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Castro-Alberty, Margarita

The internationally acclaimed opera singer Margarita Castro-Alberty was born in San Sebastian, Puerto Rico.

Her successful career was founded on her excellent training and native talent. Soprano, Castro-Alberty began her studies at the Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico in San Juan, Puerto Rico. But she was also interested in other fine arts and her studies in painting took her to Rome. It was there that she auditioned for the Santa Cecilia conservatory and hailed as “una voce di prima donna”.

Castro-Alberty returned to her native Puerto Rico to later audition for the Metropolitan Opera, demonstrating her rare vocal talent. Selected to the prestigeous New York opera company, she continued her training at the Julliard School of New York.

With the support and training of her mentors, Peter Hermann Adler and Daniel Ferro, Castro-Alberty made the world take notice of her; winning competitions sponsored by The Rockfeller Foundation, The Baltimore Opera Guild , The Chicago Opera Guild, The Metropolitan Opera Guild and the French Grand prix d ‘opera international, all while she was still a student.

Castro-Alberty made her professional debut in 1978 in the opera Simon Bocanagra opposite Renato Bruson, Santiago, Chile. She followed by playing the role of Ballo in the opera Mashera, also in Santiago. The next year year she played the role of Nedda in Il Pagliacci with the international reknown Spanish tenor, Placido Domingo.

Her early roles, such as Amelia du Ballo in Maschera and Madame Butterfly, were also widely acclaimed. Highly regarded critics showered her with praise as Harold Schoenberg did in the New York Times when he proclaimed Castro-Alberty as the “young Milanov”, while others compared her to the famous Maria Callas. Similarly, in Opera News, Robert Jacobson noted “her incomparable vocal colour and her perfect high-pitches”. In 1980 she played the demanding role of Lucrezia in Verdi’s I Due Foscari at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, then returned to Chili to play Verdi’s Aïda and then Donna Anna from Mozart’s Don Giovanni.

Castro-Alberty then moved on to conquer Europe, delivering a strong performing in Manuel de Falla’s Vida Brava, then returning to the role of Donna Anna in Lyon, France. By the time of her second performance in France, playing Manon Lescaut (Puccini), she had indeed impressed the critics across the continent. With each appearance; in Paris, Bilbao, East and West Germany, she proved her extraordinary talent.

She was equally successful in the United States where the critics acclaimed Castro-Alberty’s performance at Carnegie Hall and perfomances later, in 1982 and the following year, with the Metropolitan Opera of New York.

Among her recorded works are the recently released Bachianas Brasileiras, Beethoven’s Fidelio, with Bruno Walter, conducting, Cantata antillana by Jack Delano, with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Puerto Rico and Coral Filarmónica de San Juan. That album also included “La canción de las Antillas” by Puerto Rican composer, Raymond Torres Santos and featured compatriots Cesar Hernandez and Justino Diaz. Another of her recordings was the Complete songs for voice and piano of JoaquÍn Rodrigo, on which the song Adela appears.

In great demand, she could afford to accept only the most soughtafter roles, honoring the best works of Verdi, Donizetti and Puccini. Mindful of her roots and cultural heritage, she also chose roles that would make known the rich melody of the Spanish repertoire. Her vocal power is today more refined and best suited to Tosca, Turandot and Liù.

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Discography

Recuerdos del Río de la Plata (1996)

Hector Villa-Lobos - Bachianas Brasileiras (1992)

Jack Delano - Cantata Antillana (1992)

Beethoven - Fidelio (----)

Joaquín Rodrigo - Complete Songs (----)

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