So how many fans were surprised to hear the announcement of a gala last Friday in Madrid to honour her 80th birthday.
At the gala’s end, Berganza came on stage to make a well-articulated and passionate speech about art, teaching and Spanish music, and she also took a minute to explain the age problem.
It all began years ago when the highly respected Oxford Dictionary of Music printed that she was born in 1935. Deutsche Grammophon even issued a series of CDs to commemorate her 70th birthday in 2005. She explained that while many thought it was merely the vanity of a diva wanting to strip two years off her true age it was, in fact, merely a typo.
True or not, an 80th birthday gala in front of the Queen of Spain could hardly be held in two years’ time, so it looks as though this was her perfect chance to put the record straight:
Teresa Berganza, born on 16 March 1933, is a Spanish mezzo-soprano.
And a great one at that!
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.