Thursday, November 24, 2011

Sena Jurinac (24 October 1921 – 22 November 2011)

The great mezzo Sena Jurinac has died.  She is perhaps best remembered for singing Octavian in the wonderful video of Der Rosenkavalier with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf.  I praised her most in my review of Ariadne auf Naxos with Reri Grist here.  YouTube provides us with an excerpt from that performance.

Here is another.

P.S. I knew her only for her mezzo repertoire, and have since educated myself. I find that I like best this video from Forza.

I apologize for saying that Sena Jurinac never sang at the San Francisco Opera. Her career there began in 1959 when she sang the composer to Eileen Farrell's Ariadne in Ariadne auf Naxos, Eva in Die Meistersinger, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni and Cio Cio San in Madama Butterfly. Wow.  People used to do this sort of thing under Adler.  After that she appeared only in 1971 as the Marschallin to Christa Ludwig's Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier and in 1980 as Kostelnicka in Jenufa.  In 1959 I had just started college.  In 1971 I lived in Indiana.  I probably did not see her.


Anonymous said...

Believe it or not, Sena was actually one of the great lyric sopranos of the post-war period! She had a voice capable of singing high mezzo roles AND soprano roles.

I love her. Rest in peace!

Anonymous said...

Actually, Jurinac did sing in SF. I heard her there in 1980 when she sang the Kostelnicka in "Jenufa", and she also did the Marschallin there in 1971, and several roles in 1959 (Eva, the Composer, and Butterfly, I think.) I only ever got to hear her that one time, and I traveled across the country to hear it. It is something I will never forget.

Dr.B said...

My comment was based on a search of the archives of the San Francisco Opera. Maybe I should try again.

Anonymous said...

I was lucky to hear Sena Jurinac as Desdemona in "Otello" at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in 1963, opposite Jon Vickers and Tito Gobbi. It was a very memorable evening. May she rest in peace.