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The Jugoslav-born Austrian soprano Sena (Srebrencka) Jurinac was born in 1921. After studying at the Music Academy in Zagreb she made her début in that city as Mimì in La Bohème in 1942, joining the Vienna State Opera in 1945 when she appeared in the first post-war performance singing Cherubino in Figaro under Josef Krips. Her Salzburg Festival début took place in 1947, the year she also first appeared in London with the visiting Vienna Company. The following year Jurinac sang Dorabella in Così fan tutte with Glyndebourne Opera at the Edinburgh Festival, which created a very considerable impression. She also appeared at La Scala, Milan as Cherubino. From 1951–56 she sang all the principal Mozart rôles at Glyndebourne, recording both the Countess in Figaro and Ilia in Idomeneo. Jurinac sang Oktavian in the opening performance at the new Grosser Festspielhaus in 1960 at Salzburg under Karajan, a rôle she later recorded on film. She appeared regularly in London between 1959 and 1963 singing Leonore in Fidelio in Klemperer’s production of the opera in 1961. Her American début was in the title rôle of Madama Butterfly in San Francisco in 1959. Sena Jurinac was generally considered one of the outstanding artists of her time when her rôles also included Marzelline in Fidelio, the two Donne (Anna and Elvira) in Don Giovanni, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, Elisabeth in Don Carlos and Tannhäuser, Jenůfa, Desdemona in Otello and Marie in Wozzeck. After retiring from singing she later gave a series of masterclasses in a variety of European cities, including London.

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