Sad death of a Vienna mezzo, aged 61

Sad death of a Vienna mezzo, aged 61


norman lebrecht

April 27, 2016

The Vienna State Opera has announced the death of former ensemble member Gabriele Sima.

Winner of the 1979 Maria Callas Prize, Gabriele made her debut that year as Barbarina in Marriage of Figaro. She was an ensemble member from 1982 to 1999, singing 53 roles in 599 performances.

She also sang regularly at the Salzburg Festival and Hamburg State Opera.

gabriele sima


  • SopranoWieben says:

    She was a wonderful teacher and a true artist. I was so fortunate to work with her, and am forever thankful to have had her in my life.

    Here is a clip of her incomparable “Voi che sapete”

    • Olassus says:

      Yes, I think this is the excellent Jonathan Miller staging for Vienna with Claudio Abbado conducting, and Cheryl Studer in *much* better voice than she was 3 years later for the DG recording, when Sima was replaced by the equally good Cecilia Bartoli. This was released on Sony VHS but has since been suppressed, probably to protect DG’s CD sales — sadly!

  • Patrick Shaw says:

    Ghastly news! My thoughts are with her family!

    Her voice and smile brought huge joy!

  • Jonathan Cable says:

    I knew Gabi from the time we were both students at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. This is extremely sad news.