My Favorite Divas of This Generation

My responses to La Cieca’s quizzes and inquiries are often worthy fodder for re-posting here on jcm. Her current call for nominees is for “your favorite opera diva of this generation,” from which the surpreme list of ten will be crafted.

The acceptable career range is onstage between 1980 and 2010, BUT I took it upon myself to discluded any divas who had a large part of their primes BEFORE 1980 (begrudgingly discluding the queens of my Diva Totem: Price, Caballé, Ludwig, etc.), because they are really Golden Age holdovers, NOT really divas of THIS generation. For each the notable attributes are highlighted.

Here goes…they are essentially in order of my nomination, but I felt they were just too equal to assign a number to. Which of your favorites, or other truly deserving divas (OF THIS GENERATION!) have I left off?

Ileana Cotrubas
Limpid tone, truly affecting pathos.

Agnes Baltsa
Blazing coloratura, firm tone, balls-out ferocity.

Edita Gruberova
Unsurpassed range and career longevity.

Lorraine Hunt-Lieberson
A gravitas, and otherwordly, spiritual presence.

Arleen Auger
She’s a Veilchen, but NOT a shrinking one!
(Cieca stated: “shrinking violets need not apply”)

Olga Borodina
Most gorgeous, plush tone of past 3 decades.

Dolora Zajick
Has almost single-handedly kept Verdi really alive for this generation.

Waltraud Meier
Fearless, passionate delivery. Gets lost in her characterizations.

Eva-Marie Westbroek (breaking out)
Committed on the level of a Golden-Ager. Rare, ample instrument.

Luba Orgonášová (underrated)
Sutherland-like clarity of tone, and ease of fioriture.

Alessandra Marc (underrated)
Perhaps second only to La Price for beauty of tone.

Bernarda Fink (underrated)
Sadly now seemingly lost in DiDonato’s shadow. Also a genius of art song/lieder.

Oy…how could I leave out Millo, Podleś, Stemme, Mattila, Dimitrova, Freni, Troyanos, and so on?! There’s never enough room in these lists!

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