Obituary: Spanish Mezzo-Soprano Inés Rivadeneira Dies at 91

By Dejan Vukosavljevic

Inés Rivadeneira has died at the age of 91 on August 3, 2020.

The mezzo-soprano was born in Lugo, Spain but moved to Valladolid at the age of two, where she lived until the age of 18. In Valladolid, she started singing in a choir and when she turned eighteen, Rivadeneira moved to Madrid, to study singing at the Conservatory of Music.

In 1947 she debuted at the Teatro Real de Madrid in the of Maddalena in Verdi’s “Rigoletto.” In 1952 she took part in the premiere of Vittorio Rieti’s opera “Don Perlimplín” at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris and was also part of the world premiere of the new opera  “Soledad” by composer Joan Manén.

In 1960 Rivadeneira moved to Vienna, where she studied with Erik Werba at the Academy of Music and Performing Arts. With Werba she added lied and oratorio to her oratorio. In 1964 Rivadeneira performed the title role in Bizet’s “Carmen” at the Gran Teatre del Liceu followed by Ulrica in Verdi’s “Un Ballo in Maschera,” among other great roles.

Throughout her career, Rivadeneira performed a wide array of repertoire including baroque and classical oratorio. She was also well known for performing Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Rossini’s “Stabat Mater,” and Verdi’s Requiem, among others.

Rivadeneira retired from the stage in 1973 to become a professor at the Escuela Superior de Canto in Madrid, a position she held until her retirement in 1994.

Rivadeneira left few recordings but she did make a zarzuela album with some of the most popular arias from the repertoire.