Milka Stojanović (Serbian: Милка Стојановић; 13 January 1937 – 1 September 2023) was a renowned Serbian soprano opera singer, celebrated for her exceptional talent on the international stage. With a career spanning decades, she left an indelible mark in the world of opera, enchanting audiences with her mesmerizing voice.
Life and Career
Early Life and Education
Born on 13 January 1937 in Belgrade, Milka Stojanović initially pursued world literature studies at the University of Belgrade Faculty of Philology. However, her true passion lay in opera, leading her to embark on a remarkable journey in the world of music.
Stojanović’s operatic journey commenced with her debut at the age of 22 as Amelia in Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera at the Belgrade Opera in 1959. Notably, she achieved international acclaim starting in 1962, dazzling audiences at the Edinburgh Festival with the Belgrade Opera’s production. Her captivating performances continued to grace prestigious opera houses globally, including the Metropolitan Opera and esteemed venues across Europe.
At the Metropolitan Opera, Stojanović made a significant impact, debuting in 1967 as Leonora in Verdi’s La forza del destino. Over the years, she showcased her extraordinary talent in various roles, collaborating with acclaimed artists and leaving an indelible mark in the world of opera.
Stojanović’s repertoire spanned a wide range of roles, including those in operas by Puccini, Verdi, Mascagni, Borodin, Tchaikovsky, Mozart, and Smetana, among others. Notably, she remained the prima donna of the Belgrade Opera until her retirement in 1993.
In her personal life, Milka Stojanović shared her passion for music with her husband, Živan Saramandić, a prominent Serbian bass singer. They married in 1970 and were a devoted couple until Saramandić’s passing in 2012.
Legacy and Demise
Milka Stojanović’s unparalleled contributions to opera earned her accolades and the distinction of being named one of the “Golden Voices” of the 20th century. She graced the stage with her extraordinary voice, leaving an enduring legacy.
On 1 September 2023, at the age of 86, Milka Stojanović passed away in Belgrade, leaving behind a rich legacy that continues to resonate in the hearts of opera enthusiasts worldwide.
This article celebrates the life and artistry of Milka Stojanović, a remarkable soprano whose voice will forever echo through the annals of opera.