Virginia Zeani (born 21 October 1925) is a Romanian soprano, particularly associated with the Italian repertory, especially the role of (Violetta) in La traviata. In her early career she won considerable success in bel canto roles such as Lucia di Lammermoor, (Gilda) in Rigoletto, (Elvira) in I Puritani, and the title role in Linda di Chamounix, and lighter lyric roles such as Massenet's ("Manon") and (Marguerite) in Gounod's Faust. As her voice matured she gradually turned to more dramatic roles including Puccini's Manon Lescaut, Madama Butterfly and Tosca, and verismo operas including "Fedora" and Adriana Lecouvreur. She tackled more Verdi roles including (Aida), (Desdemona), (Elisabetta), (Alzira) and (Lina) in Stiffelio, as well as two Wagnerian heroines, (Elsa) in Lohengrin and (Senta) in "The Flying Dutchman". She created the role of (Blanche) in Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites in 1957 at La Scala, later performing his solo masterpiece for soprano La Voix Humaine. In 1972 she enjoyed one of her greatest successes as (Magda) in Gian Carlo Menotti's The Consul. In all she sang some 69 major roles and only ever cancelled two performances. She sang with many famous colleagues including tenors Beniamino Gigli, Mario Filippeschi, Ferruccio Tagliavini, Carlo Bergonzi, Nicolai Gedda, Alfredo Kraus, Jon Vickers, Luciano Pavarotti, and Plácido Domingo, mezzo sopranos Giulietta Simionato, Fedora Barbieri, Shirley Verrett, Lili Chookasian, Grace Bumbry, baritones Gino Bechi, Tito Gobbi. Nicolae Herlea and basses Nicola Rossi-Lemeni, Boris Christoff, etc. Zeani retired from the operatic stage in 1982, but, together with her husband, Nicola Rossi Lemeni, in 1980 began to teach singing at the music school in Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. The couple were later both honored as "Distinguished Professors". In 2010, having now taught for thirty years, the magazine Classical Singer named her Teacher of the Year. She was the recipient of many major awards including Commendatore of the Italian Republic. In 2010, King Michael of Romania awarded her his highest honour, "Nihil sine Deo", and in May 2011 she travelled to the Elisabeta Palace in Bucharest where he invested her with the award...
Lyrics & English Translation
Oh, I didn't believe to see you
so quickly extinct, o flowers;
you have passed away like love
that one day only lasted.
Perhaps new life
my tears will bring to you
but to revive love
my tears, o no, cannot...
A link to this wonderful artists personal Website:
I send my kind and warm regards,