Theresa Berganza


May 17, 2022

Teresa Berganza Vargas (16 March 1933 – 13 May 2022) was a Spanish mezzo-soprano, best known for operatic roles. She sang in the Italian-language operas of Mozart and the Italian bel cantor repertoire of, for example, Rossini. Among her most famous roles was Carmen van Bizet. She also sang De Falla's Spanish-language repertoire. She happily sang music from zarzuelas, but only on the record, not on the stage. She was admired for her technical virtuosity, her musical intelligence and her charming appearance on stage.

Singing career

Berganza studied piano and singing with Lola Rodriguez Aragón at the Real Conservatorio Superior de Música de Madrid, where she won first prize for singing art upon graduating in 1954. She made her concert debut in Madrid in 1955. She made her operatic debut as Dorabella in Così fan tutte in 1957 at the Aix-en-Provence festival. Also in that year she performed for the first time at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan and the following year (1958) in Glyndebourne. In 1959 she first performed at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden (London) as Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, which became one of her signature roles. In 1967 she performed for the first time at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, as Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro. Berganza made her debut as a recital singer at New York's Carnegie Hall in 1964. Her concert repertoire includes Spanish, French, Italian, German and Russian songs, arias and cantatas. In 1991, together with six other Spanish singers, she was awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize for Arts and Letters. In 1992, Berganza participated in the opening ceremonies of the Expo '92 in Seville and the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. In 1994 she was the first woman elected to the Spanish Academy of the Arts. She taught singing at the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía in Madrid and gave master classes all over the world. Maria Bayo and Jorge Chaminé, among others, studied with her. She also performed regularly, mainly in Spain and the south of France.


She married pianist Félix Lavilla in 1957, with whom she performed regularly. They had a son and two daughters. They divorced in 1977. Teresa Berganza passed away at the age of 89.


Memoirs. Flor de Soledad y Silencio: Meditaciones de una cantante. (1984)

External links

(and) Teresa Berganza at the Internet Movie Database Official Teresa Berganza website, including photos