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Fiorenza Cossotto

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Italian mezzo-soprano (b Crescentino, Vercelli, 22 April 1935)… A pupil of Ettore Campogalliani, she made her début in 1957 at La Scala (as Sister Mathilde in the première of Dialogues des Carmélites), returning there almost continuously up to the 1972–3 season and appearing in La favorite, Les Huguenots, Il trovatore, Aida, Don Carlos, Barbiere, Cavalleria rusticana (Santuzza), Norma and other operas. She began her international career in 1958, singing Jane Seymour in Donizetti’s Anna Bolena at the Wexford Festival. In 1959 she first appeared at Covent Garden (Neris in Cherubini’s Médée with Callas) and caused a sensation as Cherubino at the Royal Festival Hall, London, with Giulini. She then sang in Barcelona, Vienna, Paris, Chicago (1964) and New York (Amneris at the Metropolitan, 1968), as well as in all the leading Italian theatres. She was still singing major roles into the 1990s. Cossotto had a full, resonant voice, particularly clear and easily produced in the top register. Notable among her many recordings are her vocally opulent, dramatically exciting Amneris, Lady Macbeth, Leonora (La favorite) and Adalgisa (where her coloratura singing is outstanding). Her Amneris is preserved on a video made at the Verona Arena. (GV: G. Gualerzi; R. Celletti)

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