Today, I have sad news to report. Legendary Italian soprano, Mirella Freni, has died.
I first discovered Mirella Freni when I was in high school. I watched her perform as Susanna in a TV film adaptation of Mozart’s Le Nozze Di Figaro. Almost immediately, I was captivated by her effortlessly beautiful voice. As I checked out more of her work, I grew to love her for not just her voice, but for her incredible artistry, dynamic range, and deep, emotional depth. Above all, it is that emotional depth and her ability to move me to tears that has kept me coming back to her work after all this time. Even when I listened to her recordings without seeing her face expressions, I could always sense the little pauses and shifts in thoughts and expressions that she used to fully inhabit her characters and communicate with her audiences. It was like I could sense her communicating directly to my heart.
Now, I would like to share one of her performances. I have decided to post her singing, “Si Mi Chiamano Mimi”, since the role of Mimi in Giacomo Puccini’s La Bohème is perhaps her most famous role. In this video, she is performing with conductor Herbert von Karajan, with whom she had a special, musical chemistry with. They worked together numerous times throughout their careers.
Rest in peace, Mirella Freni. You will be missed, but never forgotten. And I know that I will keep returning to your work for years to come.