Co-Artistic Directors, FGO Studio Artists
No stranger to FGO’s audiences, Diana Soviero is one of the most recognized American opera singers of the twentieth century. More than merely a vocalist, Ms. Soviero was a singing actress who lived her roles intensely on the stage. As her lyric soprano voice blossomed into a spinto with vivid colors, Ms. Soviero became a compelling interpreter of the verismo repertoire. She created a gallery of unforgettable operatic portraits in performances at leading international opera houses including The Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, Wiener Staatsoper, Opéra national de Paris, Opéra de Paris Bastille, Hamburg Staatsoper, Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, Chicago Lyric Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Houston Grand Opera, and San Francisco Opera.
Opera Magazine proclaimed Ms. Soviero as “one of the world’s great singing actresses,” as she mastered the vocal and acting skills required to make roles come alive on the operatic stage. She is particularly renowned for her interpretations of Puccini’s heroines, including Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly, Mimì and Musetta in La bohème, Liù in Turandot, Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi, and the title roles in Tosca, Manon Lescaut, and Suor Angelica. She is also esteemed for her work in the French repertoire, having sung such roles as Marguerite in Faust, Juliette in Roméo et Juliette and the title role in Manon. Other critically-acclaimed leading roles include Violetta in La traviata, Nedda in Pagliacci, Margherita in Mefistofele, and Maddalena in Andrea Chénier. Her poignant death scenes remain indelibly imprinted in the memory of all who saw her roles in productions such as Giordano’s Fedora, Suor Angelica, and Adriana Lecouvreur. Her final stage appearance was as Mrs. Desrochers in Heggie’s Dead Man Walking at Baltimore Opera.
For more than a decade, Ms. Soviero has dedicated herself to teaching singers with the same passion that characterized her singing and acting career. She currently serves on the faculty of the Mannes School of Music, and teaches many of The Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artists, giving both private lessons in her Manhattan studio and masterclasses across the country. She frequently conducts masterclasses with prestigious companies and festivals such as the Glimmerglass Festival, Florida Grand Opera, Opéra de Montréal, Opera Philadelphia, Palm Beach Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, and Opera Tampa; institutes and conservatories such as the Academy of Vocal Arts, the Mannes School of Music, El Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico, VOICExperience with Sherrill Milnes, The Israeli Institute, and universities throughout the United States, including the University of Hawaii (in conjunction with Hawaii Opera Theatre), the University of Wisconsin, Université de Montréal, Lawrence University, and the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
In June of 2011, she was awarded the V.E.R.A. (Voice Education Research Award) from The Voice Foundation, was hailed as a Master Teacher, and is now an official member of their board of directors. In September 2012, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Giulio Gari Foundation, and was also named an official voice instructor for the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program at Washington National Opera. In May 2014, Diana was also honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Gerda Lissner Foundation.