Famed opera Soprano Mirella Freni has passed away at the age of 84.
Ms. Freni was born on February 27th, 1935 in Modena, Italy. She was born in the same city, just months before, as tenor Luciano Pavarotti, who would be a long time friend and colleague.
Ms. Freni had a five decade long career in opera starting with her debut in 1955 as Micaëla in Bizet’s Carmen at the Teatro Municipale in Modena. She would quickly start appearing in major opera houses in Europe, including La Scala, Glyndebourne, the Netherlands opera, and Covent Garden. She would make her Metropolitan Opera in 1965 as Mimi in La Bohème.
Other roles she sang include Adina in L’Elisir d’Amore, Liù in Turandot, Elisabetta in Don Carlos, Desdemona in Otello, Juliette in Roméo et Juliette, the title roles in Madama Butterfly, Manon Lescaut and Tosca.
Ms. Freni was married twice: first to conductor Leone Magiera, which ended in divorce, and then in 1978 to the Bulgarian bass Nicolai Ghiaurov.
Ms. Freni celebrated her 40th year with the Met Opera, and 50th in opera in 2005 with a gala at the Met Opera.
In more recent ears she was a teacher, conducting master classes at the University of Bologna, near her home town.
Ms. Freni passed away on February 9th, 2020 a few weeks prior to her 85th birthday. She is survived by her daughter, two grandchildren, and a sister.