Ada Sari


Quick Reference

(b Wadowice, nr Kraków, 29 June 1886; d Ciechocinek, 12 July 1968). Polish soprano. One of the most distinguished coloratura sopranos of her era, she studied singing in Kraków, Vienna and, from 1907 to 1909, with Antonio Rupnicek in Milan. In 1909 she made an acclaimed début as Marguerite (Faust) at the Teatro Drammatico Nazionale in Rome. She subsequently sang in many other Italian theatres, including Bologna, Florence, Venice, Naples (in Le prophète and Der Zigeunerbaron) and La Scala. She also sang Santuzza in Cavalleria rusticana under Pietro Mascagni and Nedda in Pagliacci under Ruggero Leoncavallo in Alexandria. From about 1912 she began to concentrate on coloratura repertory. In the spring of 1914 she made an extensive concert tour of Russia with a group of Italian singers, and also performed in Warsaw, Lemberg and Kraków. After the outbreak of World War I she went to Vienna and then to Poland, joining the Lemberg (later Lwów) Opera in 1916 and the Warsaw Opera the following year; there her performances included Lucia di Lammermoor, Les Huguenots and Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail. In 1923 Sari settled in Milan, where she was engaged by La Scala; that year she sang the Queen of Night under the direction of Arturo Toscanini. During the next decade she gave a series of triumphant concert tours in Europe and North America and regularly visited Poland. In 1934 she moved back to Warsaw, where she sang frequently at the Wielki Theatre. She spent the war years directing an underground opera studio in Warsaw, and after the war she sang with the opera companies in Wrocław and Kraków, as well as giving concerts and broadcasts. She retired in 1947 to devote herself to teaching.


From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Opera.

Reference entries