Magda Olivero died last Monday at 104. She was a wonderful soprano – though not of the usually acclaimed torrential sort. She had a very distinctive voice, flawless technique, and an infinite capacity for refined, intense, detailed, deep interpretation. She wasn’t over-demonstrative, she wasn’t sentimental in her singing, she recorded sparingly, and she had an amazing longevity, when you consider that she sang in public for little less than seventy years.
She also was a delightful person, witty, intelligent, and sharp as a tack. I only met her once, well in her nineties, but she was something of a household name, being my mentor’s operatic idol and good friend.
And in memory of her intelligent artistry, I like to remember her here.
Here you can read a lovely article about Magda, by Deceptive Cadence‘s Tom Huizenga.