Beautiful works by Virginia Zeani
Robert Manari | 05/11/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This cd is a masterful set of arias. The beautiful voice of Virginia Zeani floats across your ears. Noted as one of the top "italian" singers, Zeani takes a commanding lead in this recording."
A Vocal Miracle
Robert Manari | San Francisco, CA United States | 05/11/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Virginia Zeani was born in Transylvania in 1925 and her long and prestigious career (based mostly in Europe, and primarily Italy) span over 30 years until her retirement from the stage in 1982. The incredibly good-looking Zeani (often compared to Elizabeth Taylor) is part of a long line of illustrious Romanian sopranos, which includes the likes of H. Darclee, V. Ursuleac, M. Cebotari, S. Roman, and more recently, I. Cotrubas, E. Moldoveanu, M. Nicolesco and the still active A. Gheorghiu. There must be something special about that country to produce all those fantastic sopranos, not only immensely talented, but also, all being blessed with such stunning looks!
After studies in Bucharest and Milan with the famed Russian soprano Lydia Lipkovska and with the legendary tenor Aureliano Pertile respectively, Zeani made her international debut in Bologna as Violetta in 1948. She would sing this role, which would eventually become her signature role, more than 600 times (!) and it would carry her through other important debuts: London (1953), Vienna (1957), Paris (1957), New York (1966), and Moscow (1969). She went on to sing with some of the greatest tenors, from Gigli, Franco Corelli, Alfred Kraus and Tagliavini right up to Pavarotti and Domingo. Zeani's extraordinary repertoire came to encompass no less than 71 leading roles. Performing in six languages, Zeani was also well renowned for being able to move superbly among the coloratura, lyric and dramatic soprano repertoires.
Her recordings (including this highly recommended Bongiovanni release - which covers a selection of arias recorded between 1957 and 1969, thus providing and interesting portrayal of Zeani's vocal evolution, as well as the subsequent two other volumes), are treasured by collectors worldwide. They will always remind opera lovers about this unique and incredible soprano who possessed not only a superb and flexible voice, but also a faultless technique complemented by a beautiful style and appearances.