Italian Soprano Magda Olivero Dies At 104

Italian soprano Magda Olivero, one of the most prominent interpreters of the Italian verismo operatic tradition whose career spanned 50 years, has died at 104.

The news agency ANSA said Olivero died Monday in a Milan hospital, where she was admitted after a stroke last month.

The Milan opera house La Scala, where Olivero debuted in 1938, honored her memory with a moment of silence before a performance Monday. La Scala described Olivero’s voice as charismatic, her acting as formidable and her intelligence as “ready and cutting until the end.”

Photo: La Scala Theater, HO/AP
Undated photo shows Italian soprano Magda Olivero performing Francesco Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur.

Olivero took a break from performing after her 1941 marriage, returning to the stage in 1958 in the title role of “Adriana Lecouvreur” at the urging of the opera’s composer Francesco Cilea. It became one of her most memorable roles.