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Giulietta Simionato , Italian mezzo-soprano, dead at 99

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One of the great Italian names in the opera world, Giulietta Simionato, died earlier today in Italy at age 99.


Simionato dominated the opera scene for about 20 years after the end of World War 2. She had a slow start, debuting in 1936 but not making a real name for herself until the late 40s. But then , as the older Ebe Stignani gradually phased out her career, Simionato was the most important Italian mezzo until she stopped singing in 1966.

She had a very easy, rich sounding top register and could reach high C without strain. She experimented a bit with soprano roles, one huge success was in a La Scala production of Meyerbeer's Les Hugenots in the early 60s where she sang the role of Valentine, usually sung by dramatic sopranos

She looked and sounded stunning well into old age (80s and beyond), take a look at this:

even as late as 2007, she's still sharp as a tack, sounds and looks very elegant indeed:


Simionato was due to reach her 100th birthday next week.

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Simionato and the One and Only tearing the house down in 1957.
Wouldn't it be wonderful to have been there. The photos which accompany the conclusion of the aria are beautiful, both when the women are in character and when they are basking in the audience's applause (not to mention their evident enjoyment of singing together).
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