Sylvia Sass

Last updated
Sylvia Sass
Sass Sylvia.jpg
Born (1951-07-12) 12 July 1951 (age 67)
Budapest, Hungary
OccupationOpera singer (soprano)

Sylvia Sass (born 12 July 1951) is a Hungarian operatic soprano who has sung leading roles both in her native country and internationally.

Hungary Country in Central Europe

Hungary is a country in Central Europe. Spanning 93,030 square kilometres (35,920 sq mi) in the Carpathian Basin, it borders Slovakia to the north, Ukraine to the northeast, Austria to the northwest, Romania to the east, Serbia to the south, Croatia to the southwest, and Slovenia to the west. With about 10 million inhabitants, Hungary is a medium-sized member state of the European Union. The official language is Hungarian, which is the most widely spoken Uralic language in the world. Hungary's capital and its largest city and metropolis is Budapest. Other major urban areas include Debrecen, Szeged, Miskolc, Pécs and Győr.

A soprano[soˈpraːno] is a type of classical female singing voice and has the highest vocal range of all voice types. The soprano's vocal range (using scientific pitch notation) is from approximately middle C (C4) = 261 Hz to "high A" (A5) =880 Hz in choral music, or to "soprano C" (C6, two octaves above middle C) =1046 Hz or higher in operatic music. In four-part chorale style harmony, the soprano takes the highest part, which usually encompasses the melody. The soprano voice type is generally divided into the coloratura, soubrette, lyric, spinto, and dramatic soprano.

Contents

Life and career

Born in Budapest, Sass studied at Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest with Ferenc Révhegyi. She made her professional debut at the Hungarian State Opera, as Frasquita in Bizet's Carmen , in 1971. The following year, she appeared at the Sofia National Opera, as Violetta in La traviata , and during the 1974-75 season at the Salzburg Festival singing Mozart in concert.

Budapest Capital city in Hungary

Budapest is the capital and the most populous city of Hungary, and the tenth-largest city in the European Union by population within city limits. The city had an estimated population of 1,752,704 in 2016 distributed over a land area of about 525 square kilometres. Budapest is both a city and county, and forms the centre of the Budapest metropolitan area, which has an area of 7,626 square kilometres and a population of 3,303,786, comprising 33 percent of the population of Hungary.

Franz Liszt Academy of Music concert hall and music conservatory in Budapest, Hungary

The Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music is a concert hall and music conservatory in Budapest, Hungary, founded on November 14, 1875. It is home to the Liszt Collection, which features several valuable books and manuscripts donated by Franz Liszt upon his death, and the AVISO studio, a collaboration between the governments of Hungary and Japan to provide sound recording equipment and training for students. The Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music was founded by Franz Liszt himself. Between 1877-1879 the Academy moved into its present building, a masterpiece of art Neo-Renaissance architecture.

Georges Bizet French composer

Georges Bizet, registered at birth as Alexandre César Léopold Bizet, was a French composer of the Romantic era. Best known for his operas in a career cut short by his early death, Bizet achieved few successes before his final work, Carmen, which has become one of the most popular and frequently performed works in the entire opera repertoire.

In 1975, she sang at the Scottish Opera, as Desdemona in Verdi's Otello , and in 1976, made her debut at the Royal Opera House in London, in a performance as Giselda in I Lombardi , [1] returning the following season as Violetta. In 1977, she made her only appearances at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, in Tosca (opposite José Carreras and Ingvar Wixell). She also appeared at the Vienna State Opera, the Munich State Opera, the Teatro Municipal de Caracas as Amelia in Un ballo in maschera, at the opera houses of Cologne, Frankfurt, Berlin, Hamburg, as well as the Paris Opera and the Aix-en-Provence Festival, both as Violetta. In 1978, she made her debut at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, as Puccini's Manon Lescaut , conducted by Georges Prêtre, a performance that was televised live across Europe.

Scottish Opera

Scottish Opera is the national opera company of Scotland, and one of the five national performing arts companies funded by the Scottish Government. Founded in 1962 and based in Glasgow, it is the largest performing arts organisation in Scotland.

<i>Otello</i> opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi

Otello is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Arrigo Boito, based on Shakespeare's play Othello. It was Verdi's penultimate opera, and was first performed at the Teatro alla Scala, Milan, on 5 February 1887.

Royal Opera House opera house and major performing arts venue in Covent Garden, central London

The Royal Opera House (ROH) is an opera house and major performing arts venue in Covent Garden, central London. The large building is often referred to as simply "Covent Garden", after a previous use of the site of the opera house's original construction in 1732. It is the home of The Royal Opera, The Royal Ballet, and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House. Originally called the Theatre Royal, it served primarily as a playhouse for the first hundred years of its history. In 1734, the first ballet was presented. A year later, Handel's first season of operas began. Many of his operas and oratorios were specifically written for Covent Garden and had their premieres there.

Her repertory also included Donna Anna in Don Giovanni , Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte , Mimi in La bohème , Judith in Béla Bartók's Bluebeard's Castle , etc., but she was particularly noted in early Verdi operas, especially as Lady Macbeth.

<i>Don Giovanni</i> opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Don Giovanni is an opera in two acts with music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Italian libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte. It is based on the legends of Don Juan, a fictional libertine and seducer. It was premiered by the Prague Italian opera at the National Theater, now called the Estates Theatre, on 29 October 1787. Da Ponte's libretto was billed as a dramma giocoso, a common designation of its time that denotes a mixing of serious and comic action. Mozart entered the work into his catalogue as an opera buffa. Although sometimes classified as comic, it blends comedy, melodrama and supernatural elements.

<i>Così fan tutte</i> Italian language opera buffa by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Così fan tutte, ossia La scuola degli amanti, K. 588, is an Italian-language opera buffa in two acts by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart first performed on 26 January 1790 at the Burgtheater in Vienna, Austria. The libretto was written by Lorenzo Da Ponte who also wrote Le nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni.

<i>La bohème</i> opera by Giacomo Puccini

La bohème is an opera in four acts, composed by Giacomo Puccini to an Italian libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa, based on Scènes de la vie de bohème by Henri Murger. The world premiere of La bohème was in Turin on 1 February 1896 at the Teatro Regio, conducted by the 28-year-old Arturo Toscanini; its U.S. premiere took place the following year, 1897, in Los Angeles. Since then, La bohème has become part of the standard Italian opera repertory and is one of the most frequently performed operas worldwide.

Sass has won many awards, the first in 1972 when she won first prize at the Kodály Voice Competition. In 1973, she won the Grand Prix as Violetta at the International Opera Competition for Young Singers. In 1974, she won the Silver Medal at the International Tchaikovsky Competition, in Moscow. She was also made an Artist of Merit of the Hungarian People's Republic in 1977.

International Tchaikovsky Competition classical music competition

The International Tchaikovsky Competition is a classical-music competition held every four years in Moscow, Russia, for pianists, violinists, and cellists between 16 and 32 years of age, and singers between 19 and 32 years of age. The competition is named after Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and is an active member of the World Federation of International Music Competitions.

Sass has made several recordings of arias, Lieder, and complete operas, notably Bluebeard's Castle and Don Giovanni , both conducted by Sir Georg Solti, Verdi's I Lombardi , Ernani , Attila , Macbeth , Stiffelio , all conducted by Lamberto Gardelli, as well as Cherubini's Médée (in the Italian version), again with Gardelli, Richard Strauss's Four Last Songs and Richard Wagner's Wesendonck Lieder .

<i>Bluebeards Castle</i> opera by Béla Bartók

Bluebeard's Castle is a one-act expressionist opera by Hungarian composer Béla Bartók. The libretto was written by Béla Balázs, a poet and friend of the composer, and is written in Hungarian, based on the French literary tale La Barbe bleue by Charles Perrault. The opera lasts only a little over an hour and there are only two singing characters onstage: Bluebeard, and his new wife Judith ; the two have just eloped and Judith is coming home to Bluebeard's castle for the first time.

Georg Solti Hungarian orchestral and operatic conductor

Sir Georg Solti, was a Hungarian-born orchestral and operatic conductor, best known for his appearances with opera companies in Munich, Frankfurt and London, and as a long-serving music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Born in Budapest, he studied there with Béla Bartók, Leó Weiner and Ernő Dohnányi. In the 1930s, he was a répétiteur at the Hungarian State Opera and worked at the Salzburg Festival for Arturo Toscanini. His career was interrupted by the rise of the Nazis' influence on Hungarian politics, and being of Jewish background he fled the increasingly harsh Hungarian anti-Jewish laws in 1938. After conducting a season of Russian ballet in London at the Royal Opera House he found refuge in Switzerland, where he remained during the Second World War. Prohibited from conducting there, he earned a living as a pianist.

<i>Ernani</i> opera by Giuseppe Verdi

Ernani is an operatic dramma lirico in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave, based on the play Hernani by Victor Hugo.

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References

  1. The 5th performance at the Royal Opera House of I Lombardi alla prima crociata. Saturday evening 5 June 1976. In-house theatre programme, Royal Opera House Covent Garden.

Sources