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Cebotari (real name, Cebutaru), Maria

opera sang russian vienna

Cebotari (real name, Cebutaru), Maria, outstanding Moldavian soprano; b. Kishinev, Bessarabia, Feb. 23, 1910; d. Vienna, June 9, 1949. She sang in a church choir; from 1924 to 1929 she studied at the Kishinev Cons.; then went to Berlin, where she took voice lessons with Oskar Daniel at the Hochschule für Musik. In 1929 she sang with a Russian émigré opera troupe in Bucharest and in Paris. In 1931 she made an auspicious debut as Mimi at the Dresden State Opera, where she was a principal member until 1943; also appeared at the Salzburg Festival. In 1936 she joined the Berlin State Opera, singing with it until 1944; from 1946 she was a member of the Vienna State Opera. She also filled guest engagements in other European opera houses. She had a large repertoire which included the standard soprano roles, among them Violetta, Madama Butterfly, Pamina, and Manon; she also gave brilliant performances in modern operas; Richard Strauss greatly prized her abilities, entrusting to her the role of Aminta in the premiere of his Die schweigsame Frau (Dresden, June 24, 1935). Thanks to her cosmopolitan background, she sang the part of Tatiana in Russian in Tchaikovsky’s opera Eugene Onegin and the part of Antonida in Glinka’s A Life for the Czar . She also appeared in films. She was married to the Russian nobleman Count Alexander Virubov; after their divorce in 1938, she married the film actor Gustav Diessl.

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