About Mirella Freni
February 27, 1935 - February 09, 2020
|Place of Birth||:||Modena, Emilia-Romagna, Italy|
|Also Known As||:||Mirella Fregni|
|Imdb Profile||:||IMDB Profile|
Mirella Freni (born Mirella Fregni, 27 February 1935 – 9 February 2020) was an Italian operatic soprano who had a career of 50 years and appeared at major international opera houses. She received international attention at the Glyndebourne Festival, where she appeared as Zerlina in Mozart's Don Giovanni and as Adina in Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore. Freni is associated with the role of Mimi in Puccini's La bohème, which featured in her repertoire from 1957 to 1999 and which she sang at La Scala in Milan and the Vienna State Opera in 1963, conducted by Herbert von Karajan. She also performed the role in a film of the production and as her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City in 1965. In the earliest opera DVDs, she portrayed her characters convincingly in both acting and singing. Freni was married for many years to the Bulgarian bass Nicolai Ghiaurov, with whom she performed and recorded. Her obituary from The New York Times describes her as a "matchless Italian prima donna". Born in Modena, she had the same wet-nurse as Luciano Pavarotti, with whom she grew up and who was to become a frequent tenor partner on stage. She studied voice first with her uncle, Dante Arcelli, then with Luigi Bertazzoni and Ettore Campogalliani. She later changed her name thinking it was easier to pronounce. Freni made her operatic debut at the Teatro Municipale in her hometown on 3 March 1955 as Micaëla in Bizet's Carmen. She later married her teacher, the pianist and director Leone Magiera; the couple had a daughter. Freni resumed her career in 1958 when she performed Mimì in Puccini's La bohème at the Teatro Regio in Turin, and sang in De Nederlandse Opera's 1959–60 season. Her international breakthrough came at the Glyndebourne Festival, where she appeared in 1960 as Zerlina in Mozart's Don Giovanni, alongside Joan Sutherland as Donna Anna, and in 1962 as Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro, and as Adina in Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore, directed by Franco Zeffirelli. In 1961, Freni first performed at the Royal Opera House in London as Nannetta in Verdi's Falstaff. She stepped in as Nanetta at La Scala in Milan for Renata Scotto. On 31 January 1963, she appeared there as Mimi in a production staged by Franco Zeffirelli and conducted by Herbert von Karajan. She became one of the conductor 's favourite singers in operas and concerts. The production was repeated at the Vienna State Opera the same year, and she appeared at the house in eleven roles, including the title role of Puccini's Manon Lescaut, and Amelia in Verdi's Simon Boccanegra. On 29 September 1965, she first appeared at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, again as Mimi, with Gianni Raimondi as Rodolfo who also made his house debut. Reviewer Alan Rich wrote in the New York Herald Tribune: Miss Freni is—well, "irresistible" will do for a start. Beautiful to look at, and actress of simple naturalness and overwhelming intelligence, she used voice and gesture to create a Mimi of ravishing femininity and grace. The voice itself is pure and fresh, operating without seam from bottom to top, marvelously colored at every point by what seems to be an instinctive response to the urging of the text. ... Source: Article "Mirella Freni" from Wikipedia in English, licensed under CC-BY-SA 3.0.