Mirella Freni was born on 27 February 1935.
I love this woman so much that just writing about her makes me blubber. I had the pleasure of interviewing her around the time of her Met farewell, and she is a smart, gracious, and utterly endearing person, as one might expect.
Her Verdi rôles on stage and disc included Nanetta, Alice Ford, Desdemona, Aida, Violetta, Elvira (which she considered a mistake), Elisabetta, and Leonora (Forza).
Today’s selection is from the DG recording of Simon Boccanegra led by Claudio Abbado, to my mind the greatest of all Verdi sets. Freni sings “Come in quest’ora bruna.” (Read what Fabio Luisi, a Genovese, had to say about this music.)