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Magda Olivero (1910 - 2014)

Magda Olivero came from a distinguished background: her father was a judge and she was well educated before embarking upon musical instruction. At the Turin Conservatory, in addition to her vocal programme she studied piano, harmony and counterpoint with the composer Ghedini as well as pursuing dancing and Dalcroze Eurhythmics, which gave her a great ability to move gracefully on stage. However, after an unsuccessful audition for Italian radio, Olivero turned to voice teacher Luigi Gerussi, who emphasized the importance of breath support.

She made her operatic vocal debut in 1932 singing Mary Magdalene in a broadcast by Italian radio, Turin of I misteri dolorosi by Nino Cattozzo (1886–1961). Her operatic stage debut (as Lauretta / Gianni Schicchi) came shortly afterwards at Turin’s Teatro Vittorio Emanuele and was quickly followed by her first appearance at La Scala, Milan: in 1934, as Anna / Nabucco. Olivero returned there during the 1938–1939 season and throughout the mid-1930s sang in Italy’s principal opera houses, such as the San Carlo, Naples and the Teatro Verdi, Trieste.




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