The opera singer who gave it up for God

Jane Stuart Smith, who has died aged 90, had a flourishing career in the 1950s in Italy, France and Germany. After a striking debut at La Fenice, she sang Turandot and Norma. The Italians called her Gianna Smith, or the Yankee Doodle Diva.

Then her plane nearly crashed in the Alps. She had already met Francis Schaeffer, founder of a Swiss evangelical Christian organization, and decided to dedicate the rest of her life to God. Her last performance was Brünnhilde at San Carlo, Naples, in 1959. Jane spent the rest of her life singing and composing hymns.

‘I felt the Lord saved me for this work,’ she said.

jane stuart smith

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