Leyla Gencer

Leyla Gencer, Turkish operatic soprano.

Leyla Gencer image

Turkish operatic soprano Leyla Gencer as Antonina in Gaetano Donizetti's Belisario at La Fenice in Venice, 1969.

Ayşe Leyla Gencer (Turkish pronunciation::, née Çeyrekgil; 10 October 1928:– 10 May 2008) was a Turkish operatic soprano.

Gencer was a notable bel canto soprano who spent most of her career in Italy, from the early 1950s through the mid-1980s, and had a repertoire encompassing more than seventy roles. She made very few commercial recordings; however, numerous bootleg recordings of her performances exist. She was particularly associated with the heroines of Donizetti.


Early life

Leyla Gencer was born in Polonezköy (near Istanbul) to a Turkish father and a Polish mother. Her father, Hasanzade İbrahim Bey (who took the surname Çeyrekgil under the Surname Law of 1934), was a wealthy businessman, whose family was from the city of Safranbolu. Her mother, Lexanda Angela Minakovska, was from a Roman Catholic family of the Lithuanian aristocracy (she later converted to Islam and chose the name Atiye after her husband's death.) Gencer's father died when she was very young. She grew up in the Çubuklu neighbourhood of Istanbul, on the Anatolian side of the Bosphorus strait. In 1946, she married İbrahim Gencer, a banker related to the influential İpekçi family.

Education and early career

She began to study singing at the Istanbul Conservatory but dropped out to study privately in Ankara with her teacher the Italian soprano Giannina Arangi-Lombardi. After Arangi-Lombardi's death, Gencer continued her studies with the Italian baritone Apollo Granforte. She sang in the chorus of the Turkish State Theater until 1950, when she made her operatic debut in Ankara, as Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana. During the next few years, she became well known in Turkey and sang frequently at functions for the Tur... ...read more

Leila (name)
6 months ago

Leila (name) ... Leyla Gencer, Turkish soprano opera singer Leyla Güngör (born 1993), Turkish-Swedish footballer Leyla Mamedbekova, Azerbaijani pathologist Leyla Mammadbeyova...

Norma (opera)
6 months ago

Norma (opera) ... exponents of the title role in the post-war period have been Maria Callas, Leyla Gencer, Joan Sutherland, Montserrat Caballé. Crivelli and Company were managing...

Lucrezia Borgia (opera)
5 months ago

Lucrezia Borgia (opera) ... Borgia is often produced as a vehicle for a star soprano, including Leyla Gencer, Mariella Devia, Beverly Sills, Dame Joan Sutherland, Renée Fleming,...

6 months ago

Turkey ... violinists Ayla Erduran and Suna Kan; opera singers Semiha Berksoy, Leyla Gencer and Güneş Gürle; and conductors Emre Aracı, Gürer Aykal, Erol Erdinç...

Anna Bolena
4 months ago

Anna Bolena ... famous modern sopranos have lent their voices to the role, including Leyla Gencer, Montserrat Caballé, Marisa Galvany, Renata Scotto, Edita Gruberova and...

Ankara Opera House
4 months ago

Ankara Opera House ... three venues for opera and ballet in Ankara, Turkey, the other two being Leyla Gencer Sahnesi in Ostim and Operet Sahnesi (Operetta Theater) in Sıhhiye. The...

4 months ago

Polonezköy ... include the poet and playwright Nazım Hikmet and the soprano opera singer Leyla Gencer. Memorial House of 'Zofia Rizi', housing souvenirs, photographs, books...

Istanbul University State Conservatory
4 months ago

Istanbul University State Conservatory ... Cemal Erkin, Hasan Ferit Alnar and Necil Kazım Akses. Legendary soprano Leyla Gencer studied voice training in the conservatory. Some of alumni;[circular...

Pretty Yende
4 months ago

Pretty Yende ... first prize at the Vincenzo Bellini International Competition and the Leyla Gencer Voice Competition. In 2011, she won first prize at Operalia, held that...

List of Turkish people
1 month ago

List of Turkish people ... Güzelses Meshulam Riklis Berry Sakharof Cem Sultan Abraham Salomon Camondo Leyla Gencer Mehmet Günsür Nicola Rossi-Lemeni Ferzan Özpetek Hugo Pratt Muhanna Al-Dura...

4 months ago
Saffo (Pacini)
10 months ago
Turkish people
6 months ago
October 10
6 months ago
Burial at sea
6 months ago
Liceo Italiano di Istanbul
5 months ago
Aida discography
7 months ago
Bel canto
4 months ago
May 10
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