|Year of Birth:||1935|
Fiorenza Cossotto (born April 22, 1935) is an Italian mezzo-soprano. She is considered by many to be one of the greatest mezzo-sopranos of the 20th century.
Born on April 22, 1935 in Crescentino, Province of Vercelli, Italy, Cossotto attended the Turin Academy of Music and studied with Mercedes Llopart. She made her operatic debut as Sister Matilde in the world premiere of Poulenc's Dialogues of the Carmelites in 1957 at La Scala in Milan. Her international debut was at the 1958 Wexford Festival as Giovanna Seymour in Donizetti's Anna Bolena. Her Covent Garden debut was in 1959 as Neris in Cherubini's Médée, with Maria Callas in the title role. A 1962 performance of the lead in La favorita at La Scala led to wider fame and she made her American debut in the same role in 1964 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and as Amneris at the Metropolitan Opera in 1968.
Altogether, between the seasons of 1967–68 and 1988–89, Cossotto gave 148 performances at the Met (exclusively leading roles). She was considered an expert in portrayals of major mezzo/contralto roles in mid-19th-century Italian opera such as Favorita (La favorita), Amneris (Aida), Azucena (Il trovatore), Eboli (Don Carlos), Preziosilla (La forza del destino), Maddalena (Maddalena), Ulrica (Un ballo in maschera) and Laura (La Gioconda). She also portrayed Carmen, Mozart's Cherubino, Urbain in Meyerbeer's Les Huguenots, Bellini's Romeo and Marfa in Khovantschina.