Giulietta Simionato, 1910 – 2010

Giulietta Simionato, the great mezzo-soprano from Forlì, one of the most versatile and generous artists the lyric stage has ever known, died in Rome just one week shy of her one-hundredth birthday.

Her funeral will be held tomorrow (Thursday) in the Cappella dei Cavalieri di Malta.

According to Frank Hamilton’s invaluable performance annals, Simionato sang with Maria Callas more than fifty times between 1950 and 1965. Il Sole 24 Ore reports that she sang 132 rôles by sixty different composers between 1927 and 1965. This lovely tribute site lists her repertoire, which comprised operas by Monteverdi and Purcell, Bartók and Menotti.

The video shows Simionato’s remarks following the death of Maria Callas. How elegantly she expresses herself, with what grace and humanity! (Apologies to those who do not understand Italian: Today, I simply do not have the time to translate the clip.)

The musical selection, instead, features Simionato and Callas in Donizetti’s Anna Bolena in 1957 at La Scala—perhaps their greatest shared triumph. Last month, I posted an excerpt from Norma with Callas and Simionato.

Let us remember this unique and beautiful artist with joy and gratitude.

Riposa in pace, immensa Giulietta, e grazie di cuore.


  1. Great tribute for a great singer...and on a great blog!

  2. Thank you, dear heart. Goodness, Rescigno, Olivero, Simionato... cruel losses, all.