Mezzo soprano Fiorenza Cossotto has been awarded the first Contr’alto di donna prize, given in honour of the great contralto Marietta Alboni.
The ceremony and conversation with Fiorenza Cossotto came after a concert celebrating the repertoire of Alboni, held in the enchanting Teatro Bonci, the theatre of her hometown Cesana, near Italy’s northeast coast.
Cossotto, seventy-nine next month, strode on stage and spoke with an energy which belies her years. She has the easy manner and laugh of a local barmaid, yet is precise and sensitive in commenting on music and her roles. For someone whose powerful voice gives the impression that she came out of the womb singing, it is surprising to hear her recount how long she practiced, the the intensity with which he studied a new part… and how exhausted she was after performances Il Trovatore or La Favorita, the role which made her internationally famous after her triumph when substituting an indisposed Giulietta Simionato at La Scala in 1962.… [continue reading]