10 Mar 2006
Anna Moffo, 73, Soprano and Arts Advocate, has Died
Raphaela Papadakis seems to like ‘playing with fire’. After her acclaimed performance as the put-upon maid, Anna, in Independent Opera’s production of Šimon Voseček’s Beidermann and the Arsonists at Sadler’s Wells last year, she is currently rehearsing for the premiere this week of And London Burned, a new opera by Matt Rogers which has been commissioned by Temple Music Foundation to commemorate the 350th anniversary of The Great Fire of London.
[Opera News, 10 March 2006]
Anna Moffo was blessed with beauty, brains and a shimmering, radiant soprano — all natural ingredients of the stardom she won when barely out of school. A native of Wayne, Pennsylvania, Moffo was given a full scholarship to Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute, where she studied with Madame Gregory, the sister of Dusolina and Vittorio Giannini. Upon graduation, the soprano won a Fulbright scholarship to study in Italy, where she made her opera debut as Cio-Cio-San in a television production of Madama Butterfly directed by Mario Lanfranchi, who would become her first husband, in 1957. She received favorable attention from her early European appearances — among them Norina in Spoleto in 1955 and Zerlina in the 1956 Aix-en-Provence festival — and by the end of the decade had sung at most of the principal theaters in Italy.