Soprano Eugenia Ratti died in her hometown of Piacenza on November 16, 2020 at the age of 87.
Ratti was a contemporary of Maria Callas, singing opposite the famed soprano in 1957 at Teatro alla Scala as Lisa in the Visconti production of “La sonnambula,” conducted by Leonard Bernstein. She also replaced Callas as Rosina in The Dallas Opera’s 1959 Franco Zeffirelli production of “Il barbiere di Siviglia.”
Born in Genoa on April 5, 1933, Ratti first studied under her mother and then Tito Schipa. Ratti made her stage debut in 1954 at Sestri Levante, and, in 1955, she made her La Scala debut in the world premiere of Darius Milhaud’s “David.” In 1957, Ratti originated the role of Sister Constance of St Dénis in Poulenc’s “Dialogues des Carmélites,” also at La Scala.
Ratti appeared in the United States in 1958 at the San Francisco Opera, singing in “La Bohème,” “Il barbiere di Siviglia,” and “Le nozze di Figaro,” before replacing Callas in Dallas a year later.
Festival appearances include the 1955 Holland Festival (Elvira, “L’italiana in Algeri”); the 1956 Aix-en-Provence Festival (Rosina, “Il barbiere di Siviglia); the 1957 Edinburgh Festival (Elisetta, “Ill matrimonio segreta”); and Glyndebourne (the Italian Singer, “Capriccio”). Ratti made guest appearances at the Paris Opéra, Bavarian State Opera, and Vienna State Opera.
The soprano’s voice can be heard on 14 albums, including a studio recording of the La Scala “Sonnambula” with Maria Callas.