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Star Gallery of Fame
Saturday, 10 November 2007
Ladies and Gentlemen - the famous Galina Vishnevskaya
Galina Vishnevskaya, internationally recognized as one of the world's great sopranos, was born in Leningrad, now St. Petersburg. She first performed in the United States during the Moscow State Symphony's 1960 American tour, and the following season made her debut with the Metropolitan Opera.

Since then she has appeared throughout this country and abroad in concert, in opera, and in recital with her husband, Mstislav Rostropovich, as partner.

After starting her career at the age of 17 at the Leningrad State Operetta Theater, Mme Vishnevskaya was a leading diva at the Bolshoi Theater. She has sung the great soprano roles in all of the major opera houses of the world.

She is a Chevalier of France's Legion of Honor and was awarded the title of People's Artist of the USSR as well as the Order of Lenin, her country's highest award of recognition as an artist. Since leaving the opera stage, Galina Vishnevskaya has turned her talents to other directions. She has earned acclaim as the author of the bestseller, Galina: A Russian Story. The book was staged as an opera in 1996, with music by Marcel Landowski. To her performing credits she has added those of stage director and film and stage actress. In addition to her work with the Vishnevskaya-Rostropovich Foundation on behalf of children, Galina Vishnevskaya heads a new school for opera in Moscow, which is named after her.


source:The Vishnevskaya-Rostropovich Foundation

Posted by iras-israel at 10:57 AM
Updated: Saturday, 10 November 2007 11:04 AM
Maestro Mstislav Rostropovich - In Memoriam
Topic: Renowned Musicians
Mstislav Rostropovich was recognized internationally as a consummate musician and an outspoken defender of human rights. Widely considered to be the world's greatest cellist for much of his lifetime, he recorded virtually the entire repertoire and inspired many of this era's finest composers to create

works especially for him. He was Music Director of the National Symphony Orchestra for 17 seasons and enjoyed special relationships as conductor with such widely varied orchestras as the London Symphony Orchestra, the New Japan Philharmonic in Tokyo, Japan, and the Vienna Philharmonic. As pianist, Maestro Rostropovich often accompanied his wife, the acclaimed soprano, Galina Vishnevskaya, in recital, and together they toured the globe.Maestro Rostropovich held over 40 honorary degrees and 25 different nations lavished more than 90 major awards upon him, including Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Commander of the Legion of Honor of France, membership in the Academy of Arts of the French Institute, often called the "Forty Immortals," the Japan Art Association's Praemium Imperiale, and, from the United States, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Kennedy Center Honors of 1992. Prior to leaving the USSR on an exit visa, he had received the Stalin Prize, had been named a People's Artist of the USSR and was a recipient of the Lenin Prize, the nation's highest honor. His tireless work as a defender of human rights included his courageous defense of Alexander Solzhenitsyn, and his trip to Moscow in August 1991 - unheralded, visa-less, at great risk to his life and freedom - to join those in the Russian White House resisting the attempted coup. For his support of the democratic forces during the aborted coup he was presented with the State Prize of Russia. He received numerous awards for his efforts on behalf of human rights, among them the 1974 Annual Award of the International League of Human Rights.

In addition to being the co-founder and president of the Vishnevskaya-Rostropovich Foundation, Maestro worked tirelessly on behalf of children’s health. He served on the board of the Vaccine Fund (now part of the GAVI Alliance), acted as Special Representative of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), and gave numerous concerts to raise money for charitable work on behalf of children in many countries of the world. Maestro Rostropovich died on April 27, 2007, in Moscow.
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Maestro Rostropovich and Galina Vishnevskaya founded the Vishnevskaya-Rostropovich Foundation to improve the deplorable state of children's health care in Russia and other countries of the fomer Soviet Union. The VRF conducts sustainable public health programs
that focus on vaccination, elimination of intestinal parasites, and prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS. These programs include children, adolescents, women of childbearing age and at-risk health care workers.

Posted by iras-israel at 10:46 AM
Saturday, 1 July 2006
Fiorenza Cossotto Italian mezzosoprano - one of the greatest mezzo-sopranos of the 20th century

Fiorenza Cossotto is an Italian mezzosoprano. She is believed by many to be one of the greatest mezzo-sopranos of the 20th century after the greatest of them all: Giulietta Simionato.

Born on April 22, 1935 in Crescentino di Vercelli, Italy, Cossotto attended the Torino Academy of Music and graduated top of her class. After her studies with Mercedes Llopart, she debuted in 1955 at La Scala in Milan, Italy. She made her American debut in 1964. She was awarded the Gold record for her performance of Lady Macbeth in Macbeth.

In 2005 she celebrated her 70th anniversary in Luttich, Belgium on stage.

Posted by iras-israel at 6:00 PM
Maureen O'Flynn - Soprano - American Opera Singer

Acclaimed performance and recording artist Maureen O'Flynn garners enthusiastic praise from critics, peers and audiences on both sides of the Atlantic. Of a recent opening night performance of Romeo et Juiliette at the Metropolitan Opera house, the New York Times says the soprano "won a deserved ovation from the audience" and Variety exclaims "...not only a superb technician, with the full coloratura arsenal at her disposal, but a sensitive interpreter..." As one of Musical America's coveted "Artists to Watch," Ms. O'Flynn is also regarded as one of the finest interpreters of the role of Gilda in Rigoletto. She performed the role with the Metropolitan Opera under the baton of Placido Domingo, Arena di Verona, Covent Garden, La Fenice, Genoa, Italy, Teatro Massimo in Palermo, San Carlo, Naples, Houston Grand Opera, San Diego Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, New Israeli Opera, the Israel Philharmonic, and debuted with Dallas Opera, winning the company's Callas Award as "Outstanding New Artist of the Year." As an renowned Nanetta in Falstaff, she made her La Scala debut in a performance conducted by Riccardo Muti, which was recorded on SONY. In addition, Ms. O'Flynn has appeared with the Metropolitan Opera several times as Violetta in La Traviata, a role she has also performed with the Hamburg Staatsoper, at the Palacio Festivales in Santander, Spain, Portland Opera, and with the Dallas Symphony.

Posted by iras-israel at 5:19 PM
Ingeborg Hallstein (born May 23, 1937 in Munich) is a German opera singer

Ingeborg Hallstein (born May 23, 1937 in Munich) is a German opera singer.

She studied with her mother Elisabeth Hallstein and debuted at the opera house in Passau/Germany in 1957 as Musetta in Puccinis La Boheme.

After engagements at the Theatre of Basel and the Staatstheater am Gaertnerplatz in Munich she made her Salzburg Festival debut in 1960 as Rosina in Mozart's La Finta Semplice. The same year she joined the Bavarian State Opera, becoming a full member there from 1961-1973.

In the following years guest appearances led her to almost every important opera house in the world, including among others Deutsche Oper Berlin, Hamburgische Staatsoper, Teatro La Fenice in Venice and the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires. She also sang at the Royal Opera House in London under Otto Klemperer and created one of her signature roles for the reopening of the Theater an der Wien under the baton of Herbert von Karajan - the Queen of the Night in Mozart's The Magic Flute.

Her repertoire of operatic roles reveals an artist who has an accurate and smart sense of her own musicianship. Her voice was well focused and she was capable of commanding dramatic phrasing and emotional expression. In opera she sang some of the most demanding roles in the coloratura fach, e.g. Zerbinetta in Richard Strauss' Ariadne Auf Naxos, Violetta in Verdi's La Traviata, Zaide in Mozart's Zaide and the already mentioned Queen Of The Night in The Magic Flute.

Apart from her appearances on the opera stage she committed herself to the genre Lied, giving countless lied recitals in Germany and abroad.

Posted by iras-israel at 5:02 PM
Natalie Dessay - Soprano - Opera Singer

After studying at the Bordeaux Conservatoire, Natalie Dessay was awarded first prize (Premier Prix de Concours) in the competition 'Les Voix Nouvelles', run by France-Telecom. She then studied for one year at Paris Opera's Ecole d'Art Lyrique, where she sang Elisa in Mozart's Il Re Pastore, and, on the advice of Jean-Pierre Brossmann, entered the International Mozart Competition at the Vienna Staatsoper, winning first prize.
As a consequence of the Mozart competition she appeared in a number of prestigious concerts, notably a concert of Mozart arias at La Scala, Milan. Engaged very quickly by a number of theatres, she subsequently sang Blondchen (Die Entf?hrung), Madame Herz (Schauspieldirektor), Zerbinetta, Za?de at the Opera de Lyon and the Opera Bastille, as well as Adele (Die Fledermaus) in Geneva.

Posted by iras-israel at 4:53 PM
Dame Marie Louise Cecilie Emma Albani (n?e Lajeunesse) (1852-1930), Opera singer

Marie Louise Cecil Emma Lajeunesse was born in Quebec, Canada. Appointed at the age of sixteen as a soloist and organist and choirmaster of a church in Albany. She studied with Gilbert-Louis Duprez and Francesco Lamperti. She made her opera debut in 1870 at Messina as Amina in Bellini's La sonnambula. She also appeared in Italy and adopted the stage name Albani. From 1852 Albani sang for five seasons at Covent Garden and appeared there nearly every Spring until her retirement from opera in 1896, also singing in Paris, Brussels, Berlin, St Petersburg and America. Created a Dame in 1925.

Posted by iras-israel at 4:31 PM
Updated: Saturday, 1 July 2006 4:36 PM

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