Tomorrow evening, 21 June 2013, the Teatro Real in Madrid celebrates the 80th birthday of local girl Teresa Berganza. Certainly, the encyclopedias say that she was born in 1935, but she can hardly have posters announcing celebrations for her 78th birthday, so I guess time has finally caught up with her.
Sylvain Cambreling and Alejo Pérez will be conducting the Teatro Real's Choir and Orchestra in a concert featuring works by Mozart, Rossini and zarzuela excerpts, but who, apart from Berganza herself, will be singing? Well, the mezzo-soprano says that she doesn't like tributes, but has accepted Gerard Mortier's invitation on one condition: that it is a real surprise.
And so a surprise it is – though Gramilano will be on the front row and will quickly spread the word! Who will be singing on this special night is a big secret, but it's sure to be a concert charged with emotion.
At 80 years, Teresa Berganza's vitality is astonishing. Over the course of her 58-year career, she has performed on the most important stages in the world. Half a decade ago she retired from singing for good and claims that she doesn't regret it. Masterclasses keep her hopping around the globe, and every now and then she'll give a recital.
Tomorrow night, Teresa Berganza will return to her rightful place, on one of the world's most important opera stages.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.