JENNIFER PAULL writes on the
25th Anniversary of the death of Cathy Berberian
Catherine Anahid Berberian, 1925-1983
Almost certainly, she was the most intelligent singer
ever to have graced the face of the earth.
-- Massimo Mila (1910-1988), Italian musicologist
and music critic, Elegy for Cathy.
(Cathy Berberian Cant'actrice, Marie Christine Vila, Fayard, page 337)
It is twenty five years since Cathy Berberian, the celebrated mezzo-soprano, composer, polyhistor and artistic non-conformist died in Rome at the age of 57. She was an incredible artistic personality who inhabited her own exquisitely hybrid Universe of The Arts blending music, theatre, cinema, dance, languages, design and devilishly clever wit. She was as funny as she was intelligent: a very rare and uniquely special person.
Photo courtesy of Cristina Berio
Her individualistic interpretation and colourful performances were so distinctive that many composers -- Berio, Bussotti, Cage, Henze, Maderna and Stravinsky (amongst many others including the author Anthony Burgess) composed for her inimitable capacities and talent.
Copyright © 6 March 2008
Jennifer I Paull, Vouvry, Switzerland