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'Unforgettable' Swiss opera legend dies

AFP · 11 Dec 2012, 16:12

Published: 11 Dec 2012 16:12 GMT+01:00

Della Casa died on Monday in the Swiss town of Münsterlingen on Lake Constance, the opera house said in a statement.

The soprano, who appeared on the world's greatest stages, from Vienna to London's Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Milan's La Scala and the New York Metropolitan Opera, was known for her radiantly beautiful voice.

Debuting in 1941 as Cio-Cio-San in Puccini's "Madame Butterfly" at the local Swiss theatre of Solothurn, she went on to perform some of the greatest operatic roles in Mozart's "Don Giovanni" "The Marriage of Figaro" and "The Magic Flute," as well as "La Boheme," "Rigoletto" and Strauss's "Der Rosenkavalier" and "Ariadne of Naxos."

In 1947, she joined the Vienna Opera ensemble, singing there a total 411 times in 27 different roles until October 1973, and she also appeared at the famous Salzburg Festival.

Born on February 2, 1919, in Burgdorf, Switzerland, she trained in Zurich before launching her international career.

"Lisa Della Casa accompanied and inspired generations of opera lovers and fellow artists," Vienna Opera director Dominique Meyer said Tuesday.
 
"She will remain unforgettable, especially as an exceptional Strauss and Mozart interpretator."

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