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10 Mar 2006

Anna Moffo, 73, Soprano and Arts Advocate, has Died

anna_moffo_small.jpg[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.

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