Headshot of La Cieca

Cher Public

  • kashania: Agreed. Harteros is perhaps more ideally suited to Wagner/Strauss/Moz art (her Elsa in the Jones... 1:44 PM
  • Feldmarschallin: Fidelia and Lohengrin do not waste your time. This creature has been trashing Harteros for... 1:41 PM
  • Camille: o mon dieu! Now I want Confiture Ispahan, aussi!!!! YUM! thank you for introducing me to such... 1:39 PM
  • PCally: Kraneled, even if I shared your opinion (which I don’t) can you name a soprano who currently... 1:36 PM
  • NPW-Paris: Ah yes, roses… My Iranian friends love Pierre Hermé’s Ispahan as well! It turns up at... 1:35 PM
  • Camille: O danke Feldmarschallin und Lohengrin. Jetzt verstehe ich was ist ein “Diwan” ;! 1:35 PM
  • rapt: Heard her live just two years ago–have already raved about it a couple of times here. Her voice... 1:34 PM
  • NPW-Paris: I’m not complaining. The remarkable thing is that the recording is as good as it is. 1:32 PM
  • Buster: Wesseling is excellent too, but I don’t know any of the other singers either. No giants... 1:32 PM
  • Camille: httpv://youtube.co m/watch?v=EmPpDXvn Rr4 A rose from Ispahan along with a lily de la belle France. 1:30 PM

Risë Stevens, 1913-2013

The glamorous and beloved mezzo-soprano died yesterday. She was 99. 

52 comments

  • benrenki says:

    She sang Octavian (with Steber, Berger, and List) the night I was born.

    Sadly, I didn’t see my first operas until a couple of years after she had retired, so I knew her only from recordings and television appearances.

  • Ruxxy says:

    Like many others my “introduction” to the wonderful Rise Stevens was the highlights recording of Samson & Delilah with del Monaco. She truly was a very versatile artist but in opera terms one very significant thing she did was to cement forever the star diva mezzo. Until she came along mezzos although respected were never considered to be in the same class as star sopranos. It also has to be said that her husband was a very savvy manager- and understood the power of good publicity -- insuring her voice for $1m with Lloyds of London in 1945. He played a very big part early in her career by positioning her to advantage opportunities as they came along. RIP dear Miss Stevens -- you were one of a kind.

    • Krunoslav says:

      “Until she came along mezzos although respected were never considered to be in the same class as star sopranos.”

      Maybe not at the Met, but wasn’t Sigrid Onegin the highest paid singer in Europe for a while in the 20s or 30s? And Pauline Viardot-Garcia, Ernestine Schumann-Heink and Conchita Supervia certainly didn’t take back seats to much of anyone.

  • rossifigaro says:

    rather surprised the met has not published more of a tribute to rise stevens. perhaps they are planning something for a future date but i would have thought that at least a photo spread of her career at the met would have appeared on their web site by now. surely something will be done on one of the saturday matinee intervals. surely levine must have some thoughts (even though i suppose her singing career was well over before his entry to the met) -- would be nice (as well as appropriate) to hear from him…he still is the artistic director, yes?

  • Camille says:

    May I just mention Risë Stevens wonderfully sung, beautiful and refulgent Mignon, in passing and as tribute to her superior skill as singer. It was her debut role at the Met and she had sung it before in Europe, so a very important one for her. The recording from 1945-46 is available from the Met Opera Shop and I highly recommend it.

    For me it is a marvel to own this recording, since I had heard about her performances in this role for decades and never hoped to be able to finally listen to it!

    Also starring Ezio Pinza, Mimi Benzell and James Melton.