The Spanish mezzo-soprano Teresa Berganza will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s International Opera Awards, to be held in early April. Berganza joins a distinguished list of past recipients that includes the legendary Italian soprano Renata Scotto, German mezzo Brigitte Fassbaender, intendant Speight Jenkins, director Gerard Mortier and Sir George Christie.

Teresa BerganzaTeresa Berganza. Photo supplied

“It was one of the jury’s easiest decisions to give the Lifetime Achievement Award to Teresa Berganza – such is the love and esteem everyone in the operatic world feels for her,” said John Allison, Chairman of the jury and Editor of Opera. “Over a career lasting little short of half a century, her artistry was remarkably consistent, based on complete musicality and a mezzo-soprano voice of great distinction. In her key roles – above all in Mozart and Rossini, but also including Carmen and Charlotte – she was matchless, and she continues to leave her mark on opera through her work with young singers. She has indeed devoted her life to music.”

Beloved for her warm stage presence, stylish singing and musical intelligence, Berganza made her name in the lyric mezzo repertoire whilst also making zarzuelas a cornerstone of her concert programming. She shot to fame at the age of 22 after a distinguished Dorabella in Così fan tutte at the Aix-en-Provence Festival in 1957.  Throughout her career, she performed alongside opera heavyweights like Maria Callas, Plácido Domingo, and Alfredo Kraus, more than holding her own. She is 83 this year.


See the full list of International Opera Awards nominees here

The Awards take place on April 9 at the London Coliseum