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Article

Ivan Čavlović

(b Mostar, 1953). Bosnian-Herzegovinian soprano. Bakšić graduated from the Secondary Music School in Mostar. In 1976 she graduated from the Department for Music Theory and in 1979 from the Department for Solo-Singing at the Academy of Music in Sarajevo. She studied solo-singing in the class of the famous opera singer and professor Milica Buljubašić-Zečević. As a student she began to sing at the Music Scene of Sarajevo, first at the student concerts and then on the opera stage. In 1979 she made her début as Rosette in Manon. In 1981, at the very beginning of her career, she performed her first leading role as Floramye in the operette Little Floramye by Ivo Tijardović.

After graduating from the Department for Solo-Singing Bakšić passed the audition at the National Theatre Opera in Sarajevo and has since become a permanent soloist in the opera and operetta repertoire. Some of her leading roles include Rosette in ...

Article

Trudi Ann Wright

(b Baltimore, MD, Aug 9, 1912; d Oslo, Norway, March 13, 2009). American soprano. Born to a music-loving mother and prominent physician father whose grandparents were slaves, Brown premiered the role of Bess in the original production of Porgy and Bess (1935). She studied music, first at Morgan State College and then the Juilliard School, where she was the first African American to win the Margaret McGill scholarship. Brown learned of Gershwin’s new opera, then titled Porgy, while at Juilliard, and immediately requested an audition. She sang for Gershwin a few days later and left their meeting as Bess. Gershwin frequently invited Brown to his apartment to sing parts of the opera as he composed. As a result, Bess grew from a secondary character into one of the opera’s leading roles.

After the original Broadway run and tour of Porgy and Bess ended in 1936, Brown continued with her career in the DuBose Heyward musicals ...

Article

Lana Paćuka

(b Sarajevo, Bosnia, June 30, 1947). Bosnian soprano, opera soloist, and music pedagogue. She graduated in 1973 from the Music Academy Sarajevo (class of Bruna Špiler), where she also took the master’s degree in the field of solo singing in 1977. During her artistic career she achieved notable success singing the main soprano roles in the operas Il trovatore (G. Verdi), Ero s onog svijeta (J. Gotovac), The Bartered Bride (B. Smetana), The Marriage of Figaro (W.A. Mozart), and Madam Butterfly and La Boheme (G. Puccini). Her artistic activity was interrupted due to the wartime events in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1992 to 1995. Her actions were diverted to performances within small artistic ensembles, which corresponded to the conditions of the social and cultural life of that time. She distinguished herself in appearances at the concerts of the Sarajevo Winter Festival, Summer Chamber Music (1993), and Days of Culture of the Czech Republic in Bosnia and Herzegovina (...

Article

James Wierzbicki

revised by Jonas Westover

(Ann )

(b Canby, MN, Jan 4, 1947). American soprano. After studying at St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota (BM 1969), and with marion Freschel at the Juilliard School, she won first prizes in the Concert Artists Guild competition in 1970 and the Rockefeller and Minna Kaufmann Ruud competitions in 1972. She has appeared as a soloist with most of the major American orchestras, including the Baltimore SO, with which she toured East Germany, and the New York PO, with which she gave the premiere (under Pierre Boulez) of George Crumb’s Star-child (1977), a work commissioned for her by the Ford Foundation as a result of her winning its performance competition in 1971. She has also sung in Europe, with such orchestras as the Stuttgart RO and the Bavarian RO. In 1980 she won the Naumburg International Voice Competition, and the following year she made her opera debut as Mimì with Opera St. Paul (Minnesota), in addition to giving her first recitals at Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center; since then she has been increasingly active as a recitalist. Gubrud’s wide expressive range and sure technique allow her to meet the demands of music from all periods. She has recorded widely on a variety of labels and has been a regular participant in the Aspen, Blossom, and Meadowbrook festivals. Gubrud’s role as a teacher has been a key facet of her career. She taught at Washington University, St. Louis (...

Article

Zana Shuteriqi Prela

(b Rrëshen, Abania, July 18, 1974). Albanian soprano. In 1992 she completed her vocal studies with V. Kosta at the Jordan Misja Liceu Artistik in Tirana. In 1993 she earned a scholarship and moved to Italy to study at the Accademia Mantovana of Katia Ricciarelli, and later studied at the S. Cecilia Conservatorio in Rome with Valerio Papperi. From 1997 to 2000 her activity concentrated in Italy, and she won a number of competitions including the Giacomo Pucinni Milan (1997) and Spontini International Competition in Ancona (1998), among others. She has performed on such important stages as those at Covent Garden, Teatro alla Scala Milano, the Metropolitan Opera, the Berliner Staatsoper, the Vienna State Opera, the Opéra Bastille, the Théatre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, NHK Opera in Japan, the Arena di Verona, and the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow. Her rich repertory includes roles in ...

Article

Nadia Turbide

(b Cleveland, OH, Aug 13, 1907; d New York, NY, March 13, 2002). American soprano, music publisher, and concert manager. She studied singing with Ruth Thayer Burnham while attending Abbot Academy, Andover, and later at Wellesley College (BA 1929). After two years as an actress at the Cleveland Playhouse, she sang in Gabriel Pierné’s La croisade des enfants with the Cleveland Orchestra (1932). She was then coached by Eva Gauthier in New York and made her debut there in 1934 at Town Hall in the North American premiere of Handel’s solo cantata La Lucrezia. Three years later she sang Butterfly and Tosca with the Royal Flemish Opera in Antwerp. After meeting Sibelius in Finland, she returned to the United States and introduced a number of his songs in concert (1938). During World War II Johnson escorted a convoy of refugees from Paris to Spain and as a result of the ordeal lost her voice. She joined the staff of ...

Article

Lana Paćuka

(b Bosanski Brod, Bosnia, Dec 30, 1937; d Zagreb, Croatia, Sept 18, 2007). Bosnian soprano and prima donna. She completed her secondary music education and university studies in singing in Sarajevo. She graduated from the Academy of Music in Sarajevo in 1963 (studying under Bruna Špiler and Zlata Đunđevac-Gavella). One of the key figures in her personal musical development was operetta diva Erika Druzović, who spotted her talent for refined musicality and striking vocal ability. In 1959 she debuted with the Sarajevo Opera in the role of Duchess in The Marriage of Figaro. She performed with this opera company from 1962 to 1975, eventually attaining prima donna status.

Her international career was launched by a competition in Tokyo (1968), where she was awarded the prize for the best performance of the role of Cho-Cho-San in Madam Butterfly. After this she performed on several stages around the world, including the Vienna State Opera, Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera, and La Scala, and her striking performance of the title role in ...

Article

Zana Shuteriqi Prela

(b Tirana, Albania, June 27, 1963). Albanian soprano . She graduated in 1986 from the Higher Institute of Arts in Tirana, where she studied with her mother, who was a professor there. In 1987 she won the Singer of Albania competition, and then the George Enescu Competition in Bucharest, the Grand Prix ‘Madam Butterfly’ in Barcelona, and the Placido Domingo International Voice Competition in Paris. During 1993, with Domingo, she toured Europe and the USA, which opened the doors to cooperation with important theatres and conductors. From the early days of her career, she excelled in several Verdi-repertory roles: Oscar in Un Ballo in mascara (Opera of Monte Carlo); Nanetta in Falstaff (La Scala, the Ravenna Festival, etc.); Gilda in Rigoletto (Verona Arena, Music Center of Los Angeles, etc.); Violetta in La traviata (Deutsche Oper Berlin, New National Theatre in Tokyo, Covent Garden in London, etc.). Other roles in her repertory include: ...

Article

Milena Bozhikova

[Alex Penda ]

(b Sofia, Bulgaria, Sept 24, 1970). Bulgarian opera soprano . She has worked under the pseudonym Alex Penda since May 2012. She was born into a well-known family of musicians; her grandfather is Sasha Popov, one of the most prestigious figures in 20th century Bulgaria, a violinist, conductor, and the founder of the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra; her mother, the soprano Valerie Popova, sang regularly at La Scala (1983–6) and was Pendachanska’s first vocal teacher. Pendachanska graduated from the National School of Music, Sofia, with a degree in piano and singing. She made her debut at 17 as Violetta in La traviata. She won the Antonin Dvorak International Singing Competition in Karlovy Vary at age 19 (1989), the International Vocal Competition in Bilbao (second prize, 1988), and the UNISA singing competition in Pretoria (1990). Since her international début as Lucia di Lammermoor in Bilbao (...

Article

Kelley Rourke

(b Madison, WI, June 3, 1960). American soprano. She has done her most important work at the extremes of the opera timeline, winning acclaim for interpretations of both early and contemporary repertory. In 1988 she played the roles of Poppea, Fortune, and Minerva in Stephen Wadsworth’s Monteverdi cycle at Skylight Comic Opera. She went on to appear in works by Monteverdi, Cavalli, and Handel in venues around the world, including Santa Fe Opera, New York City Opera, Glimmerglass Opera (Cooperstown, NY), Gran Teatre del Liceu (Barcelona, Spain), and the International Handel Festival (Göttingen, Germany). Saffer has collaborated frequently with the composer and conductor Oliver Knussen, beginning with performances of Hans Werner Henze’s Elegy for Young Lovers in 1988 at Tanglewood. She has been celebrated for her interpretation of Marie in Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s Die Soldaten, a role she has performed at Opéra Bastille, New York City Opera, and the English National Opera. As the title character in Alban Berg’s ...

Article

Lana Paćuka

(b Banja Luka, Bosnia, July 25, 1940). Bosnian soprano, opera soloist, and music pedagogue. She completed her elementary and secondary music education in her native town. She began her studies in opera singing at the Academy of Music in Ljubljana (Slovenia), with Julije Beteto. After the second year, she continued her music education in Sarajevo, with Bruna Špiler. The distinctiveness of her talent was recognized early on, and she graduated at the top of her class. She took the master’s degree from the Department of Voice in 1967.

Upon completing her studies, with a Sarajevo Opera scholarship, she made her début in Jenufa (L. Janáček) in 1965. From that moment on, she was engaged as a soloist at the Sarajevo Opera and, from 1965 to 1968, sang the roles of Abigaille (Nabucco, G. Verdi), Katerina Ismailova (Katerina Ismailova, D. Shostakovich), and Floramye (Little Floramye, I. Tijardović). In ...

Article

Angelina Petrova

(b Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria, Aug 16, 1962). Bulgarian soprano. She is a graduate of the High School of Music in Ruse in violin (1981). She went on to study at the Institute of Music in Plovdiv and obtained degrees in violin and voice (1988). In 1995 she won recognition as an opera soloist in the Sofia National Opera House covering a wide range of roles, such as Gilda in Verdi’s Rigoletto, Susanna (Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro), Cecilia (Antonio Carlo Gomes’s Il Guarany), Delia (Antonio Carlo Gomes’s I Fosca), Rachel (Fromental Halévi’s La Juive), and Vitellia (Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito). She made her debut at Wiener Staatsoper in 1998 where, among others, she performed the roles of the Contessa (Le Nozze Di Figaro), Micaela (Bizet’s Carmen), Antonia (Offenbach’s Les contes d’Hoffmann), Liu (Puccini’s Turandot...