- George Leotsakos
(b El Faiyûm, Egypt, Nov 2, 1910; d Tirana, 28 or Dec 29, 1947). Albanian soprano . She studied in Montpellier and Paris (1927–35), where her teachers included André Gresse, and returned to Albania in 1935; later she studied in Italy. She gave numerous recitals throughout Albania, even in remote villages. Her combination of a classical opera repertory with Albanian folksong arrangements (and later partisan songs) endeared her to a popular audience, for many of whom she provided the first contact with foreign art-music. She appeared in Rome, Bari and other Italian cities, and in November 1945 sang Rosina and Mimì at the Belgrade Opera. In 1946 she organized singing classes at the newly-founded Jordan Misja, Albania’s first teaching institution for music. Her repertory leaned towards coloratura arias. Her perfect intonation and rich, clear, sweet tone were combined with a keen sense of style, natural charm and beauty and great will-power....