Magda Olivero, whose real name is Maria Maddalena, is considered one of the greatest opera singers of the 20th century. She became known for her interpretation of Adriana in Francesco Cilea's Adriana Lecouvreur.
Magda Olivero began her musical studies (piano, harmony and counterpoint) at the age of 20 in the Turin Conservatory (Italy). Her teacher was the composer Giorgio Federico Ghedini and soon after Luigi Gerussi taught her singing.
She performed her first role on December 2, 1932 (radio broadcast of I misteri dolorosi by Nino Cattozzo). From 1933 to 1941, her repertoire notably includes Anna in Nabucco, Ines in La favorite, Nanetta in Falstaff, Gilda in Rigoletto or Micaëla in Carmen and Mimi in La bohême. But also, roles such as Elsa in Lohengrin, Liù in Turandot, Violetta in Traviata, Manon Lescaut in the entitled opera of the same name or Iris in the opera also entitled of the same name.
Magda Olivero put her career on hold temporarily in 1941. It’s only in 1951 that she relaunched her career and gave performances of international scale (Paris, New York, Vienna, Brussels, Buenos Aires, Amsterdam ...).
In 1983 (she was 73 years old) and after the death of her husband, she put an end to her career.
Six landmark dates in the life of Magda Olivero:
1933: Performed Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi at Teatro Vittorio Emanuele (Turin)
1933: Made her debut at the Scala opera in Milan (Anna in Nabucco)
1937: Made her debut at Opera in Rome (Elsadans, Lohengrin)
1941: Left the stage for 10 years
1951: Back on stage as Adriana Lecouvreur (Francesco Cilea)
Six key works by Magda Olivero:
1938: Liù, with Gina Cigna (Cetra records)
1957: Tosca (Puccini) with Olivero Fernandi and Colombol De Palma
1969: Fedora with Mario Del Monaco and Tito Gobbi (Decca)
1969: Francesca da Rimini with MarioDel Monaco (Decca)
1993: Adriana Lecouvreur with Marta Moretto
1996: Adriana Lecouvreur in the movie Opera Fanatic (Jan Schmidt-Garre)