Born: December 24, 1927 - New Hartford, Connecticut, USA
Died: July 17, 2007 - Vienna, Austria
The admired American soprano, Teresa Stich-Randall, briefly attended the Gilbert School in Winsted. She also studied at the Harrtt School of Music in Hartford at the time and at 15 left New Hartford as the youngest student at the Columbia School of Music. Later, a Foolbright Scholarship took her to Europe, where she learned German, French and Italian for her roles in the opera. She learned to sing in five languages.
In 1947 Teresa Stich-Randall made her operatic debut as Gertrude Stein in the premiere of Thomsonís The Mother of Us All in New York. She was chosen to create the title role in Lueningís Evangeline in New York in 1948. She then was engaged to sing with Arturo Toscanini and the NBC Symphony Orchestra in New York.
After winning the Lausanne competition in 1951, Teresa Stich-Randall made her European operatic debut that year as the Nermaid in Oberon in Florence. This established her reputation in Europe, and it was in Europe that most of her subsequent activity was centered. In 1951-1952 she sang at the Basel Opera. In 1952 she made her first appearance at the Salzburg Festival and at the Vienna State Opera. In 1955 she made her debut at the Chicago Lyric Opera as Gilda. From 1955 she appeared regularly at the Aix-en-Provence Festivals. In October 1961 she made her Metropolitan Opera debut in New York as Fiordiligi, remaining on its roster until 1966.
Teresa Stich-Randall also sang widely in the USA and Europe as concert artist. Her success in Vienna led her to being the first American to be made an Austrian Kammersängerin in 1962. She retired in 1971 (Baker) or 1980 (AMG). Outside of much-heralded visits home to West Hartford in 1982 and 1983, she has been little heard from since.
Teresa Stich-Randall was especially esteemed for her roles in W.A. Mozartís operas. Although she is hardly a household name, she has many fans, among those who collect vintage vocal recordings. In her concert career she frequently sang works by George Frideric Handel and J.S. Bach. Her approach to Baroque music is signified by her light tone with no more than a subtle vibrato, clear enunciation, and an infallible sense of pitch. She was definitely ahead of the game in regard to latter-day period performance practice, and her best recordings generously bear this out, in particular her 1966 Vanguard recording of Giovanni Battista Pergolesi's Stabat Mater with alto Elisabeth Höngen.