Fedora Barbieri

“You ask questions that are too difficult. I’m going to spank you!”
And so she does.

Fedora Barbieri Demonstrations: Falstaff, song 

Born in Trieste in 1920, Barbieri debuted in Florence, in 1940, toured Germany, Belgium and Holland in 1943, retired because of marriage but reemerged in 1945. She is perhaps best remembered for Azucena but in the 1960s turned increasingly to character parts, notably, Quickly. During a total career of 55 years she appeared in Milan, Verona, Rome, Salzburg, Buenos Aires, London, Paris, Vienna, San Francisco and New York in a repertory of 110 roles, including Cenerentola, Don Carlo, Carmen, Orfeo and Giulio Cesare. She made a great number of recordings, among them Ballo, Favorita, Gioconda, Suor Angelica, Aïda, Forza, Trovatore, Don Sebastiano, Medea, Eracle (Handel) and Linda di Chamounix.

As is evident in this film, Barbieri’s face is as expressive as her singing is gutsy.—Stefan Zucker

For charges and countercharges exchanged by Barbieri and Simionato, go to Simionato section.

 For a performance with Barbiere, go to Il trovatore (CD)

Download the complete essay, including the chest voice and vocal technique articles, in PDF format:
Opera Fanatic: Biographies, Opinions—and Dish