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    Violetta Villas

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    Biography

    Violetta Villas (real name Czesława Cieślak) was born June 10, 1938 in Liège, Belgium, to Polish emigrants. She is a Polish and international singer and actress.[1]
    Contents
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    * 1 Early life
    * 2 International career
    * 3 Voice characteristics
    * 4 References
    * 5 External links

    [edit] Early life

    In 1948 she returned with her parents to Poland and settled in Lewin Kłodzki where she began studying music. She continued her artistic education in Szczecin and Wrocław. In 1959 she began receiving classic vocal lessons from Eugenia Falkowska in Warsaw. Her 4-octave vocal range and timbre conditions were significant, worthy of a promising operatic career, but she had decided to pursue more contemporary forms of music, touring and giving vocal performances on stage. Soon Villas released her debut songs on Polskie Radio and her first album. She received her first noteworthy prize at the Sopot Festival in 1961.

    [edit] International career

    In the early 1960s Violetta Villas toured many countries in Europe. In 1965, at the 3rd Festival International des Variétés et Music-Halls in Rennes, France Villas received her Grand Prix International d'Interpretation. She toured the USSR, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria and Romania.

    In 1966 in Paris she was approached by Frederick Apcar, who invited her to Las Vegas. She was to perform with the renowned star Line Renaud, but just after few weeks Villas outshone her, with her name in neon lights over the Casino de Paris. She sang with Frank Sinatra, Paul Anka, and Charles Aznavour. In Carnegie Hall she received a standing ovation. In New York her concert was sold out. She featured in two movies, as the female lead in Dzięcioł ("The Woodpecker", 1970) and as principal vocalist for Mój Nikifor ("My Nikifor", 2004). She was offered a lucrative 8-year contract with Paramount Pictures but turned it down.

    Later in the 1970s Violetta Villas had to return to Poland to her dying mother. Communist regime authorities confiscated her passport and she was forced to stay in Poland for more than a decade; however she was not completely banned from the media and could pursue her local career. In 1985 she had her great comeback, just a few years after martial law ended. All the tickets were sold out, even a few weeks before her concerts. Authorities granted her passport back, and she could return to her international career. She later toured the USA and Australia.

    [edit] Voice characteristics

    In her best years Violetta Villas was a mezzo-soprano whose voice had an extraordinary register and a very wide range of vocal color. It covered four octaves from the tenor middle D3 to the soprano E7. Villas' best range was from C4 to C6. In her songs she showed a remarkable ability for naturally assimilative styles, and for eliciting a multiplicity of voices. Villas could perform at times as a tenor, alto, mezzo-soprano, and soprano, a unique attribute amongst singers of any gender, in the fields of both classical and popular music.

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