Celestina Casapietra (born 23 August 1938) is an Italian operatic soprano who was a member of the Berlin State Opera for decades. She made an international career, and recorded several operas and concerts.
Life and career
Born in Genoa, Casapietra made her debut at the Teatro Nuovo in Milan in 1963.
Casapietra was "discovered" by Otmar Suitner who won her for the Berlin State Opera from 1965. She married the conductor Herbert Kegel; they had a son, Björn Casapietra who was born in Genoa and has an Italian passport. Casapietra and Kegel were a glamour couple of the GDR in the 1960s.
In Berlin, she performed roles such as Donna Anna in Mozart's Don Giovanni, Agathe in Weber's Der Freischütz, Elsa in Wagner's Lohengrin, Tatiana in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, and Maddalena in Giordano's André Chenier. In 1971, she appeared in the title role of Massenet's Manon, alongside Peter Schreier as Des Grieux, staged by Horst Bonnet and conducted by Arthur Apelt. Her contract was cancelled in 1993, leading to a long legal case which she won.
She appeared as a guest at La Fenice in Venice, the Vienna State Opera, the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, the Hamburg State Opera and the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. At the Salzburg Festival, she appeared in Cavalieri's Rappresentatione di Anima, et di Corpo from 1969 to 1971.
She also appeared in concerts, recording Bach's Mass in B minor conducted by her husband in 1975, with the Leipzig radio choir and orchestra, Renate Frank-Reinecke, Věra Soukupová, Eberhard Büchner and Siegfried Vogel.
Casapietra recorded the role of Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte in 1971, with Suitner conducting the Staatskapelle Berlin, alongside Annelies Burmeister as Dorabella, Sylvia Geszty as Despina, Peter Schreier as Ferrando, Günther Leib as Guglielmo and Theo Adam as Don Alfonso. Recordings with Casapietra are held by the German National Library:
- Giordano: Andrea Chénier (1973) with Franco Corelli and Piero Cappuccilli, Hardy Classic (DVD)
- Gounod: Margarethe. Excerpts in German. Berlin Classics 1999
- Mahler: Symphony No. 4. Berlin Classics 1996
- Mendelssohn: Symphonies Nos. 1–5, solo in Lobgesang. Eurodisc 1990
- Mozart: Missae / Requiem. Philips 1991
- Mozart: Così fan tutte. Fiordiligi, in a complete recording in Italian. (ETERNA 1969)
- Orff: Carmina Burana. Philips 1992
- Orff: Trionfi. Berlin Classics 1992
- Concerto Lirico. Monopol 1996 (album)
- Wagner: Tannhäuser. Gala 2005
- Kutsch, K. J.; Riemens, Leo (2012). Casapietra, Celestina. Großes Sängerlexikon (in German) (4 ed.). Walter de Gruyter. p. 749. ISBN 978-3-59-844088-5.
- Hünniger, Andrea Hanna (23 June 2016). "Björn Casapietra: Deutsche Vita". Die Zeit (in German). Retrieved 20 April 2019.
- "Herbert Kegel / Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works". programmhefte24.de (in German). Retrieved 23 May 2019.
- "Herbert Kegel / Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works". Bach Cantatas Website. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
- Fisher, Burton D. (2005). Mozart's Cosi fan tutte. Die Zeit. Opera Journeys Publishing. p. 109. ISBN 978-0-97-714553-9.
- "Recordings by Celestina Casapietra" (in German). German National Library. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
- Gala unter den Linden / DDR 1976/1977 Spielfilm filmportal.de
- Literature by and about Celestina Casapietra in the German National Library catalogue
- Celestina Casapietra on IMDb
- Celestina Casapietra discography at Discogs
- Celestina Casapietra (Soprano) Bach Cantatas Website
- Recordings on Archiv Music
- Boris Gruhl: Callas, Crespin, Casapietra, Cervena (in German) musik-in-dresden.de, 4 March 2013
- Recordings on musicMe