Victoria de los Ángeles
Here is a wonderful song ("The maids of Cadiz") written by Léo Delibes and performed by the fabulous Victoria de los Ángeles.
Victoria de los Ángeles (1923 - 2005) was a Catalan Spanish operatic soprano whose career began in the early 1940's and reached its height in the mid 1970's. While she later made fewer appearances in opera, she continued to give recitals, focusing on mostly French and Spanish lieder, into the 1990's. She sang at the Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992. Born Victoria Gómez Cima into a poor Catalan family in Barcelona, she studied at the Barcelona Conservatory, graduating in just three years in 1941 at age 18. That year, she made her operatic debut at the Liceu, but then resumed her musical studies. In 1945, she returned to the Liceu to make her professional debut as the Countess in "The Marriage of Figaro". After winning first prize in the Geneva International Competition in 1947, she sang Salud in Falla's "La Vida breve" with the BBC in London in 1948. In 1949 she made her first appearance at the Paris Opéra as Marguerite. The following year, she debuted in Salzburg and Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Mimi, and the United States with a recital at Carnegie Hall. In March, 1951, she made her Metropolitan Opera debut in New York as Marguerite, singing with the company for ten years. She also sang at La Scala in Milan from 1950 to 1956. In 1957 she sang at the Vienna State Opera. After making her debut at the Bayreuth Festival as Elisabeth in 1961, she devoted herself principally to a concert career. However, for the next twenty years, she continued to make occasional appearances in one of her favourite operatic roles, Carmen. Though Carmen lay comfortably in her range (she was perhaps a natural mezzo-soprano), she nevertheless sang major soprano roles. Like Montserrat Caballé, she was a true exponent of bel canto singing. Victoria de los Ángeles performed regularly in song recitals with pianists Gerald Moore and Geoffrey Parsons, occasionally appearing with other eminent singers, such as Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. In 2005, Victoria de los Ángeles died in Barcelona at age 81. Those close to her said her voice was still beautiful to the end.
Listen to her flamboyant version of this famous song and enjoy!