Artist Profile: Mezzo-Soprano Agnes Baltsa, One Of Greece’s Great Artists

By David Salazar

One of the greatest Greek opera stars of all-time, Agnes Baltsa was born on Nov. 19, 1944.

She kicked off her musical studies at age six as a pianist before moving to Athens in 1958 to become a singer. She studied on a Maria Callas scholarship in music upon graduating from the conservatory and made her first-ever appearance in an opera in 1968. It was a performance of “Le Nozze di Figaro” at the Frankfurt Opera.

She would debut in Vienna two years later, this time as Octavian in “Der Rosenkavalier.” Her Metropolitan Opera debut, also as Octavian, came in 1979 and she would perform 18 times over the next decade at the Met; she also appeared as “Carmen.” She would go on to a solid career around the world at such venues as the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Opéra de Paris, Bayerische Staatsoper, Royal Opera House, Opernhaus Zürich, and the Salzburg Festival.

In 1980, she was made a Kammersängerin at the Vienna State Opera.  In 1992, she appeared in the film “Duett.”

Major Roles

Baltsa sang a plethora of major roles throughout her career, but she is perhaps best-known for her work as “Carmen” and the roles of Octavian and Cherubino in “Der Rosenkavalier” and “Le Nozze di Figaro” respectively.

Read More on Baltsa

Three Great Recordings By Baltsa

Watch and Listen

Here she is in the grand finale of “Carmen” with José Carreras.

And here is her album, “Songs My Country Taught Me.”


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