Agni Baltsa (Greek : Aγνή Mπάλτσα; also known as Agnes Baltsa; born 19 November 1944) is a leading Greek mezzo-soprano singer.
Baltsa was born in Lefkada. She began playing piano at the age of six, before moving to Athens in 1958 to concentrate on singing. She graduated from the Greek National Conservatoire in 1965 and then travelled to Munich to continue studying on a Maria Callas scholarship.
Baltsa made her first appearance in an opera in 1968 as Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro at Frankfurt Opera, before going on to appear as Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier at the Vienna State Opera in 1970. Under the guidance of Herbert von Karajan, she became a regular at the prestigious Salzburg Festival. She became Kammersängerin of the Vienna State Opera in 1980.
Her best-known performance is that of Carmen by Georges Bizet, which she has sung a number of times with noted tenors such as José Carreras,Neil Shicoff, and others. She has also sung works by Mozart (notably Così fan tutte ), Rossini ( Il Barbiere di Siviglia , La Cenerentola , Semiramide , L'italiana in Algeri ), Mascagni ( Cavalleria Rusticana ), Saint-Saëns ( Samson et Dalila ), Verdi ( Aida , La forza del destino , Il trovatore , Don Carlos ), Bellini ( I Capuleti e i Montecchi ), Offenbach ( Les Contes d'Hoffmann ) and Donizetti (Il Campanello, Maria Stuarda ).
She starred in the Austrian film Duett in 1992, playing an opera singer.
In 2017, she sang Klytemnestra in Richard Strauss's Elektra at the Greek National Opera's new premises at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center.
Samson and Delilah, Op. 47, is a grand opera in three acts and four scenes by Camille Saint-Saëns to a French libretto by Ferdinand Lemaire. It is also similar to the oratorio in its dramaturgical and musical plan. It was first performed in Weimar at the Grossherzogliches Theater on 2 December 1877 in a German translation.
Josep Maria Carreras Coll, better known as José Carreras, is a Spanish operatic tenor who is particularly known for his performances in the operas of Donizetti, Verdi and Puccini.
Vesselina Kasarova is a Bulgarian operatic mezzo-soprano.
José Luis Victor Cura Gómez is an Argentine operatic tenor, conductor, director, scenographer and photographer known for intense and original interpretations of opera characters, notably Otello in Verdi’s Otello, Samson in Saint-Saëns’ Samson et Dalila, Canio in Ruggero Leoncavallo's Pagliacci, Stiffelio in Giuseppe Verdi's Stiffelio and many others.
The Greek National Opera is the country's state lyric opera company, located in the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center at the south suburb of Athens, Kallithea. It is a public corporation under the supervision of the Greek Ministry of Culture and administered by the Board of Trustees and its Artistic Director, currently George Koumedakis.
Anna Tomowa-Sintow is a Bulgarian soprano who has sung to great acclaim in all the major opera houses around the world in a repertoire that includes Mozart, Rossini, Verdi, Puccini, Wagner, and Strauss. She enjoyed a particularly close professional relationship with conductor Herbert von Karajan from 1973 until the conductor's death in 1989.
Olga Vladimirovna Borodina is a leading mezzo-soprano, known for her roles in Russian operas at her home company, the Mariinsky Theatre, and for her international performing and recording career in a varied repertoire.
Elīna Garanča is a Latvian mezzo-soprano. She began to study singing in her hometown of Riga in 1996 and continued her studies in Vienna and in the United States. By 1999 she had won first place in a significant competition in Finland and had begun a career in Europe. Worldwide engagements followed her 2003 Salzburg Festival appearances.
Blanche Thebom was an American operatic mezzo-soprano, voice teacher, and opera director. She was part of the first wave of American opera singers that had highly successful international careers. In her own country she had a long association with the Metropolitan Opera in New York City which lasted 22 years. Opera News stated, "An ambitious beauty with a velvety, even-grained dramatic mezzo, Thebom was a natural for opera: she commanded the stage with the elegantly disciplined hauteur of an old-school diva, relishing the opportunity to play femmes du monde such as Marina in Boris Godunov, Herodias and Dalila."
Viorica Cortez is a noted Romanian-born mezzo-soprano, later French by naturalisation. Starting her operatic and concert career in the mid-1960s, she went on to become one of the most prominent female performers of the '70s and '80s. An example of professional longevity, she is present on some of the most prestigious European opera scenes.
Graciela Araya is an Austrian mezzo-soprano of Chilean birth who has had a prolific international opera career since the early 1980s. Though her repertoire is extensive, her signature part is the title role in Carmen which she has performed over 400 times.
Nancy Fabiola Herrera is a Canarian mezzo-soprano opera singer. Born in Venezuela to Canarian parents, Herrera is the recipient of the "Best Zarzuela Singer of 2007" award presented by the Fundación Premios Liricos Teatro Campoamor, for her performance in Ruperto Chapí's La Bruja.
Sona Ghazarian is an Armenian-Austrian operatic soprano. A Kammersängerin of the Republic of Austria, she has sung over 70 roles in the major opera houses of both Europe and the United States.
Franz Ferenczy was a nineteenth-century German tenor who had a prolific opera career in Europe between 1859-1880. Possessing a powerful voice with a wide vocal range, Ferenczy particularly excelled in the operas of Giacomo Meyerbeer and Richard Wagner. He is best remembered today for originating the role of Samson in the world premiere of Camille Saint-Saëns's Samson et Dalila in 1877. His brother, José Ferenczy (1852–1908), was also a successful operatic tenor.
Franca Mattiucci is an Italian operatic mezzo-soprano who had an active international career from 1963 to 1987. In her native country she made appearances at the Arena di Verona Festival, the Baths of Caracalla, La Fenice, La Scala, the Teatro Comunale di Bologna, the Teatro della Pergola, the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, the Teatro di San Carlo, the Teatro Donizetti, the Teatro Margherita, the Teatro Massimo Bellini, the Teatro Massimo, the Teatro Regio di Parma, and the Teatro Regio di Torino. On the international stage she performed at the Hamburg State Opera, the Hungarian State Opera, the Liceu, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Opéra de Monte-Carlo, the Sofia National Opera, the Teatro Colón, the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos, the Teatro Real, and the Vienna State Opera among others.
Bernadette Eileen Cullen is an Australian dramatic mezzo-soprano who has performed in Australia, Europe and Asia.
Aleksandrs Antoņenko is a Latvian tenor who specializes in the dramatic repertoire, and has appeared at the Metropolitan Opera and La Scala.
Małgorzata Walewska is a Polish opera singer, dramatic mezzo-soprano.
Piroska Anday known as Rosette Anday, was a leading Hungarian mezzo-soprano.
Egils Siliņš is a Latvian bass-baritone. He graduated from the Latvian Academy of Music and made his operatic debut at the Latvian National Opera in 1988. He has won multiple international singing competitions and since November 5, 2019, he is Chairman of the Board of the Latvian National Opera and Ballet.