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Antonietta Stella (March 15, 1929, Perugiamarker, Italy) is an Italian operatic soprano, one of the finest Italian spinto sopranos of the 1950s and 1960s, possessing a beautiful and ample voice, and particularly associated with Verdi and Puccini roles.

Stella studied at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, and made her debut in Spoletomarker, as Leonora in Il trovatore, in 1950, and appeared at the Rome Opera in 1951, as Leonora in La forza del destino. She quickly sang throughout Italy, Florencemarker, Naplesmarker, Parmamarker, Turinmarker, Cataniamarker, Veronamarker, Venicemarker, etc, and made her debut at La Scalamarker in Milan, as Desdemona in Verdi's Otello, in 1954, where she sang regularly to great acclaim until 1963, in roles such as Violetta in La traviata, Elisabetta in Don Carlo, Amelia in Un ballo in maschera, the title role in Aida and Tosca, Mimi in La bohème, Maddalena in Andrea Chénier, Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly, etc.

In 1955, she made her debuts at the Vienna State Operamarker, the Royal Opera Housemarker in London, the Palais Garniermarker in Paris, La Monnaiemarker in Brussels, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and the following year, at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, where she successfully sang until 1960.

Stella, like so many notable artists of the 1950s and 60s, was somewhat eclipsed by the competition between Maria Callas and Renata Tebaldi, but she did have a notable career and left several very worthwhile recordings, including works such as Linda di Chamounix, La battaglia di Legnano, L'Africaine, Simon Boccanegra, which is more than can be said for some other singers of the time. She appeared in an Italian television production of Andrea Chénier, opposite Mario del Monaco and Giuseppe Taddei in 1955, recently released on DVD. She can also be heard on an Italian radio broadcast of Spontini's rarely performed work Agnes von Hohenstaufen, opposite Montserrat Caballé, released on CD.

Selected recordings

  • Donizetti - Linda di Chamounix - Tullio Serafin (Philips, 1956)
  • Verdi - Il trovatore - Tullio Serafin (DG, 1962)
  • Verdi - La traviata - Tullio Serafin (EMI, 1955)
  • Verdi - Un ballo in maschera - Gianandrea Gavazzeni (DG, 1960)
  • Verdi - Don Carlo - Gabriele Santini (DG, 1961)
  • Verdi - Simon Boccanegra - Francesco Molinari-Pradelli (Cetra, 1951)
  • Giordano - Andrea Chénier - Gabriele Santini (EMI, 1963)
  • Puccini - La bohème - Francesco Molinari-Pradelli (Philips, 1957)
  • Puccini - Tosca - Tullio Serafin (Philips, 1957)


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