Biography of Licia Albanese (1913-VVVV)

Licia Albanese

Italian, nationalized American soprano, born in Bari on 22 July 1913. He/She studied in his hometown, where it debuted as Mimi in La Bohème by Puccini with the name of Alicia Albanese. Later, he/she sang at the Arena of Verona and la Scala in Milan, where he/she stood as a scenic couple of the tenor Beniamino Gigli. His debut at la Scala was due to a sudden indisposition of soprano performed Madama Butterfly, that Albanese had to replace in the second act of the opera.

In 1937, he/she made his debut on the international scene in Covent Garden in London, which was, however, only backwards in his career. In 1940, after having carried out a brilliant career in his country as a lyric soprano, the war made him accept a contract of the House of New York Metropolitan Opera, company that debuted with the role of Madama Butterfly, one of the most often and best interpreted. He/She remained in New York, and there worked closely with Arturo Toscanini, and, two years later, his success with La Traviata was cause that remained as soprano of the Met, although attending numerous commitments by Europe and America, and that requested the American nationality, granted in 1945. The return to their homeland in 1951 coronado will be a new success at la Scala with, once again, Madama Butterfly.

He emphasized especially in roles of Verdi and puccinianos, recorded by Fortune under the direction of the same Toscanini, when Albanese displayed the intensity of its interpretation. It was also excellent interpreter of Mozart roles such as Donna Anna, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, and Susanna in the marriage of Figaro and French opera (Manon in the homonymous opera by Massenet, Margarita in Gounod's Fausto or Micalea in Carmen). In his later years, already removed from the Met and dedicated mostly to teaching, he/she wrote some papers of dramatic soprano as the star of Aida, Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana by Mascagni that add nothing, quite the contrary, career.

In 1995 he/she was awarded the National Medal of Honor for the Arts, imposed by President Bill Clinton. He/She is Chairman of the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation, founded in 1974 for the care and development of young singers.