Obituary: Sylvia Geszty Dies At 84

By Francisco Salazar

Soprano Sylvia Geszty has passed away at the age of 84.

The Hungarian soprano trained at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest and went on to win numerous competitions, including the International Robert Schumann Competition.

After finishing her studies, she made her Budapest Opera debut in 1959 and was immediately engaged by the Hungarian Philharmonic Society. In 1961, she made her Berlin State Opera debut as well as her Komische Oper debut. In 1966, she was awarded the GDR Art Prize and was awarded the Kammersängerin award in 1968.

The soprano later became a permanent member of the Staatsoper Stuttgart and a guest of the Bayerische Staatsoper. She went on to perform in major opera houses in Hamburg, Paris, Brussels, Moscow, Amsterdam, London, Buenos Aires, Los Angeles, and Vienna.

Among the leading roles, she became known for were Queen of the Night in Mozart’s “The Magic Flute,” Lucia in “Lucia di Lammermoor” and Zerbinetta in “Ariadne on Naxos”

After retiring from the stage she became a famed teacher who taught many singers including Melanie Diener, Anke Sieloff, Annette Luig, and Marlis Petersen.

The soprano also founded the International Coloratura Song Competition in 1988 and made her debut as an opera director in 1998.

The soprano left a number of recordings in “Ariadne auf Naxos” from the Wiener Staatsoper and another with Gundula Janowitz. She is also featured in Rossini’s “Elisabetta, Regina di Inghilterra” with Leyla Gencer.

Here are two clips from “I Puritani” and “Ariadne auf Naxos”