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September 2014
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The Passing of Magda Olivero

Soprano Magda Olivero

Soprano Magda Olivero

Magda Olivero (b. March 25, 1910; d. September 8, 2014)

1910 – born in Saluzzo, Italy
1933 – La Scala debut as Anna in Nabucco
1975 – Met debut as Tosca (at age 65)
1993 – recorded excerpts from Adriana Lecouvreur

Magda Olivero singing Handel in Milan, 1991

Magda Olivero singing Handel, Milan, 1991

With Licia Albanese and Magda Olivero gone, it truly is the end of an era in opera, reaching back into the first half of the twentieth century. Those were the decades in which composers like Puccini, Mascagni, Cilea and Strauss; and conductors like Arturo Toscanini, Sir Thomas Beecham, Leo Blech, and Fritz Reiner gave us operatic performances directly expressing those composers’ intentions. Licia Albanese interpreted Puccini with his friend and colleague, Arturo Toscanini. Magda Olivero’s signature role was that of her friend Francesco Cilea: Adriana Lecouvreur. Fortunately we have a legacy of recordings that not only tell us what was done, but point the way to what can and should be.

—Larry Johnson, host
Arias and Songs

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