44 years separate Rosina and Figaro on La Scala stage

44 years separate Rosina and Figaro on La Scala stage


norman lebrecht

August 03, 2015

Lilly Jørstad, a student at the La Scala Academy, made her debut this weekend in Barber of Seville opposite Leo Nucci and Ruggero Raimondi. Graham Spicer tells s all about it here.

But nota bene: Lilly is 29. Leo and Ruggero are both 73, with a lifetime’s experience behind them.

The beauty of opera is that age need not matter at all.

lilly jorstad



  • Simon S. says:

    AFAIR, there has been once a production of Don Carlo featuring Josep Carreras (b. 1946) as Carlo and Ferruccio Furlanetto (b. 1949) as Filippo, i.e. the father was younger than the son. 😀

  • william osborne says:

    The beauty of opera is that it focuses so strongly on the bel canto voice that theatrical elements become very secondary. That is also the great failing of opera, and one of the reasons it is essentially a dead art form. The future of classical music theater lies in creating smaller forms with a deeper integration of music, theater, acting, and text.

  • Tamara Bernstein says:

    “The beauty of opera is that age need not matter at all.”

    Oh really? It depends on whose age you’re talking about. What are the chances that the sexes would be reversed in the scenario described in this news item, i.e., a production in which Rosina would be, say, in her 50s, and Figaro in his 20s?

    • Graham Spicer says:

      I’ve seen this scenario several times: for example, La bohème at La Scala in 1994 with Mirella Freni 59 and Roberto Alagna just out of his twenties, by a couple of months, at 30. There’s also Manon Lescaut in 1970 with 60-year-old Magda Olivero and 29yo Placido Domingo… etc etc

      • Mathias Hausmann says:

        Imagine what great performances (and therefore live recordings) we would have missed if age in opera really would matter! In my eyes and ears this is one of the advantages of opera! Unfortunately I believe that we won’t see this La Scala- scenario very rarely in the future as we see many operas “typecast”…. Which is the death of opera!