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Zinka Milanov , soprano born under the name of Zinka Kunc (Zagreb, Croatia, May 17, 1906 – New York, United States, May 30, 1989).
Zinka Milanov’s Biography
One of the most notable and temperamental Prima donna of the twentieth century, was considered the successor of Rosa Ponselle and the best exponent of soprano spinto of her time at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
He studied in Zagreb with the famous Milka Ternina – the first Tosca at the Met and Covent Garden -, debuting in Ljubljana as Leonora in Verdi’s Il trovatore, a role that would represent his entire career. Between 1928 and 1935 he sang in Zagreb, as well as in Prague and Dresden.
It was discovered by Bruno Walter, who recommended it to Arturo Toscanini for Verdi’s Requiem in Salzburg, 1937.
In 1940 she made her debut at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires as Maddalena in Andrea Chénier and in one of her rare appearances as Turandot. He returned in 1941 as Santuzza, Desdemona and in 1942 as Aída, Amelia and Norma directed by Hector Panizza. In 1950 he made his debut as Tosca at La Scala.
She debuted as Leonora at the Metropolitan (with the surname Milanov, her second husband). In 1947 he left the fixed set of the theater to marry General Ilic, returning to his homeland, then Yugoslavia, where apparently he had an affair with Marshal Tito.
When Rudolf Bing took over the Metropolitan, Milanov returned as Prima donna assoluta extending his reign until his retirement in 1966, the final night of the old theater on 39th Street. Between 1937 and 1966 he totaled more than 450 performances with the company metropolitan.
Their versions of the two Leonoras, Aida and Amelia – all of Verdi – are considered as the established vocal pattern. She was also an important Tosca, Gioconda, Santuzza, Maddalena, Donna Anna, however her Norma was not well received.
In his retirement he taught vocal improvement to figures such as Christa Ludwig and Régine Crespin.
His anecdotes and diva starts are as legendary as his singing.
More Facts about Zinka Milanov
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