FRIDAY 16 MARCH 2018 - On 9 April 2018, Teresa Berganza will be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the International Opera Awards 2018.
The Spanish mezzo-soprano Teresa Berganza studied music at the Madrid Conservatory where she was awarded first prize for singing in 1954. She made her concert debut in Madrid in 1955, and in 1957 received international acclaim for her performance of Dorabella in Così fan tutte at the Aix-en-Provence Festival, aged just 22. That same year, she made her La Scala debut and shortly after, her debut at Glyndebourne in Le nozze di Figaro and at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, which became one of her signature roles. Berganza was also a natural in the operas and zarzuelas of her native Spain; her interpretation of the title role of Carmen in Piero Faggioni’s 1977 Edinburgh Festival production remains a highlight in the history of opera performance.
Mozart and Rossini were always the twin cornerstones of Berganza’s career. Her performances as Cherubino, Dorabella and Sesto have served as an example for future generations, while her interpretations of the leading roles in L'Italiana in Algeri, La Cenerentola and Il barbiere di Siviglia are seen by many as definitive. Teresa Berganza is greatly admired for her technical virtuosity, musical intelligence and beguiling stage presence.
John Allison, Chairman of the jury and Editor of Opera, said, “It was one of the jury’s easiest decisions to give the Lifetime Achievement Award to Teresa Berganza — such is the love and esteem everyone in the operatic world feels for her. Over a career lasting little short of half a century, her artistry was remarkably consistent, based on complete musicality and a mezzo-soprano voice of great distinction. In her key roles — above all in Mozart and Rossini, but also including Carmen and Charlotte — she was matchless, and she continues to leave her mark on opera through her work with young singers. She has indeed devoted her life to music.”