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Tatiana Troyanos (Greek: Τατιάνα Τρωϊάνου, Tatiána Trōïánou, December 9, 1938 – August 21, 1993) was an American mezzo-soprano of Greek descent.

Born in New York City, Troyanos grew up in Forest Hills, Queens, where she attended Forest Hills High School.[1] In high school, her nickname was "Totsie".

Before making her operatic debut, Troyanos appeared as a chorus member in the original production of The Sound of Music.

In 1963, Troyanos made her professional operatic debut at the New York City Opera as Hippolyta in Benjamin Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream. The next year, she sang the role of Marina Mnichek in that company's first production of Boris Godunov.

A mainstay of the Metropolitan Opera from 1976, she was internationally revered for her uniquely sensual, burnished sound, her versatility and beauty, as well as the thrilling intensity of all her performances. In the early 1980s, Troyanos appeared in several opening-night performances at that house including Adalgisa in Bellini's Norma (opposite Renata Scotto), Octavian in Richard Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier, and Didon in Berlioz's Les Troyens.

In 1984 she sang in the world premiere of Act I of Rachmaninoff's opera Monna Vanna, which had been left in piano score by the composer and orchestrated by Igor Buketoff.

Troyanos also enjoyed an equally versatile career as a recording artist, appearing in the title role of Sir Georg Solti's acclaimed recording of Bizet's Carmen, Cherubino in Karl Böhm's 1968 recording of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, and as Anita in Leonard Bernstein's high-profile operatic recording of West Side Story among others.

Troyanos died at the age of 54 in New York City from breast cancer, which had metastasized to her liver. She had successfully concealed her illness from the vast majority of her colleagues. She is buried in Pinelawn Cemetery on Long Island. In 1994, the Metropolitan Opera performed a concert in memory of Troyanos, during which Music Director James Levine remarked "The idea that we are gathered here ... to pay memorial tribute to Tatiana Troyanos is incomprehensible. What it means, of course, is that our Metropolitan Opera family has lost one of the most important, beloved artists and friends in its entire history."

Troyanos was one of three female opera stars of international stature who succumbed to cancer in 1993 in or near their 54th year. The other were sopranos Lucia Popp and Arleen Auger.

References

  1. ^ Kozinn, Allan. "Tatiana Troyanos Is Dead at 54; Mezzo Star of Diverse Repertory", The New York Times, August 23, 1993. Accessed June 18, 2009. "Tatiana Troyanos was born in New York on September 12, 1938, and grew up in Forest Hills."

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