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Bidu Sayao

Bidú Sayão was born into a prosperous and musical family: her father, a Portuguese lawyer, died when she was five, and her mother was of Swiss and French ancestry. Her initial intention was to act, but as her mother felt this to be an improper career, singing was settled upon as a compromise. Sayão’s first teacher was Elena Theodorini, a Romanian soprano who instituted a strict regime designed to build a strong vocal technique. When Theodorini returned to Romania in 1924 as a professor at the Bucharest Conservatory, she took Sayão with her, later arranging for her to sing for Queen Marie of Romania. Theodorini then introduced Sayão to her own former teacher, the legendary tenor Jean de Reszke, with whom she studied in Paris and Nice, singing in several of his soirées.




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