Artist database

This is the Artist Database of BMC, which includes information about composers, musicians, orchestras, choirs and groups that are either Hungarian or Hungarian by origin or live in Hungary, as well as information about releases recorded with them.

Sass Sylvia

voice - soprano

Place of Birth
Date of Birth

12 July 1951, Budapest

Famous opera singer, extremely memorable in dramatic soprano roles of Verdi and Puccini and as Judit of Bartók's Bluebeard's Castle.

She studied music at the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music Budapest between 1970 and 1972 as pupil of Ferencné Révhegyi. She debuted as Frasquita (Bizet: Carmen) 1971 in the Hungarian State Opera House, where she was private singer from 1972 to 1979. She gained success in operas by Puccini, Verdi and Bellini, but she auspiciously introduced herself in contemporary Hungarian works, too. She took part in many international contests. In 1972 she won grand prize at the Kodály Singing Contest of the Hungarian Radio and in 1973 at the singing competition of Sofia, but she also received the prize of the best chamber singer there. In 1974 she came in second place at the Tchaikovsky Singing Contest (Moscow) - the first prize wasn't handed over.

From 1975 she started to perform abroad more frequently. She was invited to the Covent Garden (London), the Scala (Milano), the Staatsoper (Vienna), the Metropolitan (New York), the Paris Opera House, the Bolsoj (Moscow) and to Hamburg, Frankfurt, Munich, Aix-en-Provence, Salzburg, Glasgow, Moscow, Prague and Sofia. She sang the role of Judit (Bartók: Bluebeard’s Castle) in the Carnegie Hall (New York) and in the Royal Albert Hall (London).

She performed with such famous artists as György Solti, George Pretre, John Pritchard, Sir Charles Mackerras, Gianandrea Gavazzeni, Lamberto Gardelli, Kent Nagano, Nello Santi, James Conlon, Rafael Kubelik, Sir Edward Downes, Francesco Molinari Pradelli, Nicola Rescigno, Alberto Erede, Placido Domingo, Jose Carreras, Renato Bruson, Alfredo Kraus, Agnes Baltsa, Piero Cappuccilli, Neil Shicoff and Robert Lloyd.

Throughout her career she sang main roles of around fifty operas - the most important ones are: Countess (Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro), Donna Ana (Mozart: Don Giovanni), Fiordiligi (Mozart: Cosí fan tutte), Norma (Bellini), Violetta (Verdi: Traviata), Lady Macbeth (Verdi: Macbeth), Giselda (Verdi: Il lombardi), Amelia (Verdi: Un ballo in maschera), Leonora (Verdi: Il trovatore), Desdemona (Verdi: Otello), Tosca (Puccini), Mimi (Puccini: La bohčme), Turandot (Puccini), Manon Lescaut (Puccini), Judit (Bartók: Bluebeard's Castle).

Recently she's been mainly performing at air and song evenings, but she's engaged in teaching, too. From 1996 to 2000 she taught at the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music. She held master courses in Budapest and Jerusalem (1996), in London (1998), in Pécs (2004), in Szeged and Santiago de Chile (2005) and in Tokio (2006, 2007). She was invited to the jury of the Tchaikovsky Singing Contest in Moscow (1994) and of the Vina del Mar, Chile Singing Contest (2003), as well as of the Maria Callas Singing Contest in Brasil (2005).

She released more than thirty albums through Hungarian and international labels, these records equally include whole opera recordings and solo albums. She contributed to television recordings, playing in opera films like Leoncavallo's Bajazzo, Ferenc Farkas' The Magic Wardrobe and Bartók's Bluebeard's Castle.

She was honored with the Liszt Prize and the Mihály Székely Memorial Plaque (1976), the title Merited Artist (1978), the Middle Cross of Merit of Order of the Hungarian Republic (2007) and the title of Outstanding Artist (2017).
Year Title Publisher Code Remark
Verdi, Giuseppe: A lombardok az első keresztes hadjáratban
(Verdi, Giuseppe: I Lombardi alla prima crociata / The Lombards at the First Crusade)
Hungaroton HCD 12498 3 CDs
1979 Durkó Zsolt: Mózes / Turner Illustrations / Colloids
(Durkó, Zsolt: Mózes (Excerpts) / Turner Illustrations - Colloids)
Hungaroton SLPX 11982 LP
1981 Great Soprano Arias Hungaroton Own
1985 Erkel Ferenc: Hunyadi László Hungaroton HCD 12581-83 Recorded in 1984, 3 CDs
1987 Operatic Arias Hungaroton Own
1989 Respighi, Ottorino: Belfagor Hungaroton HCD 12850-51 2 CDs / First recording
1993 Liszt Songs Cant-Art
1995 Verdi, Giuseppe: Attila Hungaroton HCD 12934 2 CDs
1996 Sass Sylvia: Mozart - Wagner Hungaroton HCD 12671 Own
1996 Nagy Magyar Énekesek: Kováts Kolos
(Great Hungarian Voices: Kolos Kováts)
Hungaroton HCD 31650 Contr: Giorgio Lamberti
Cond: Lamberto Gardelli
1996 Classic Masterworks - Richard Wagner Naxos C49034
1999 Verdi, Giuseppe: Macbeth Hungaroton HCD 12738 3 CDs
2000 Cherubini, Luigi: Medea Hungaroton HCD 11904-05 2 CDs
2001 50 éves a Hungaroton - Énekművészek (1951-2001)
(Fifty Years of Hungaroton - Singers)
Hungaroton HCD 32096-98 3 CDs
2016 Sass Sylvia: Jubileumi kiadás
(Sylvia Sass: Anniversary Edition)
Hungaroton HCD 32788–89 Own
2 CDs