Magda Olivero (née Maria Maddalena Olivero, 25 March 1910) is a soprano of the verismo-school of singing. She was born in Saluzzo, Italy. Olivero made her operatic debut in 1932 on Turin radio in Nino Cattozzo's (1886--1961) oratorio I misteri dolorosi. She performed widely and increasingly successfully until 1941, when she married and retired from performing. She returned to the stage ten years later, at the request of Francesco Cilea, who asked her to sing the title role in his opera Adriana Lecouvreur. From 1951 until her final retirement, Olivero sang in opera houses around the world. Among her most renowned interpretations were the leading parts in Adriana Lecouvreur, Iris, Fedora, La bohème, La fanciulla del West, La traviata, La Wally, Madama Butterfly, Manon Lescaut, Mefistofele, and Turandot (as Liù.) Among her studio recordings are Turandot (as Liù, with Gina Cigna, for Cetra, 1938), Fedora (with Mario Del Monaco and Tito Gobbi, conducted by Lamberto Gardelli, for Decca, 1969) and highlights from Francesca da Rimini (with Del Monaco, conducted by Nicola Rescigno, for Decca, 1969). In 1993, she recorded, with piano accompaniment, Adriana Lecouvreur (with Marta Moretto as the Princesse de Bouillon); excerpts from this recording were published on the Bongiovanni label. At age 86, she performed Adriana's monologue in Jan Schmidt-Garre's film Opera Fanatic. She made occasional singing appearances into her nineties...
Lyrics & English Translation
The other night into the sea they cast my child
And now to send me mad they say I drowned her.
The air is cold, the prison is gloomy
And my spirit like a bird in the wood flies, flies away.
Ah, have pity on me.
Into a lethargic slumber my mother fell sleeping
And now the supreme horror they say I poisoned her.
The air is so very cold...
I send my kind and warm regards,