Artist Profile: Soprano Edita Gruberova, A Bel Canto Queen

By David Salazar

When it comes to the bel canto repertoire, Edita Gruberova is one of the most beloved interpreters of the 20th century.

Born on Dec. 23, 1946, the Slovak soprano would become known for her incredible vocal range and her technical precision in the bel canto repertory. She studied at the Bratislava Conservatory followed by the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava. She would then appear at the Slovak National Theater.

Her opera debut came in 1968 in Bratislava. She was engaged at the Vienna State Opera in 1969 and that opened up opportunities for the soprano in the west. From there she appeared in Glyndebourne in 1973, and the Met Opera in 1977 as the Queen of the Night in “Die Zauberflöte.” From there she would go on to appear all over the world, expanding her repertoire everywhere she went.

She was made a Kammersängerin in Austria and an honorary member of the Vienna State Opera.

Signature Roles

Gruberova was renowned for a plethora of bel canto roles in the operas of Donizetti and Bellini. For many she was the successor of Joan Sutherland in this repertoire, mastering and expanding the possibilities of 19th-century Italian opera.

In her early career, the Slovak soprano was a renowned Queen of the Night, but her take on the title role of “Lucia di Lammermoor” remains her most famous interpretation to date. There are three recordings of the work, the earlier one alongside Alfredo Kraus being one of the most beloved ever.

Read More on Gruberova

Here are Five of her Iconic Roles

A Review of Her Famed “Lucia di Lammermoor”

Watch and Listen

Here is a recording of her “Lucia di Lammermoor” alongside Alfredo Kraus.

And here she is in “I Puritani.”


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