popular presence in several German houses and won appreciative reviews in Spain and Brazil. In the latter country, however, she failed quite spectacularly in attempting Bellini's Norma in 1956. Ill-prepared, she had neither the technique nor the experience to meet the challenges of the long and fatiguing role. Thereafter, she stayed clear of it. Having recovered from her bad turn with Norma, Stella made her Metropolitan Opera debut on November 13, 1956, essaying Aida. Although she was in good voice, reviews held numerous caveats about her artistry and questions about her willingness to look past the approval of the gallery toward a deeper exploration of text and music. During four seasons, Stella sang more than 50 performances of eight different roles, including Tosca, Butterfly (a memorable interpretation), Violetta, Elisabeth de Valois, Amelia in Un ballo in maschera and Il Trovatore Leonora. Several ill-advised cancellations put an effective stop to Stella's American career. First, she exited a series of performances for Lirica Italiana in Japan. In 1957, she canceled her debut with the San Francisco Opera. After the soprano presented the Metropolitan Opera with a doctor's certificate in 1960 asking for release (granted) for the company's spring tour and then showed up on the stage of La Scala during the period in question, Rudolf Bing filed breach of contract charges with the American Guild of Musical Artists. The action resulted in her suspension. Stella continued to appear in Europe, but decline was evident before she had reached the age of 40. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 34 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    The Verdi Tenor / Carlo Bergonzi
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002089202 Release Date: 08/12/2014   Number of Discs: 17
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Francesco Cilèa,  Umberto Giordano,  Giacomo Meyerbeer  ... 
    Performer:  Giulietta Simionato,  Cornell MacNeil,  Carlo Bergonzi,  Piero de Palma  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Sir Georg Solti,  John Pritchard,  Rafael Kubelik  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Friends of Music Society,  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Chorus  ... 
    CD: $76.99
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  • 2.
    Verdi: Don Carlo / Gobbi, Christoff, Filippeschi, Stella, Santini
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 3011 Release Date: 07/12/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Mario Filippeschi,  Tito Gobbi,  Antonietta Stella,  Elena Nicolai  ... 
    Conductor:  Gabriele Santini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera House Orchestra,  Rome Opera House Chorus
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  • 3.
    Verdi: Simon Boccanegra / Silveri, Stella, Bergonzi, Petri, Molinari-pradelli, Orchestra Sinfonica E Coro Di Roma [1951]
    Label: Cetra   Catalog: 61430 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Antonietta Stella,  Mario Petri,  Carlo Bergonzi,  Walter Monachesi  ... 
    Conductor:  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Rome,  Italian Radio Chorus Rome
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  • 4.
    Giordano: Andrea Chenier / Santini, Corelli, Stella, Mantovani
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 59812 Release Date: 06/05/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Umberto Giordano
    Performer:  Antonietta Stella,  Paolo Montarsolo,  Luciana Moneta,  Anna di Stasio  ... 
    Conductor:  Gabriele Santini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera House Orchestra,  Rome Opera House Chorus
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  • 5.
    Verdi: Un Ballo In Maschera / Gavazzeni, Poggi, Morresi, Stella
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 415 Release Date: 11/30/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Gianni Poggi,  Antonietta Stella,  Ettore Bastianini,  Giuseppe Morresi
    Conductor:  Gianandrea Gavazzeni
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus
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  • 6.
    Puccini: Tosca / Serafin, Stella, Taddei
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 20055 Release Date: 01/12/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Ferruccio Mazzoli,  Leo Padis,  Antonietta Stella,  Gianni Poggi  ... 
    Conductor:  Tullio Serafin
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  • 7.
    Donizetti: Linda Di Chamounix / Serafin, Stella, Barbieri
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 442093 Release Date: 12/01/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gaetano Donizetti
    Performer:  Giuseppe Taddei,  Giuseppe Modesti,  Cesare Valletti,  Piero de Palma  ... 
    Conductor:  Tullio Serafin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Naples Teatro San Carlo Chorus,  Naples Teatro San Carlo Orchestra
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  • 8.
    Best Tenor Voices 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 06701 Release Date: 10/06/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Pietro Mascagni,  Francesco Cilèa,  Umberto Giordano,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Franco Corelli,  Corinna Vozza,  Adriana Lazzarini,  Rolando Villazón  ... 
    Conductor:  Gabriele Santini,  Marcello Viotti,  Umberto Berrettoni,  Alain Lombard  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera House Orchestra,  Munich Radio Orchestra,  Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 9.
    Verdi: Great Operas From La Scala [21 CDs]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4778121 Release Date: 06/30/2009   Number of Discs: 21
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Elena Obraztsova,  Katia Ricciarelli,  Ruggero Raimondi,  Placido Domingo  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Gabriele Santini,  Gianandrea Gavazzeni,  Antonino Votto  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
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  • 10.
    Icon - Franco Corelli - The Tenor As Hero
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 64887 Release Date: 04/21/2009   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Franco Corelli,  Birgit Nilsson,  Bonaldo Giaiotti,  Grace Bumbry  ... 
    Conductor:  Thomas Schippers,  Franco Ferraris,  Tullio Serafin,  Rafaele Mingardo  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera Teatro Reale Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus  ... 
    CD: $27.49
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  • 11.
    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  ... 
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  • 12.
    100 Best Tenor Arias
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 242720 Release Date: 02/24/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Giacomo Meyerbeer,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Richard Wagner,  Johann Strauss Jr.  ... 
    Performer:  José Carreras,  Fritz Wunderlich,  Siegfried Jerusalem,  Peter Haage  ... 
    Conductor:  Jacques Delacôte,  Berislav Klobucar,  Bernard Haitink,  Heinz Wallberg  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 13.
    Il Mito Dell'opera - Franco Corelli
    Label: Bongiovanni   Catalog: 1208 Release Date: 10/28/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Umberto Giordano,  Giacomo Puccini,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Antonietta Stella,  Franco Corelli,  Giangiacomo Guelfi
    Conductor:  Franco Capuana,  Sir Alexander Gibson,  Antonino Votto,  Gabriele Santini  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 14.
    Puccini 2008 - Nessun Dorma / Callas, Te Kanawa, Carreras, Domingo, Alagna, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 17620 Release Date: 10/28/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Roberto Alagna,  Renata Scotto,  Alfredo Kraus,  Mario Sereni  ... 
    Conductor:  Antonio Pappano,  James Levine,  Thomas Schippers,  Anton Guadagno  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  National Philharmonic Orchestra,  Rome Opera Teatro Reale Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $25.98
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  • 15.
    Puccini: La Fanciulla Del West / Stella, De Fabritiis
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4439 Release Date: 09/09/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Giorgio Onesti,  Anna di Stasio,  Anselmo Colzani,  Antonietta Stella  ... 
    Conductor:  Oliviero de Fabritiis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo,  Fujiwara Opera Chorus,  Nikikai Chorus
    On sale! $39.95
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  • 16.
    Verdi: Requiem Mass / Karajan, Stella, Dominguez, Gedda, Modesti, Et Al
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 728082 Release Date: 05/27/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Antonietta Stella,  Giuseppe Modesti,  Oralia Dominguez,  Nicolai Gedda
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein
    CD: $19.99
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  • 17.
    Verdi: Don Carlo / Santini, Stella, Cossotto, Labo
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 437730 Release Date: 04/29/2008   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Flaviano Labò,  Fiorenza Cossotto,  Ettore Bastianini,  Antonietta Stella  ... 
    Conductor:  Gabriele Santini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus
    On sale! $41.98
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  • 18.
    Verdi: Un Ballo In Maschera / Bergonzi, Fabritiis
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4436 Release Date: 04/22/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Plinio Clabassi,  Margherita Guglielmi,  Lucia Danieli,  Mario Zanasi  ... 
    Conductor:  Oliviero de Fabritiis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo,  Tokyo Philharmonic Chorus
    On sale! $39.95
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  • 19.
    The World's Most Romantic Operas
    Label: Bravissimo Opera Library   Catalog: 9807 Release Date: 10/16/2007   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Jules Massenet,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gaetano Donizetti  ... 
    Performer:  Alessandro Maddalena,  Mirella Freni,  Nicolai Ghiuselev,  Franco Calabrese  ... 
    Conductor:  Thomas Schippers,  Peter Maag,  Nino Verchi,  Gianandrea Gavazzeni  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Chorus Rome,  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Rome,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus  ... 
    On sale! $33.98
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  • 20.
    Verdi: La Forza Del Destino / Mitropoulos, Di Stefano, Simionato, Et Al
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 681062 Release Date: 02/27/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Walter Kreppel,  Ettore Bastianini,  Ludwig Welter,  Giulietta Simionato  ... 
    Conductor:  Dimitri Mitropoulos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus
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  • 21.
    Verdi: Il Trovatore / Serafin, Bergonzi, Stella, Cossotto
    Label: Dg Double   Catalog: 000768402 Release Date: 11/14/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Antonietta Stella,  Franco Ricciardi,  Carlo Bergonzi,  Ettore Bastianini  ... 
    Conductor:  Tullio Serafin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus
    On sale! $15.98
    CD: $13.99
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  • 22.
    Giordano: Andrea Chénier / Santini, Corelli, Stella, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 58676 Release Date: 10/17/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Umberto Giordano
    Performer:  Anna di Stasio,  Piero de Palma,  Franco Corelli,  Mario Sereni  ... 
    Conductor:  Gabriele Santini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera House Chorus,  Rome Opera House Orchestra
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    On sale! $23.98
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  • 23.
    Zandonai: Conchita / Rossi, Stella, Bottion, Et Al
    Label: Opera D'oro   Catalog: 1462 Release Date: 10/10/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Riccardo Zandonai
    Performer:  Rosetta Arena,  Antonietta Stella,  Rosina Cavicchioli,  Giovanna Di Rocco  ... 
    Conductor:  Mario Rossi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Turin,  Italian Radio Chorus Turin
    On sale! $18.98
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  • 24.
    Giordano: Andrea Chénier / De Monaco, Taddei
    Label: Bel Canto Society   Catalog: 3 Release Date: 06/20/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Umberto Giordano
    Performer:  Giuseppe Taddei,  Mario Del Monaco,  Antonietta Stella
    On sale! $18.98
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  • 25.
    Verdi: La Battaglia De Legnano / Gavazzeni, Corelli, Et Al
    Label: Opera D'oro   Catalog: 1367 Release Date: 10/01/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Ettore Bastianini,  Franco Corelli,  Antonietta Stella
    Conductor:  Gianandrea Gavazzeni
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
    On sale! $18.98
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