LELLA CUBERLI

 

 

Lella Cuberli is native of Texas. Having won a scholarship from the National Opera Institute and of the advice of the late Lawrence Kelly; the general director of the Dallas Opera at that time, she went to Italy in order to study, learn the language and culture, build  a repertoire. Originally it was her intention to return to the U.S. after a limited sojourn but after winning several important international competitions such as Accademia Chigiana (Siena), Giuseppe Verdi (Parma), Beniamino Gigli (Macerata), Giacomo Lauri Volpi (Garda), after her debut in Hungary in “La Traviata” and  after meeting some important people who became precious guides, teachers, friends, she decided to remain in Italy. Because of her exceptional musicianship and versatile talent she began singing in prestigious theaters and festivals immediately.

In 1978 she made her debut at La Scala in Mozart’s “Dei Entfuhrung aus dem Serail” (Konstanze) establishing herself in very short span of time as a genuine specialist in Mozart and Handel. After her first Rossini successes in “Torvaldo e Dorlinska” for the italian radio-television, “Tancredi” at the Festival della Valle d’Itra”, “Il Turco in Italia” at Naples San Carlo Theater, she expanded her belcanto vocation performing “Pia de’ Tolomei” and “Lucia di Lammermoor” (Donizetti), Bellini’s “Norma” (role of Adalgisa) and “I Capuleti e Montecchi”. She also obtained notable success in “La Donna del Lago”, “Il Turco in Italia”, “Il Viaggio a Reims”, “Bianca e Falliero” at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro (birthplace of Rossini) “Semiramide”, “Elisabetta Regina d’Inghilterra” meriting her fame as one of the greatest Rossini sopranos of this age.

In 1982 Miss Cuberli was invited to Carnegie Hall in New York to sing “Tancredi” with Marilyn Horne;es in 1985 she participated in the Berlin Festwoche (Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis) with Herbert von Karajan conducting; in 1986-88 she was at the Salzburg Festival in the role of the Countess in  Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro” (James Levine Conducting) and for several concerts with Karajan (Beethoven’s IX symphony and Missa Solemnis, Brahms Requiem); in 1994 she took part in new production of “Don Giovanni” in collaboration with Daniel Barenboim and Partice Chereau. Simultaneously she was engaged for other types of roles emphasizing her artistic and vocal flexibility; Desdemona, Mimi, Melisande, Ann Truelove (“The Rakes Progress” by Stravinsky).

The Composer Nino Rota wrote three lyrics with orchestra for her voice. In 1989 the Monnaie Theatre in Brussels staged a memorable, new production of “La Traviata” especially for her and, in the same year she sang Beethoven’s Scottische Lieder with Maurizio Pollini in Pesaro, “I Capuleti e Montecchi” with Riccardo Muti on La Scala tour in Moscow, and  an unforgettable ”Maria Stuarda” in Paris with Richard Bonynge. The last years of her career saw her in “Semiramide” at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, “Guillaume Tell” at London’s Covent Garden, “ Anna Bolena” in Madrid, “Cosi fan tutte” and “ Le Nozze di Figaro” in Florence, conductor Zubin Metha; “Il Viaggio a Reims” at the Vienna Staatsoper and in Tokyo, conductor Claudio Abbado; “Les Contes d’Hoffmann” (Antonia) at the Opera Bastille in Paris; “Otello” (Rossini) at the Chicago Lyric Opera and two Mozart - Da Ponte Operas with the Chicago Symphony and Daniel Barenboim.

Not only was Lella Cuberli known for her refined musical ability but she was also recognized as an excellent actress developing her natural instinct and passion for this aspect of performing by working with famous, extraordinary stage directors like Giorgio Strehler, Patrice Chereau, Roman Polanski, Karl Ernst Hermann, Jean-Pierre Ponnelle, Gain Carlo Menotti, Luca Ronconi. There has always been a very special place in Lella Cuberli’s heart for the song recital as well. Although she had a very limited amount of time to devote to this art, due to such a crowded schedule of operatic engagements, she managed to present this special art form in many European cities.
After retiring from the stage and after unceasing requests for vocal help Lella Cuberli has gradually become aware of her ability to pass on her knowledge and experience to others. Not really planning at first to dedicate herself to this it has just “happened”, quite naturally. She has discovered a love for teaching equal to, perhaps even greater then, the love she had for performing.