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Ada Sari



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Ada Sari (29 June 1886 - 12 July 1968) was a Polish opera singer, actress, and educator. One of the leading coloratura sopranos of her generation, she possessed a large, resonant voice with a clear timbre. Her career took her to the stages of the best opera houses and concert halls in Europe during the first half of the 20th century. Her signature roles included Gilda in Rigoletto, Mimi in La bohème, Rosina in The Barber of Seville, Violetta in La traviata, and the title roles in Lakmé and Lucia di Lammermoor. She also gave lauded concert tours in North America and South America.

Sari enjoyed a great deal of popularity among audiences and critics and she was dubbed “The Queen of coloratura” and the “new Patti” by the Italian press. During her career she appeared opposite many famous singers, including Mattia Battistini, Beniamino Gigli, Aureliano Pertile, Titta Ruffo, and Tito Schipa to name a just a few. She collaborated with many well known conductors like Sergei Koussevitzky, Tullio Serafin, and Arturo Toscanini. She also appeared in concert with many well-known performers, such as Fritz Kreisler, Wilhelm Backhaus, and Pablo Casals.

Born with the name Jadwiga Schayer in Wadowice, Sari was the daughter of Edward Szayera, a well-known lawyer, and his wife Frances. When she was three years old she moved with her family to Stary Sącz where her father opened a law firm and eventually served as mayor for seventeen years. After completion of her primary education, she studied music theory and singing privately in Cieszyn and Kraków. In 1905 she was admitted to a private music school in Vienna operated by Countess Pizzamano. From 1907 to 1909 she studied in Milan with Antonio Rupnicek.

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