Italian soprano Barbara Frittoli was born on April 19, 1967, and carved out a solid career in the Italian repertoire.
Frittoli, a Milan native, went on graduate from the famed conservatory in her city. Unsurprisingly, she would have a solid career at the famed Teatro alla Scala, where she worked extensively with Riccardo Muti in such operas as “Falstaff,” “Otello,” “Il Trovatore,” and “Così Fan Tutte,” among others.
She was also a major fixture at the Metropolitan Opera since her debut in 1995, singing over 80 performances at the house in such operas as “Carmen,” “Luisa Miller,” “Otello,” “Falstaff,” “Suor Angelica,” “Don Giovanni,” “Simon Boccanegra,” “La Clemenza di Tito,” and “Così Fan Tutte.”
As the list above might intuit, Frittoli’s career was defined by two composers – Verdi and Mozart.
In Mozart, she took on all of his major operas with Vitellia becoming a specialty in later years. In fact, among her most ravishing Mozart singing are the “crazier” ladies such as Donna Elvira and Elettra, the soprano’s visceral vocal style coalescing elegantly with Mozart’s music.
In Verdi, Frittoli left almost no stone unturned, taking on almost all of the iconic Verdi roles available to her, with the exception of “Un Ballo in Maschera,” “Nabucco,” and “Macbeth.” Her voice was perfectly suited to the demands of vocal beauty and dramatic weight that the composer demands of his artists. Arguably, her finest roles in the Verdi canon include Desdemona in “Otello” and Leonora in “Il Trovatore.”
Watch and Listen
Let’s break this down into Verdi and Mozart. In the first clip, the soprano performs alongside Plácido Domingo and Leo Nucci, two immortal interpreters of Otello and Iago, respectively.
And here is a clip from “D’Oreste d’Aiace” from “Idomeneo.”