The opera singer who gave it up for God

The opera singer who gave it up for God


norman lebrecht

January 19, 2016

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


  • Robert says:

    I wonder what “nearly crashed” means.

  • E129ricB says:

    What a waste of talent, if you ask me….

  • John Borstlap says:

    One wonders why God would prefer hymns to the entire field of classical music.