Elena Souliotis was one of the greatest opera singers to come out of Greece.
Born on May 28, 1943, she grew up in Argentina and went on to study with legendary teacher Mercedes Llopart.
She made her debut in 1964 in Naples as Santuzza in “Cavalleria Rusticana” and then headed to the US to appear in “Mefistofele” in Chicago. In that production, she played Elena opposite Renata Tebaldi, Alfredo Kraus, and Nicolai Ghiaurov. She would soon take on some of the heaviest roles in the opera repertoire, which many credit for her rapid vocal decline. She disappeared from the scene in the late 70s.
She would revive her career in the 1980s in secondary roles until she made her farewell to the stage in 2000. She died of heart failure in 2004 at just 61 years of age.
Souliotis is best-known for two major roles. She was one of the great champions of Donizetti’s “Anna Bolena” when few gave the opera much attention.
But she was even more renown for her turn as Abigaile in “Nabucco,” an opera that she dominated throughout her career. She famously recorded with Tito Gobbi and was the star of La Scala’s 1966-67 season.
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Watch and Listen
Here is her legendary “Anna Bolena.”
And here you can listen to her legendary “Nabucco.”