As an accomplished musician and a great singer, Teresa Berganza started studying the piano, the organ, harmony and composition in Madrid. But at eighteen she decided to become a singer. Trained by Lola Rodriguez Aragòn, a student of Elisabeth Schumann, Teresa Berganza has two loves, Mozart and Rossini, who provide her with her favourite roles during her whole career.
It is with Mozart that she performs on stage for the first time in Così fan Tutte (Dorabella) at the Aix en Provence Festival in 1957 and the lyrical world acclaims her. Two years later, Britain also falls under the charm of her Cherubino in the Marriage of Figaro at Glyndebourne and Covent Garden. Then the Cenerentola by Rossini is her consecration under the direction of Claudio Abbadon, with whom she also records Rosine in the Barber of Seville.
Recorded in Paris in 1964 with the National Orchestra of the RTF conducted by Eugen Jochum, before an audience which, since Aix, is at her feet, Teresa Berganza portrays with youthful vigour Cinderella and Cherubino, these two adolescents whose singing expresses the passage into adulthood. Simplicity and natural ease, all the things that make up the qualities of Berganza's exceptional career are already there in her luminous presence.
With a Spanish heart, faithful to her country and to her family, she is able to render larger than life the Spain invented by Bizet in Carmen, a role which she saves from all its clichés. But to the sombreros and mantillas she often prefers the recital in which she reveals without artifice her love for popular song and the zarzuela. In 1964, upon her return to the Festival of Aix en Provence accompanied by her husband, Felix Lavilla, she sings marvellous folk songs ranging from the Basque tradition embodied by Jesùs Guridi to that of Catalonia mixed with a little West Indian culture represented by Xavier Monsalvatge and the soft serenades of Ferran Obradors.
When Teresa Berganza auditioned in 1957 in Aix she had been refused everywhere else. But Gabriel Dussurget intuitively felt she had a Mozartian temperament. Dorabella, then Cherubino, Teresa Berganza will also be Zerline in Don Giovanni, immortalised on screen by Joseph Losey. To this gallery, she adds one of the most beautiful Mozartian mezzos, Sextus in The Clemency of Titus which she records with Karl Böhm and from which she interprets here the moving Parto, in 1967 at the Salle Pleyel accompanied by Serge Baudo.
The day after her debut in London, Britain capitulates to Berganza's Spain, as she is solemnly crowned by a television appearance with Gerald Moore. As beautiful as a Greek goddess, Teresa Berganza sings the Seven Popular Songs by Manuel de Falla. A re-creation in the real sense of the term, the collection takes up themes from the different provinces of the Iberian peninsula to compose the most authentic original composition: a model of national culture.
Gala concert of the Lucerne Festival
Orchestre de l'ORTF, Georges Prêtre - Orchestre de l'Opéra de Paris, Georges Sébastian