14 September 2023

P.R. Jenkins

Karajan artists: Katia Ricciarelli – the perfect legato

Legato. This was one of Karajan’s main themes in his aesthetic credo. And the tenderest pianississimo. This singer has a lot to say about it.

Katia Ricciarelli was Turandot, Tosca and Micaëla in Karajan’s productions around 1980. She studied Gregorian chant for three years to improve her singing technique and obviously it paid off. In an interview in 1997, Ricciarelli said:

“The first time I met Karajan at an audition for Tosca, the whole team of the Deutsche Grammophon was there. All of them were standing, nobody dared to sit. He was at the piano. I sang ‘Vissi d’arte’. He stood up and closed the piano lid. I thought: ‘That’s it. He’s throwing me out.’ He didn’t. He said: ‘I’ve waited so many years. I’ve waited forty years for such a legato.’ All the people from Deutsche Grammophon were very happy and relieved… Well, legato was very important to him.”

We’ve prepared playlists with Karajan and Katia Ricciarelli. Listen to them here.

“Da Capo – Interview with August Everding” 3sat, 6 September 1997

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