(Born 12 July 1951)
Sylvia Sass is an acclaimed Hungarian soprano.
She was particularly associated with the roles of Giuseppe Verdi.
She debuted at the Hungarian State Opera as Frasquita in Georges Bizet's Carmen in 1971 and then played Violetta the following year at the Sofia National Opera.
In 1975 she sang Mozart in concert at the Salzburg Festival.
That same year she sang Desdemona at the Scottish Opera and the following year she made a sensational debut at the Royal Opera Covent Garden as Giselda in Verdi's I Lombardi.
She returned the following season as Violetta and then in 1977, she debuted at the Metropolitan Opera playing Tosca.
Other prestigious houses where she sang Violetta included the Vienna State Opera, the Paris Opera, the opera houses of Cologne, Frankfurt, Berlin, Hamburg, and the Aix-en-Provence Festival, and the Munich State Opera.
At the Teatro Municipal de Caracas she played Amelia in Un Ballo in Maschera, and in 1978, she made her debut at La Scala in Milan as Puccini's Manon Lescaut. The performance was conducted by Georges Prêtre and it was televised live across Europe.
Sylvia Sass's repertoire included Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, Mimi in La bohème, Judith in Béla Bartók's Bluebeard's Castle, and Lady Macbeth- which was considered one of her signature roles.
She recorded a DVD of an impressive performance of "Bluebeard's Castle" under the baton of Sir Georg Solti and it is available today.
She has won many awards and her exceptional vocal and dramatic talent led some people to claim she was the second Callas- but due to enormous pressures placed on her and perhaps taking on too much too soon led to her voice deteriorating at an early age. By the 1980's she virtually dissappeared from the world opera stages.
Sylvia Sass retired to France where she now teaches and gives masterclasses.
Among her recorded legacy are full recordings of Bluebeard's Castle, Don Giovanni, I Lombardi, Ernani, Attila, Macbeth, Stiffelio and Cherubini's Médée.