(May 4, 1930 - January 18, 2017)
Roberta Peters was an American coloratura soprano.
She was an artist who has achieved lasting fame and success in the opera world based on a career that had her associated principally with the Metropolitan for over 35 years.
She was born in the Bronx and so has been dubbed "the Bronx Nightingale".
Blessed with good looks and a lighter coloratura voice with incredible agility and a lovely pure tone made her an ideal exponent of soubrette and principal lighter coloratura roles.
She made her debut as Zerlina in 1950 in Don Giovanni and from there went on to play Susanna in Nozze di Figaro, Despina in Così Fan Tutte, The Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute, Amore in Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice, Marzeline in Beethoven's Fidelio, Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Adina in Elisir d'Amore, Norina in Don Pasquale, Oscar in Un Ballo in Maschera, Nanetta in Falstaff, Olympia in Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier, Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos, and Adele in Die Fledermaus.
Later, she added lyric-coloratura roles to her repertoire - Amina in La Sonnambula, Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor, Lakmé, Juliette in Roméo et Juliette, Massenet's Manon, and even performed the ocassional Violetta in La Traviata, and Mimì in La Bohème.
Her farewell role at the Met was as Gilda in Rigoletto in 1985.
In addition to the opera stage she appeared regularly on television in shows like the Ed Sullivan Show and appeared with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the San Francisco Opera, and the Cincinnati Opera.
She appeared abroad as early as 1951 singing at the Royal Opera House in London, in The Bohemian Girl, under the baton of Sir Thomas Beecham.
Briefly married to American baritone legend Robert Merrill- in 1952 she said she fell in love with the voice and not the man.
After 1955 she sang in opera houses in Italy, and the Vienna State Opera, the Salzburg Festival, and the Bolshoi in Moscow.
Also a regualar recitalist, Roberta Peters has enjoyed ongoing public popularity and has been one of America's most enduring artists.
In later years she appeared in operetta and at one time played in the King & I.
Roberta Peters is one of the featured stars on our "Legends" product range.