Opera Scotland

Fiorenza Cossotto Suggest updates

Born Crescentino, nr Vercelli, 22 April 1935.

Italian mezzo-soprano.

Fiorenza Cossotto was the leading Italian dramatic mezzo of her generation, following Ebe Stignani, Fedora Barbieri and Giulietta Simionato. She studied in Turin.

Her debut came at La Scala in 1957, when she appeared in the premiere of Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites, creating the role of Soeur Mathlde. It was during that season that she made her only operatic appearance in Scotland, as a member of the Scala company. Her other visit here was for the 1974 Festival, when she appeared in two performances of the Verdi Requiem conducted by Giulini.

She appeared at Covent Garden for the first time in 1959, as Neris in Cherubini's Medea, with Callas in the title role and Vickers as Jason. Later parts with the Royal Opera included Azucena, Eboli and Amneris, as well as Santuzza, which was  the role of her final appearances there, in 1979.

Her career centred on the major Italian companies, particularly La Scala and the Verona Arena. She worked regularly in the USA, first in Chicago from 1964, then at the Met from 1968. She also appeared at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires where her parts included Eboli, Adalgisa and Giovanna Seymour.

She appears on many recordings, especially of her central Verdi repertoire of Azucena, Eboli and Amneris. She also recorded Preziosilla with Levine, Ulrica and Lady Macbeth under Muti, and the Marchesa in Un giorno di regno for Gardelli. Early in her career she recorded some more varied repertoire, including Teresa in the Callas La sonnambula (1957) and Cherubino for Giulini (1959). She sings Laura in the second Callas recording of La gioconda, and Santuzza in Karajan's recording of Cavalleria Rusticana. Some years later, she recorded the title role in La favorita with Bonynge. Another example of her bel canto repertoire is Adalgisa in a recording of Norma with Caballé and Domingo.

Roles in Scotland

Teresa proprietor of the mill
Sonnambula 1957
Zaida formerly slave and fiancée of Selim
Turco in Italia 1957

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