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Virginia Zeani

Singer details:

Voice: Soprano
Nationality: Romanian
Year of Birth: 1925

About Virginia Zeani:

Virginia Zeani (born Virginia Zehan; 21 October 1925), Commendatore OMRI is a Romanian-born opera singer who sang leading soprano roles in the opera houses of Europe and North America. As a singer, she was known for her dramatic intensity and the beauty, wide range, and suppleness of her voice which allowed her to sing a repertoire of 69 roles ranging from the heroines in belcanto operas by Rossini and Donizetti to those of Wagner, Puccini and Verdi. She also created roles in several 20th-century operas, including Blanche in Poulenc's Dialogues of the Carmelites. Zeani made her professional debut in 1948 as Violetta in La traviata which would become one of her signature roles. After her retirement from the stage in 1982, she became a well-known voice teacher. She was married to the Italian bass Nicola Rossi-Lemeni from 1957 until his death in 1991. A Distinguished Professor Emerita at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music where she taught for many years, Zeani lives in Palm Beach County, Florida and has continued to teach singing privately.

Zeani was born on 21 October 1925 in Solovăstru, a central Transylvania village located in Romania. She has described to interviewers a childhood where despite bronchial troubles, she was always singing, even when she was fetching water from the river for cooking. She said that music had "entered her soul" after hearing a band of gypsies one of whom was playing a hora on the violin, and at the age of nine she became determined to be an opera singer after hearing a performance of Madame Butterfly. When she was 13 a benefactor in the village paid for her to study singing in Bucharest, first with Lucia Anghel, and then with Lydia Lipkowska. Zeani sought out Lipkowska when she had begun to doubt Anghel's assesement of her voice as a mezzo-soprano. Lipkowska agreed that her voice was that of a soprano and trained her in that repertotire. After World War II ended she emigrated to Italy and continued her vocal studies in Milan. By then she knew the leading soprano roles in four operas by heart—the title role in Manon, Marguerite in Faust, Violetta in La traviata and Mimì in La bohème. In Milan she had extensive coaching with the conductor Antonio Narducci. She also sought out the tenor Aureliano Pertile who had long been one of her idols for the beauty of his phrasing and diction. She called at his house and according to Zeani, when he opened the door she burst into tears and was unable to speak. Pertile's wife ushered her inside and after talking to her Pertile accepted her as a student on a non-paying basis, giving her private lessons and allowing her to attend his master-classes. She repaid him by running errands and helping his wife with household chores.

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Popular videos featuring Virginia Zeani:

More Arias, Duets and Ensembles performed by Virginia Zeani

92 Results
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Nr.Title scenePopularityOperaComposerActTypeVoicesLang.Roles
1Libiamo nè lieti calici (Brindisi) Popularity:

Opera: Traviata, LaComposer: VerdiAct: 1.03

Type: duet,choirVoice: T SLanguage: Italian

Roles: Alfredo/Violetta
2Sempre libera Popularity:

Opera: Traviata, LaComposer: VerdiAct: 1.11

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: Italian

Roles: Violetta
3E strano! e strano! Popularity:

Opera: Traviata, LaComposer: VerdiAct: 1.08

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: Italian

Roles: Violetta
4Un bel di vedremo Popularity:

Opera: Madame ButterflyComposer: PucciniAct: 2.02

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: Italian

Roles: Cio-Cio
5Quando m'en vo (Musetta's Waltz) Popularity:

Opera: Bohème, LaComposer: PucciniAct: 2.08

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: Italian

Roles: Musetta/Alcindoro/Mimì/Rodolfo/Colline/Marcello/Schaunard
6Una voce poco fa Popularity:

Opera: Barbiere di Siviglia, IlComposer: RossiniAct: 1.12-1

Type: ariaVoice: contralto or mezzoLanguage: Italian

Roles: Rosina
7Parigi o cara Popularity:

Opera: Traviata, LaComposer: VerdiAct: 3.07

Type: duetVoice: S TLanguage: Italian

Roles: Violetta/Alfredo
8Sì. Mi chiamano Mimì Popularity:

Opera: Bohème, LaComposer: PucciniAct: 1.09

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: Italian

Roles: Mimì
9Regnava nel silenzio Popularity:

Opera: Lucia di LammermoorComposer: DonizettiAct: 1.08-1

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: Italian

Roles: Lucia
10Ah! non credea mirarti Popularity:

Opera: Sonnambula, LaComposer: BelliniAct: 2.12

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: Italian

Roles: Amina
11Addio del passato Popularity:

Opera: Traviata, LaComposer: VerdiAct: 3.04

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: Italian

Roles: Violetta
12Amami Alfredo Popularity:

Opera: Traviata, LaComposer: VerdiAct: 2.12-1

Type: duetVoice: S TLanguage: Italian

Roles: Violetta/Alfredo
13Vogliatemi bene Popularity:

Opera: Madame ButterflyComposer: PucciniAct: 1.13-2

Type: duetVoice: T SLanguage: Italian

Roles: Pinkerton/Cio-Cio
14Chi il bel sogno di Doretta Popularity:

Opera: Rondine, LaComposer: PucciniAct: 2

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: Italian

Roles: Magda de Civry
15Pace pace mio Dio Popularity:

Opera: Forza del destino, LaComposer: VerdiAct: 4.05

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: Italian

Roles: Leonora
16Sola perduta abbandonata Popularity:

Opera: Manon LescautComposer: PucciniAct: 4.04-1

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: Italian

Roles: Manon
17Si vendetta Popularity:

Opera: RigolettoComposer: VerdiAct: 3.07-2

Type: duetVoice: S BrLanguage: Italian

Roles: Gilda/Rigoletto
18Tu che di gel sei cinta Popularity:

Opera: TurandotComposer: PucciniAct: 3.07

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: Italian

Roles: Liù
19Signore ascolta! Popularity:

Opera: TurandotComposer: PucciniAct: 1.13

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: Italian

Roles: Liù
20Letter scene Popularity:

Opera: Eugene OneginComposer: TchaikovskyAct:

Type: recitativeVoice: sopranoLanguage: Russian

Roles: Tatyana
21O patria mia Popularity:

Opera: AidaComposer: VerdiAct: 3.03-2

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: Italian

Roles: Aida
22Al dolce guidami Popularity:

Opera: Anna BolenaComposer: DonizettiAct: 2.18

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: Italian

Roles: Anna
23Depuis le jour Popularity:

Opera: LouiseComposer: CharpentierAct: 3.02

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: French

Roles: Louise
24Credeasi misera Popularity:

Opera: Puritani, IComposer: BelliniAct: 3.10

Type: quartet,choirVoice: S T Br BLanguage: Italian

Roles: Elvira/Arturo/Riccardo/Giorgio
25Un di felice eterea Popularity:

Opera: Traviata, LaComposer: VerdiAct: 1.05-2

Type: duetVoice: S TLanguage: Italian

Roles: Violetta/Alfredo
26Merce dilette amiche Popularity:

Opera: Vespri Siciliani, IComposer: VerdiAct: 5.02

Type: aria,choirVoice: sopranoLanguage: Italian

Roles: Elena
27Addio fiorito asil Popularity:

Opera: Madame ButterflyComposer: PucciniAct: 3.05

Type: ariaVoice: tenorLanguage: Italian

Roles: Pinkerton
28Mario Cavaradossi? Popularity:

Opera: ToscaComposer: PucciniAct: 3.02

Type: duetVoice: T BLanguage: Italian

Roles: Cavaradossi/A Jailer
29Donde lieta uscì Popularity:

Opera: Bohème, LaComposer: PucciniAct: 3.09

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: Italian

Roles: Mimì
30In quelle trine morbide Popularity:

Opera: Manon LescautComposer: PucciniAct: 2.03

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: Italian

Roles: Manon
92 Results
Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 Next