A centenarian Met soprano has died

Licia Albanese, an outstanding soprano at the Metropolitan Opera from 1940 to 1966, died yesterday at the age of 101, or 105. Two dates of birth are cited in reference works.

Born in Bari, she made her debut in 1934, recorded with Toscanini and was still singing in  Sondheim’s Follies with the New York Philharmonic in the mid-1980s.

Madam Butterfly was her calling card.

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  • I have always thought she sounded/sounds fluttery and rather pale in recordings. But then, I have often thought that Beverly Sills *never* sounded as good in the recording studio, or the products thereof, than she did live and in person. I am sorry that I never had the opportunity to see and hear Albanese on stage. Her photos seem to radiate a certain charm.

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