Mirella Freni: A husband remembers

Leone Magiera, first teacher and first husband of the late Mirella Freni, has posted this beautiful tribute:

Si è spenta da qualche ora Mirella Freni, uno dei più importanti soprani del ‘900. E’ stata mia moglie per più di venti anni e insieme abbiamo cresciuto nostra figlia Micaela.
In questo momento di grande tristezza ricordo i tanti anni trascorsi insieme, pieni di speranze e di studio. E ricordo il periodo passato con Herbert von Karajan, l’esperienza più significativa ed emozionante della nostra comune vita artistica.
Nonostante fossimo già separati, Mirella ha voluto scrivere la presentazione per il mio libro su Karajan e la ringrazio per questa che resterà l’ultima sua testimonianza di quei magnifici momenti.
Non dimenticherò mai il grande e precoce talento di Mirella che abbiamo forgiato insieme fin dall’età di 14 anni e che l’ha portata a raggiungere grandi traguardi artistici in tutto il mondo.
Ciao Mirella.

Translation:

 

Mirella Freni, one of the most important sopranos of the 20th century, was my wife for more than twenty years and together we raised our daughter Micaela.

In this moment of great sadness I remember the many years spent together, full of hope and study. And I remember the period with Herbert Von Karajan, the most significant and exciting experience of our common artistic life.

Although we were already separated, Mirella wanted to write the introduction to my book on Karajan I and thank her for this, the last testimony of those magnificent moments.

I will never forget the great and early talent of Mirella that we have forged together from the age of 14 and that led her to achieve great artistic achievements all over the world.
Ciao, Mirella.

Freni, Magiera, Pavarotti, 1970

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  • I have heard Freni live three times with Karajan at the Salzburg Festival. Three Verdi works: the Requiem, Don Carlo and Aida. I will never forget her dramatic Libera me and her lyrical Elisabetta and Aida. The last work was unexpectedly very successful. The orchestra was always hearing her and the balance between them was memorable. Some years later, she was a superb Adriana in Paris. Don Carlo at the MET in 1983 was excellent too, specially her duets with Domingo but Levine was no Karajan.

  • Mirella Freni really stood out amongst her peers for her spinning “Io son l’umile ancella” at the 1991 Met Gala. I remember thinking “That’s how it’s done.”
    Remarkably similar voice to Netrebko?

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