Monserrat Caballé and Sondra Radvanovsky are two of the most revered sopranos of their generation. Caballé was well-known for her expressive voice and her immense repertoire. Meanwhile, today Radvanovsky is dominating the Italian verismo, Bel canto, and Verdi repertoire showing her range and flexibility.
Both sopranos also performed a number of unknown or rarely-performed operas. To celebrate their birthdays, which are one day apart, we look at the roles these two sopranoes shared.
Both Radvanosky and Caballé sang the title role of Verdi’s heroine in the early part of their career and made a success of it at the Met. Caballé sang the role in 1968 alongside Richard Tucker. Meanwhile, Radvanovsky sang two performances in 2001 at the Met and is set to reprise the role next season in Barcelona.
Both divas championed the final role in Donizetti’s Tudor trilogy. While both sopranos sang ALL three roles, it was Elisabetta for which they have been recognized. Caballé performed the role in France and Barcelona, among others. Meanwhile, Radvanovsky has performed the role in Toronto, New York, and is scheduled for performances in Munich and San Francisco.
I Vespri Sicilianni
The Met saw legendary performances of both sopranos in the role of Elena. Caballé sang the work in 1974 in John Dexter’s acclaimed production. Meanwhile, Radvanovsky performed the role in 2004, marking the last time work was shown at The Metropolitan Opera. Both performances to this date are seen as legendary.
Early in her Radvanovsky enjoyed success in Donizetti ’s opera marking we debut in the Bel Canto repertoire. She last performed the work in 2008 at the Washington National Opera when she alternated with Renée Fleming. Meanwhile, Caballé performed the role in Italy and France and even recorded it. She was also famous for omitting “Era Desso” and singing the original Donizetti version.