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Elena Nicolai

This Bulgarian-born, but Italian-based mezzo soprano possessed among the largest, most exciting instruments of her time. Much less smooth of tone of voice than her colleague — and competition — Ebe Stignani, Elena Nicolai acquired a by a lot more tempestuous stage character, one perfectly suitable for such people as Santuzza, Eboli, Amneris, the Principessa Bouillon, Ortrud — as well as the Die Walküre Brünnhilde, generally the province of accurate sopranos. Nicolai produced a stunning impression in the movie theater, a lot of that frisson translating to her recordings, notably her Don Carlo with Stella, Gobbi, Christoff, and Santini performing. Born with a family group name of Nikolova, the youthful singer journeyed from Bulgaria to Milan when she was 19. There, she undertook a five-year plan of study on the conservatory, functioning initial under Vincenzo Pintorno and afterwards with Ettore Pozzoli. Nicolai (today with her name Italianized) produced her debut in the fairly small function of Annina in Der Rosenkavalier. The place was Naples’ Teatro San Carlo and the knowledge was intended as a way for the vocalist to check her stage hip and legs. It had been the only supplementary component she ever sang. Shortly thereafter, she was involved for Laura in La Gioconda, performing the function under Franco Ghione at Noto in Sicily. Her achievement there resulted in an engagement for the same opera in Cremona, this time around with Gina Cigna and Beniamino Gigli and Tullio Serafin leading the shows. This, subsequently, resulted in a reserving to sing in Ponchielli’s even more obscure Il Figliuol Prodigo, once again using the same three superstars. She was quickly involved by La Scala, 1st for the Principessa Bouillon, consequently to displace Ebe Stignani in Boito’s Nerone. Beneath the baton of Gino Marinuzzi and with Aureliano Pertile and Maria Carena as co-workers, she won a company place for herself among organization favorites. So excellent was her achievement that she was asked by Marinuzzi to sing the Witch in Hänsel und Gretel as well as the Zia Principessa in Puccini’s Suor Angelica. Refusing the functions as unsuitable for a tone of voice, Nicolai incurred the short-term displeasure from the popular conductor. Later, nevertheless, Marinuzzi arrived around to Nicolai’s point of view. Engaged to execute Ortrud in Trieste, the mezzo discovered La Scala pleading for help when their personal creation of Lohengrin was imperiled by the condition of Stignani, their Ortrud. Without other singers open to carry out the part, administration at La Scala wanted Nicolai for the part, let’s assume that they could persuade Trieste to change its schedule. Therefore, Nicolai commuted by teach between Trieste and Milan, performing the demanding function nearly nightly. When Marinuzzi noticed the mezzo as Ortrud, he granted that she have been appropriate to drop his earlier give. A final minute cancellation resulted in Nicolai’s lengthy romantic relationship with Verona. She found dominate Ortrud from an ailing colleague and continued to be being a preferred company singer for just two years. At Verona, she initial came across Maria Callas with whom she sang several memorable shows. Nicolai experienced the temperament to supply stability in her collaborations using the Greek soprano. Using their 1947 Verona La Gioconda to later on shows of Norma, their joint looks brought collectively two performers of remarkable dramatic perception. Additional functions that Nicolai had a particular fondness had been Carmen, Dalila, and Azucena. The continuous demand on her behalf solutions in Italy led Nicolai to focus her profession there, venturing overseas only sometimes to, for instance, South America.

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