Soprano Katia Ricciarelli was teaching at the 2019 edition of the Greve Opera Academy.
Katia Ricciarelli, a lyric soprano voice with an individually sweet timbre, and a lovely stage presence that complemented her voice. She was one of the most touching Giuliettas (I Capuleti e i Montecchi), Desdemonas, and Anna Bolenas on the operatic stage, and had a special affinity for Rossini’s music, enjoying great success in such roles as Bianca (Bianca e Falliero), Elena (La donna del lago), and Amenaide (Tancredi). She came from a very poor family and after graduating from school, worked to afford the time and money to study at the Benedetto Marcello Conservatory in Venice, where she worked primarily with Iris Adami Corradetti. She made her operatic debut as Mimì in Puccini’s La bohème, in Mantua, Italy. Her appearance in Cherubini’s Anacréon the next year in Siena created a small sensation, followed by a greater one when she won the Parma Verdi competition, followed in 1971 by her winning the Voce Verdiane competition. Largely on the strengths of these triumphs, in 1972, she debuted at the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Lucrezia in Verdi’s I due Foscari, and at the Rome Opera as Verdi’s Giovanna d’Arco. In 1974, she made her Covent Garden debut as Mimì. Her Met debut was also in La bohème in 1975, and her La Scala debut was in 1976 as Suor Angelica in Puccini’s Il trittico. Like many singers, her voice became larger as she matured, allowing her to take on such roles as Verdi’s Desdemona and Luisa Miller. Guided by Karajan, in the early 1980s, she began to sing roles that were considerably more dramatic, such as Tosca, Aida, and even Turandot (though only in the recording studio.) She also appeared as Desdemona in the 1986 film of Otello with Placido Domingo, directed by Franco Zeffirelli. In 2005 she won the best actress prize Nastro d’Argento, awarded by the Italian film journalists, for her role in Pupi Avati’s La seconda notte di nozze. In 1991 she founded Accademia Lirica di Katia Ricciarelli, and, since 2003, she has been Artistic Director of the annual summer Macerata Opera Festival.

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