Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Happy Birthday: Sylvia Sass

"O madre dal cielo" I Lombardi (Verdi)
Sylvia Sass, born July 12, 1951, is an acclaimed Hungarian soprano, particularly associated with Verdi roles. Born in Budapest, Hungary, she studied at Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest with Ferenc Révhegyi. She made her professional debut at the Hungarian State Opera, as Frasquita in Georges Bizet's Carmen, in 1971. The following year, she appeared at the Sofia National Opera, as Violetta in La Traviata, and during the 1974-75 season at the Salzburg Festival singing Mozart in concert. In 1975, she sang at the Scottish Opera, as Desdemona in Verdi's Otello, and in 1976, made her debut at the Royal Opera House in London, in a much acclaimed performance of Giselda in I Lombardi, returning the following

"Ah, dagli scanni eterei...
Perder dunque voi volete"
Stiffelio (Verdi)
season as Violetta. In 1977, she made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, as Tosca. She also appeared at the Vienna State Opera, the Munich State Opera, the Teatro Municipal de Caracas as Amelia in Un Ballo in Maschera, at the opera houses of Cologne, Frankfurt, Berlin, Hamburg, as well as the Paris Opera and the Aix-en-Provence Festival, both as Violetta. In 1978, she made her debut at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, as Puccini's Manon Lescaut, conducted by Georges Prêtre, a performance that was televised live across Europe. Her repertory also included; Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, Mimi in La bohème, Judith in Béla Bartók's Bluebeard's Castle, etc., but she was particularly admired in early Verdi operas, especially as Lady Macbeth. A DVD of her masterful 1981 performance of Bluebeard's Castle under Sir Georg Solti is available. Sass has won many awards, the first in 1972

"Dei tuoi figli"
Medea (Cherubini)
when she won first prize at the Kodály Voice Competition. In 1973, she won the Grand Prix as Violetta at the International Opera Competition for Young Singers. In 1974, she won the Silver Medal at the International Tchaikovsky Competition, in Moscow. She was also made an Honored Artist of Hungary, in 1977. Her exceptional vocal and dramatic talent prompted some to hail her as the second Maria Callas. However, perhaps as a result of having taken on too much too soon, her voice deteriorated early, and by the end of the 1980s, she had all but vanished from the

"Nagy ég, remegek!"
Hunyadi Laszlo (Erkel)
operatic scene. In recent years, she has settled in France, where she keeps busy painting and giving masterclasses. Sass has made several recordings of arias, lieder, and complete operas, notably Bluebeard's Castle and Don Giovanni, both conducted by Georg Solti, Verdi's I Lombardi, Ernani, Attila, Macbeth, Stiffelio, all conducted by Lamberto Gardelli, as well as Cherubini's Medea, again with Gardelli, Richard Strauss's Four Last Songs and Richard Wagner's Wesendonck Lieder. [

"Tu che le vanita" Don Carlo (Verdi)

"Una macchia è qui tuttora" Macbeth (Verdi)

"È strano...Sempre libera" La Traviata (Verdi)

"Sorta è la notte...Ernani, involami" Ernani (Verdi)

"Ecco l'orrido campo" Un Ballo in Maschera (Verdi)

"In Quali Eccessi, o numi...Mi tradì quell'alma in grata" Don Giovanni (Mozart)

"Ritorna vincitor" Aida (Verdi)

"Casta diva" Norma (Bellini)

"Un bel dì vedremo" Madama Butterfly (Puccini)

"Dich teure halle" Tannhäuser (Wagner)

"Temerari...Come scoglio" Così fan tutte (Mozart)

"In quele trine morbide" Manon Lescaut (Puccini)

"Poveri fiori" Adriana Lecouvreur (Cilea)

"Grands dieux, du destin qui m'accable"Alceste (Gluck)

"Voi lo sapete, o mamma" Cavalleria Rusticana (Mascagni)

Vier letzte lieder (R. Strauss)



"Beim schlafengehn"

"Im abendrot"

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