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Stolz, Teresa (1834–1902)

Stolz, Teresa (1834–1902)

Bohemian soprano. Born Teresina (Terezie) Stolzová in Elbekoteletz (now Kostelec nad Labem), Bohemia, in 1834; died on August 23, 1902, in Milan; sister of twins Francesca (Fanny) Stolz and Ludmilla (Lidia) Stolz, both sopranos (b. 1827); studied at the Prague Conservatory, with Luigi Ricci in Trieste, and with Lamperti in Milan.

Debuted in Tbilisi (1857), Spoleto (1864), Teatro alla Scala (1865), and Milan (1874); retired (1879).

Teresa Stolz's work is most closely associated with the work of Giuseppe Verdi. Between 1864 and 1872, she appeared throughout Italy singing numerous Verdi roles. When Verdi's Don Carlo was first given in its Italian version at La Scala in 1868, Stolz was chosen to sing Elisabetta. She was also Italy's first Aïda. Stolz's voice was powerful, both passionate and disciplined. In a review of Stolz's performance of Verdi's Requiem, Blanche Roosevelt wrote:

Mme Stoltz's [sic] voice is a pure soprano, with immense compass and the most perfectly beautiful quality one ever listened to, from the lowest note to the highest…. The tones are as fine and clearly cut as diamonds, and as sweet as a silver bell, but the power she gives a high C is something amazing.

Stolz influenced Verdi both professionally and personally. He had her voice in mind when he wrote Aïda, so she played a major role in creating a voice type now known as a "Verdi soprano." The composer's attentions to Stolz strained his marriage to Giuseppina Strepponi although the exact nature of this relationship is unknown. As a performer and friend, Teresa Stolz remained close to Verdi until his death in 1901. She died the following year. Her sisters, twins Francesca and Ludmilla Stolz , were both sopranos and both mistresses of Luigi Ricci, the composer. Ludmilla eventually married Ricci, and their daughter Adelaide Ricci (1850–1871) was also a singer in Paris.

suggested reading:

Walker, F. The Man Verdi. London, 1962.

John Haag , Athens, Georgia

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