In 1951 Birgit Nilsson sang her first Tosca at the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm. Throughout her career she sang this role several times with many of the world’s most famous tenors.


Tosca 1968. Metropolitan Opera Archives

Birgit sang Tosca with, among others, Jussi Björling, Beniamino Gigli and Franco Corelli. She also sang with Placido Domingo, who later had the honor of accepting the first Birgit Nilsson Prize in 2009. ”Tosca is generally number 1 on the wish list of all lyrical dramatic sopranos. Beautiful clothes and jewelry and a wide gambit as the celebrated and spoiled prima donna.” - Birgit Nilsson, My Memoirs in Pictures, 1977. Birgit was of the opinion that many singers often placed their emphasis upon the prima donna rather than the person Tosca. ”I myself believe that it is the loving woman who is most important, not the prima donna. She murders for the sake of her love,” was Birgit’s interpretation.