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Anna Moffo

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There have been a lot of celebrity deaths recently. Most of the celebrities had little effect on me, and I had barely heard of some of them. Anna Moffo, who died last Friday, 3/10, meant something to me. Her recordings helped start my life long interest in opera. I saw her on Ed Sullivan and elsewhere on TV (but never at the Met). She was a great diva, without the imperios personality of, say, Maria Callas. A lovely singer and a lovely woman. Her death is a big loss for the world of opera.

Here is her entry in Wickipedia:<]

The American soprano Anna Moffo (born June 27, either in 1930 or 1932; died March 10, 2006) was an opera soprano primarily active in the 1960s. During her heyday, Moffo was much admired for the purity of her voice and her great beauty.

Moffo was born in Wayne, Pennsylvania. After graduating from Radnor High School, she was offered the opportunity to go to Hollywood to make films, but turned that down because of her intention to become a nun. However, she won a scholarship to Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and went to study there instead.

In 1955, she won the Young Artists Audition and a Fulbright scholarship to study at the Conservatorio di Santa Cecilia in Rome.

Moffo made her stage debut in 1955 as Norina in Donizetti's Don Pasquale in Spoleto. The following year, she appeared in a television production of Madama Butterfly, staged by Mario Lanfranchi, a producer for RCA Victor and RAI, whom she married on December 8, 1957.

That year, she also made debut at La Scala as well as at the Salzburg Festival and at the Vienna State Opera in Verdi's Falstaff (conducted by Herbert von Karajan). She continued to appear in Vienna until the early 1970s, singing Gilda in Verdi's Rigoletto, Manon in Massenet's Manon, Marguerite in Gounod's Faust, Micaela in Bizet's Carmen, Mimi in Puccini's La Bohème and Violetta in Verdi's La Traviata.

In 1957 Moffo also made her American debut as Mimi in La Bohème at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Moffo made her Metropolitan Opera debut in 1959 as Violetta in La Traviata. She returned to the Met in the 1960-61 season to sing three new roles, Gilda in Rigoletto, Adina in Donizetti's L'Elisir d'Amore, and Liù in Turandot with Birgit Nilsson and Franco Corelli.

Moffo divorced Lanfranchi in 1972 and married former RCA chairman Robert Sarnoff on November 14, 1974 (she was widowed on February 22, 1997). In the late-1970s, Moffo appeared in heavier Verdi roles, such as Leonora in Il Trovatore and Lina in Stiffelio.

Moffo was particularly popular in Italy. She hosted the "The Anna Moffo Show" there from 1960 to 1973 and was voted one of the ten most beautiful women in Italy. She remained something of a cult figure among many U.S. opera enthusiasts, as evidenced by Wayne Koestenbaum's book-length poem Ode to Anna Moffo.

Moffo died in New York City, on March 10, 2006, from a stroke after grappling with complications of breast cancer over the last 10 years.

She was survived by three step-daughters and a brother. Her exact age at the time of her death is uncertain; different sources have reported it to have been either 73 or 75.

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Her name sounds familiar, but I have only recently (in the last 18 years) taken an interest in opera. We went to the Metropolitan Opera a few times when it came here to MN. We really enjoyed it. I would have loved to have heard her sing. I will have to check out her recordings.

May God rest her soul!

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I was fortunate to have seen her, once, at the Met. She was truly a magnificent person whose voice was a gift from G*d. She will be missed...

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Anna Moffo had the distinction of having a very beautiful voice and spectacular looks. She had one of the smoothest voices that matched every register.

I had the opportunity to meet her when I was in high school. She made me feel like a million dollars because she winked at me. I nearly fainted and I'll never forget it. All the guys were struck by her beauty.

Although she retired several years ago, there are still some very good recordings available. One of my favorite pieces that she sings in is a Mozart Mass.

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