l'italiana Mirella Freni

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Saturday, March 29, 2014

This Saturday at 12:30 pm, host Naomi Lewin chats with Italian soprano and opera darling Mirella Freni about her relationship to Luciano Pavarotti, her career onstage and in film, and her husband, the late Bulgarian bass Nicolai Ghiaurov.

Mirella Freni grew up alongside Luciano Pavarotti in Modena, Italy. They were even rumored to have had the same wet nurse at the daycare in the tobacco factory where their mothers worked. Like brother and sister, Pavarotti and Freni played together and trained together. In this episode, Freni discusses their friendship, parallel career paths, and how Freni convinced Pavarotti to pursue a vocal calling beyond singing in the local amateur chorus with his father. Freni also talks about how she fell for her husband Nicolai Ghiaurov— "the big basso."

Bonus Clip: Freni talks about her work with conductor Herbert von Karajan:



Giacomo Puccini Gianni Schicchi “O mio babbino caro”
Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Milan; Leone Magiera, conductor; Mirella Freni, soprano
EMI Classics 06253

Giacomo Puccini La Bohème “O soave fancìulla”
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra; Herbert von Karajan, conductor; Mirella Freni, soprano; Luciano Pavarotti, tenor
London/Decca 421049

Gaetano Donizetti La figlia del reggimento “A viva forza l'han condotto via”
La Scala Orchestra and Chorus; Nino Sanzogno, conductor
Mirella Freni, soprano; Luciano Pavarotti, tenor
Opera D'oro 1147 | Live recording from 1969

Giacomo Puccini Madama Butterfly “Con onor muore”
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra; Herbert von Karajan, conductor; Mirella Freni, soprano
Deutsche Grammophon 000428209

Charles Gounod Faust “Alerte, alerte”
Paris National Opera Orchestra & Chorus; Georges Prêtre, conductor
Mirella Freni, soprano; Placido Domingo, tenor; Nicolai Ghiaurov, bass
EMI Classics 47493

Comments [2]

A great singer, and a great colleague. Happy Birthday, dear Mirella!

Patricia Wise

Feb. 27 2015 06:43 PM
Sonia Kellogg from Huntington, New York

I listened to Mirella Freni's interview on the 29th of March, 2014 and was touched when she spoke of her husband, the late great bass, Nicolai Ghiaurov. I lost my wonderful husband, who was also a bass, with also an extraordinary quality. Guiaurov was a bass that he very much admired. My husband did not stay in music a very long time, but, had some big credits in the New York area, including four solo appearances with Andre Kostelanetz and the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center. As with Ms. Frenci, my husband and I performed together numerous times and they were my happiest moments. I feel for her and know the sadness and bittersweet memories that she must have. You both made beautiful music to be cherished forever.

Mar. 30 2014 07:09 PM

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