Edita Gruberova has sung her last

Edita Gruberova has sung her last


norman lebrecht

September 12, 2020

The popular coloratura soprano has retired at 74.

Statement from Alexander Pereira at the Maggio Musicale:

Edita Gruberová was extremely happy to come for a singing recital at the Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino on June 14, 2020, which was then postponed to October 3 due to the health emergency. The forced pause due to Covid-19 has also significantly delayed preparations for this concert. For a singer in an advanced state of her career, it is essential to keep the voice in shape with regular performances. The situation created by the virus made it impossible to maintain a singing routine, as all sorts of events were canceled. Since August, Mrs Gruberová resumed preparing the ambitious program scheduled for the evening of 3 October 2020. Despite her extraordinary commitment, Edita Gruberová informed us today of her decision to end her career. We were extremely happy to host one of the greatest sopranos in our theatre, and we are very sorry to know that this great moment cannot take place.



  • Thomas Dawkins says:

    In her prime, a force to be reckoned with as Zerbinetta and Konstanze. Never quite warmed to her bel canto, but even if she’d only done those two roles, she’d have made a major mark.

  • Jim says:

    She owes us nothing more.
    Her recording of Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos is a stunning performance of a difficult virtuoso role, and still one of my all-time favourite role performances.
    Happy retirement!

  • Nicholas Ashton says:

    Certainly up there as possibly the finest coloratura soprano of her generation to grace our stages; there was a level of technical perfection which set the bar impossibly high (in every sense). The fact that Ms Gruberova could continue at this level for so long attests to the majesterial quality and security of her voice. My, were we lucky! Her Zerbinetta was unforgettable, and her commitment to Rossini and Mozart an eternal legacy. My very best wishes for a happy and relaxed retirement.

  • Simon Scott says:

    A few years Editha Gruberova stated to the press that she never wanted to sing in Italy ever again. “I am tired of singing to penguins” or words to that effect.

  • NorCalMichael says:

    A very great singer, and one not often done justice by recordings, which made her voice seem harsher than it was in the theater. She’s certainly earned her retirement, having sung professionally for 52 years! I wish her well.

  • DavidP says:

    A big admirer of hers until maybe 10 years ago. She should have stopped then or eliminated the higher endings. Enjoy your retirement and thank you for your years of dedication to your art

  • MezzoLover says:

    I must be in the minority here, as I find the “pinched” quality of her vocal production unattractive. Yes, she gets the job done, often brilliantly – even breathtakingly – but rarely beguilingly.

    As for her celebrated Zerbinetta, all I can say is I will happily take the live recording of the 1954 Salzburg Ariadne auf Naxos, in which Hilde Güden made her debut as Zerbinetta, to the proverbial desert island. Why settle for second best when you can have perfection?

  • Greg Bottini says:

    Best wishes for a long and happy retirement, Madame Gruberova!

  • Eulalia says:

    A Fiarkermilli beyond compare! And it was in 1989, I believe, she did an all Strauss Lieder recital at Tully Hall in NYC that demonstrated every facet of her gifts with words and music. Memories of that performance keep me aloft to this day. Enjoy retirement, madame! We are so grateful for what you gave us.

  • Sebastian Cody says:

    Such memories. I agree wholeheartedly with the comment that the recordings do not do justice to the atmosphere she created in the hall (the same phenomenon, in my perhaps controversial view, as has happened with Anna Netrebko, a quite different voice of course).

    The first time I heard Gruberova it was by accident, so to speak: she sang the offstage “voice from heaven” in Don Carlo at the Staatsoper (just one scene) in 1974. By this time, as a member of the Vienna company, she had already sung Queen of the Night and, gosh, Zerbinetta.

    So her qualities were not exactly on display that evening. But I made up for this over the next years. So many glorious performances. One late memory: a concert Norma with Garanca, the drama of Gruberova, still glorious but just starting to fade, sharing the stage with someone young and ready to conquer the world. It could have been a cat fight, instead it was heartbreaking and thrilling. Thank you and enjoy your new life.