The opera of the prima donnas by Stefania Bonfadelli: the review by Aldo Cazzullo

Hor known Stefania Bonfadelli alongside Franca Valeriof which she was a student – as an opera singer, not as an actress: but Valeri adored opera – before being adopted as a daughter, with a great proof of love that Stefania recalled in an unforgettable interview with Corriere della Serafor the signature of Valerio Cappelli.

Franca Valeri, tonight on

Now Stefania Bonfadelli is in the bookshop with a volume entitled The opera of the prima donnas (Lindau): a homage to the opera theater which has been, over the centuries, a place of redemption for talented women.

It was certainly the same for men, often coming from the working classes, but not with the same impact, not to the same extent. In times when women could not have a voice, the divas of Belcanto spoke for everyone with the sound of high notes, tearing away that veil of unjust and centuries-old silence, and they did so with courage, passion, sometimes madness.

Aldo Cazzullo (photo by Carlo Furgeri Gilbert).

The opera house removed women born poor from miserable existencesas Anna Renziwho in 1600 was the first female diva when opera was the undisputed kingdom of the castrati, also having the courage to self-finance the shows with her first earnings.

Vittoria Tesi in 1700 she was the first black diva in history, venerated by composers and poets: because in opera it is the color of the voice that counts, not the color of the skin. Rosmunda Benedetta Pisaronidisfigured by smallpox, sang Femme fatale roles: because in opera what counts is the beauty of the voice, not the physical one. Lina Cavalieri he went from the café chantant to performing with Caruso.

“The opera of the prima donnas” by Stefania Bonfadelli (Lindau).

Maria Zambonia worker, discovered her talent singing in the spinning mill, and became one of the greatest Puccini interpreters of all time, a true witness of how singing has always accompanied women’s work from the rice paddies to the factories.

The story of, however, is sad Lina Bruna Rasa, who suffered from mental imbalance found her existential center of gravity only on stage. Extraordinary women who have marked the history of this fundamental art in the culture of our country.

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All articles by Aldo Cazzullo.