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Mina Foley (9 March 1930 - 21 January 2007) was a New Zealand coloratura soprano, who rose to prominence in the 1950s. She was the first of many to study under the acclaimed singing teacher Dame Sister Mary Leo. Other prominent singers who studied with Mary Leo included the internationally renowned soprano Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, soprano Dame Malvina Major, and mezzo-soprano Heather Begg.


The voice

Foley's voice was famously dubbed "The voice of the century".

Unfulfilled ambitions

Mina Foley was the most promising young soprano of her time, and critics of the time predicted many great thing of her. Unfortunately, whilst studying abroad, Foley had a severe and unfortunate mental breakdown. As a result, she retired in 1961, and she did not sing again.


Very few recordings exist of Foley. In 2001, The early years, a compilation of some of Foley's earliest recordings (Between the period of 1948-1954, was recorded. Included in the compilation are recordings of Verdi's 'Sempre Libera', Mozart's 'Der Holle Rache' (performed in English), Bellini's 'Casta Diva'and Donizetti's 'O luce di quest'anima'.



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