In the early nineteenth century, composers commissioned to write new operas received from the impresario a list of the singers in the solo ensemble so that that the parts might be written to suit them. The rise of bel canto consequently had a lot to do with the vocal potential of the female singers who were to play the title roles - the great prima donnas of the day. The mezzo-soprano Viviana Araiza Staffini was born in Munich and spent part of her childhood in the USA and Italy. She studied at the Munich College of Music and completed her studies at the International Opera Studio of the Zurich Opera House.
Vincenzo Bellini: Norma, Act I
Norma, Act I: Casta diva - Ah! Bello a me ritorna
Gioachino Rossini: Tancredi, Act I
Act I: Di tanti palpiti
Act I: Dolci d'amor parole
Gioachino Rossini: Otello, ossia Il moro di Venezia, Act III
Otello, ossia Il moro di Venezia, Act III: Canzone del Salice: Assisa a pie d'un salice - Preghiera: Deh calma, o Ciel
Gioachino Rossini: Semiramide, Act I
Semiramide, Act I: Bel raggio lusinghier
Gaetano Donizetti: Maria Stuarda, Act I
Maria Stuarda, Act I: Ah! quando all'ara scorgemi - Ah! dal ciel discenda un raggio
Gaspare Spontini: La vestale, Act II
La vestale, Act II: Tu che invoco con orrore
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.