Obituary: Soprano Elsa Kastela Dies

By Francisco Salazar

Greek soprano Elsa Kastela has died.

Born in Piraeus, Greece where her mother was a music professor and also gave her music lessons. The soprano went on to study and graduate from the National Conservatory of Athens, obtaining a number of awards for excellent performances in piano, monody, and opera singing.

In May 1961 she won the third prize at an international opera singers competition organized by the newspaper “Express” in Vienna. That same year she signed her first stage contract as the first soprano with the Theater der Stadt Bonn and made her debut as Cleopatra in Handel’s “Giulio Cesare.”

She would become a principal artist at the Bonn Opera in Germany for almost a decade and was recognized as the prima donna of the theater. She would sing major operatic roles at the theater and also appeared around the world in Austria, Switzerland, France, and the United States.

Kastela would eventually become a recognized teacher in 1981 where she taught monody and singing technique at the Conservatory of Vienna. Her biggest legacy would be her dedication to her teaching and supporting young artists.