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Los Angeles, Victoria de (1923—)

Los Angeles, Victoria de (1923—)

Spanish soprano. Born Lopez Cima on November 1, 1923, in Barcelona, Spain; studied with Dolores Frau in the Barcelona Conservatory until 1944; married Enrique Magrina, in 1948; children: two sons.

Debuted as Mimi in Barcelona (1941); won Geneva International Singing Competition (1947); debuted as Marguerite in Paris (1949); made Covent Garden debut as Mimi (1950); made Metropolitan Opera debut as Marguerite (1951), appearing for more than 100 performances until 1961; widely known for her 22 recorded operas.

Lopez Cima, who would become known on stage as Victoria de Los Angeles, was born in Barcelona, Spain, on November 1, 1923. The Spanish Civil War shadowed her childhood but it did not interrupt her development. Since her family was musical, singing seemed a natural part of growing up. At 18, she was asked to sing Mimi at the Teatro Victoria in Barcelona, but she refused, professing that she was too young and not yet ready. Four years later in 1941, after studying with Dolores Frau at the Barcelona Conservatory, Victoria de Los Angeles debuted as Mimi. After winning the Geneva Singing Competition in 1947, she gained international recognition. An opportunity to perform for the British Broadcasting Corporation in 1949 convinced her to master several languages and broaden her repertory in order to appeal to wider audiences outside Spain. Soon she appeared in international opera houses in London, Paris, and New York.

De Los Angeles had a sweet, vibrant voice with a rich lower register. Her upper soprano range was not easy for her and a hardness in some notes could be noticed. A modest, easygoing performer, she was widely popular, especially in Great Britain. Victoria de Los Angeles made many recordings, committing 22 operas to disc, and had an even larger number of recitals.

One of her most successful recordings was Bizet's Carmen made with Sir Thomas Beecham in 1960. By 1969, de Los Angeles no longer appeared on stage but continued her concert work and recordings.

suggested reading:

Roberts, P. Victoria de Los Angeles. London, 1982.

John Haag , Athens, Georgia

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