Danco, Suzanne (1911—)

views updated

Danco, Suzanne (1911—)

Belgian coloratura soprano. Born in Brussels, Belgium, on January 22, 1911; studied at the Brussels Conservatory and with Fernando Carpi in Prague.

Won the International Bel Canto Prize in Venice (1936); debuted at the Genoa Opera as Fiodiligi in Mozart's Cosi fan tutte (1941); appeared in Teatro alla Scala (1948), Glyndebourne (1948–51), and Covent Garden (1951).

Suzanne Danco is remembered primarily as one of the most aristocratic and accomplished recitalists, but she also had a wide-ranging experience in many operatic roles. During her career, Danco appeared in Cosi fan tutte, Peter Grimes, Oedipus Rex, and Wozzeck. Although she received high praise for her roles, she lacked the temperament for operatic singing, which calls for a certain glamour. Danco chose, instead, to concentrate on a modern repertory as a recitalist.

Best described as a "slender soprano," her voice was light, and she found it difficult to make an impression on listeners in some roles. Though her singing was supple and attractive and her musicianship meticulous, at times the character of her voice did not seem fully formed. Certain roles, however, were perfectly suited to Danco's voice. In Cosi fan tutte under Karl Böhm's direction, she was at her best, with a liquid tone quality

and fluid coloratura. French opera also suited her talents. Her lyric soprano, lighter than is usually encountered, was a perfect voice for the recitals for which she became widely known.

John Haag , Athens, Georgia