Toczyska, Stefania, Polish mezzo-soprano; b. Gdansk, Feb. 19, 1943. She was a pupil of Barbara Iglikovska at the Gdansk Cons. She took prizes in competitions in Toulouse (1972), Paris (1973), and ’s-Hertogenbosch (1974). In 1973 she made her operatic debut as Carmen at the Gdansk Opera, and then sang throughout Poland. In 1977 she made her Western European operatic debut as Amneris with the Basel Opera. Later that year she made her first appearance at the Vienna State Opera as Ulrica, and returned there to sing Carmen, Azucena, Eboli, and Preziosilla. In 1979 she sang Eboli at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich and at the Hamburg State Opera, and then appeared as Laura in La Gioconda at the San Francisco Opera. She made her Covent Garden debut in London in 1983 as Azucena and in 1986 made her first appearance at the Chicago Lyric Opera as Giovanna Seymour in Anna Bolena. In 1987 she sang Adalgisa at the Houston Grand Opera and Venus in Tannhäuser at the Barcelona Opera. She made her Metropolitan Opera debut in N.Y. as Laura in La Gioconda in 1989. In 1990 she sang at the Caracalla Festival in Rome. In 1992 she appeared as Massenet’s Dulcinée in Toulouse. She was engaged as Amneris at the Metropolitan Opera in 1997. In addition to her active operatic career, she has also toured widely as a concert artist.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire