Italian Soprano Magda Olivero dies


MAGDA OLIVERO, the famous Italian Soprano opera singer has died at the age of 104.  She died on Monday in hospital after suffering a stroke a few weeks earlier.

The great Italian diva was born Maria Maddalena Olivero  in 1910. Daughter of a Turin judge, growing up she studied piano and opera singing. She made her first operatic debut on Italian radio at the age of 21. After 10 years performing on the stage, she retired in 1941 after getting married, but made a dramatic return in 1951 when the Italian composer Francesco Cilea asked her to sing the title role in his opera Adriana Lecouvreur.

In 1970, she required police protection from hundreds of audience members, who swarmed the stage as she sang in the title role of Puccini’s ‘Manon Lescaut’ with a young tenor named Plácido Domingo in Verona.

Until her retirement in 2009, Olivero sang in opera houses all around the world.  Among her most notorious interpretations were the leading parts in Adriana Lecouvreur, Iris, Fedora, La Bohème, La Fanciulla del West, La Traviata, La Wally, Madame Butterfly, Manon Lescaut, Mefistofele, and Turandot (as Liù).

She was still performing at the age of 99.

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