Stratas, Teresa (1938—)

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Stratas, Teresa (1938—)

Canadian soprano and winner of three Grammy awards. Born Anastasia Strataki of Greek descent on May 26, 1938, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada; studied with Irene Jessner at Toronto, 1956–59; graduated from the University of Toronto, Faculty of Music, 1959.

Debuted with Canadian Opera in Toronto (1958); won Metropolitan Opera Auditions of the Air (1959); debuted at Metropolitan Opera (1959), Covent Garden (1961), Teatro alla Scala (1962); performed title role in first three-act production of Berg's Lulu in Paris (1979); made Broadway debut in musical Rags (1986); was made an Officer of the Order of Canada (1972).

Teresa Stratas was born Anastasia Strataki of Greek descent in 1938 in Toronto, Ontario, and began her singing career in the clubs and cafes of the local Greek community there. Her ability was so great that she was admitted to the Opera School at the Royal Academy of Music at age 12; she then studied with Irene Jessner from 1956 to 1959. That year, she won the Metropolitan Opera Auditions of the Air and began a swift ascent in the opera world. Though small in stature, Stratas was a commanding figure on stage. Her 1974 performance of Salome for German television documents her singing and acting abilities. She also starred with Placido Domingo in Zeffirelli's acclaimed film version La Traviata in 1983. Her interest in other forms of entertainment led her to star in the 1986 Broadway show Rags for which she won a Tony Award for Best Actress in a musical. She has also won three Grammys and one Emmy.

suggested reading:

Rasky, Harry. Stratas: An Affectionate Tribute. London: Oxford University Press, 1989.

John Haag , Athens, Georgia

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Stratas, Teresa (1938—)

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