Superstar of her time
Robert Manari | San Francisco, CA United States | 05/09/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"During her short but brilliant career Maria Cebotari became to be recognized as one of the greatest singers of her time. She debuted in April 1931 as Mimi in "La Boheme" at the Dresden Theater and was an instant success. Cebotari appeared at many great opera houses, including Vienna State Opera and La Scala Opera House in Milan. Regrettably, Maria Cebotari was not able to accept offers from America because of her extremely busy schedule of engagements in Europe.
Beside her hugely successful operatic career, Cebotari appeared in several films related to operas - such as `Verdi's Three Women", and "The Dream of Madame Butterfly". In 1934, only 24 years old, she received the title "Kammersangerin", becoming the youngest ever recipient of this honorific distinction (the highest of its kind existent back then in Austria and Germany).
In 1935 she sang the part of Aminta in the world premiere of Richard Strauss' opera "Die Schweigsame Frau" at Dresden Semper Opera House. Together with the other Romanian soprano Viorica Ursuleac, Cebotari was one of Strauss' favorite sopranos, and her recording of `Salome" (live from Covent Garden, September 30th, 1947), is being acknowledged even today as one of the greatest Salomes ever recorded.
Cebotary was renowned for her extremely versatile voice and her magnetic stage presence. Her rich and diverse repertoire covered many roles, from lyric to dramatic ones. For example (something unheard of nowadays), she performed both Carmen and Susanna in "Le Nozze di Figaro", Violetta in "La Traviata" and Strauss' Salome, all in the same season.
Her tragic and premature death of cancer in 1949, aged only 39, came as a shock even to her most intimate friends. Her funeral in Vienna was one of the most imposing demonstrations of love and honor which any deceased artist has ever received.
This well-filled double-disc set released by the Austrian record label Preiser is highly recommendable for opera lovers who want to know more about this amazing singer.