Artist Profile: Mezzo Fiorenza Cossotto, The Consummate Azucena Interpreter

(Credit: Chris Bennion)

Fiorenza Cossotto is one of the great Italian mezzo-sopranos of all-time.

Born on April 22, 1935, Cossotto attended the Turn Academy and made her opera debut in the world premiere performance of Poulenc’s now-iconic “Dialogues des Carmélites” at La Scala in 1957. From there she went on to have a prolific international career at such companies as the Met Opera, Wexford Festival, Covent Garden, and Lyric Opera of Chicago, among others. She sang 148 performances at the Met in a wide-range of repertoire.

Cossotto also made a wide-range of recordings with many of opera’s greatest stars and on her birthday, April 22, 2018, she is set to be honored with an Opera News Award.

Top Roles

Cossotto was undeniably the quintessential Verdi mezzo-soprano, taking on many of the composer’s iconic mezzo roles including Amneris, Eboli, Ulrica, and Preciosilla. But the role that she immortalized was Azucena in “Il Trovatore.”

The mezzo, whose vocal range was high enough for her to dominate the role of Lady Macbeth, was perfectly suited to that of the tragic figure. With ease, she moved from the dark and rugged qualities to more gentle and lyrical style. It is the consummate interpretation of this famed role.

Other Articles On Fiorenza Cossotto

Four Essential Recordings By Fiorenza Cossotto

Watch and Listen

You can check out her full Azucena interpretation here alongside Plácido Domingo under the musical direction of Herbert von Karajan.

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About the Author

David Salazar
Prior to creating OperaWire, DAVID SALAZAR, (Editor-in-Chief) worked as a reporter for Latin Post where he interviewed major opera stars including Placido Domingo, Anna Netrebko, Vittorio Grigolo, Diana Damrau and Rolando Villazon among others. His 2014 interview with opera star Kristine Opolais was cited in a New York Times Review. He also had the opportunity of interviewing numerous Oscar nominees, Golden Globe winners and film industry giants such as Guillermo del Toro, Oscar Isaac and John Leguizamo among others. David holds a Masters in Media Management from Fordham University. During his time at Fordham, he studied abroad at the Jagiellonian University in Poland. He also holds a dual bachelor’s from Hofstra University in Film Production and Journalism.

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