Mina Foley

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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. Foley's voice was dubbed "The voice of the century" by some.[1]

Mina Foley was the most promising young soprano of her time, and critics of the time predicted many great thing of her. She studied abroad, returning to New Zealand in 1960. Unfortunately Foley had a severe mental breakdown in 1961, forcing her retirement after only one year performing in New Zealand. She spent the next 16 years in Oakley Psychiatric Hospital. In 1978 she staged a return concert. However her return to singing was short-lived, as ill-health continued to plague her until her death.

Recordings[edit]

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'.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "'Voice of the century' Mina Foley dies at 77". The New Zealand Herald. 22 January 2007. Retrieved 31 July 2012.