Rhinegold Photo credit: MARCELLO ORSELLI 2010
Daniella Dessì as Tosca at Genoa's Teatro Carlo Felice in 2010, one of the many occasions she shared the stage with her husband Fabio Armiliato

Matthew Rooke

Soprano Daniella Dessì dies aged 59

12:49, 22nd August 2016

Renowned Italian operatic soprano Daniela Dessì has died aged 59 after a brief struggle with cancer. She died on 20 August, barely a month after announcing the illness.

Dessì was born in Genoa, Italy in 1957. She graduated from the Arrigo Boito Conservatoire and made her operatic debut in La Serva Padrona in the town of her birth. During the course of a long career, she developed a repertoire of some 50 roles, and appeared in all the major opera houses across the world.

Her partner, tenor Fabio Armiliato, described her cancer as ‘A short, terrible and incomprehensible illness’.

Dessì had issued a short announcement on Facebook in July, in which she wrote: ‘Unfortunately after a health problem I’ve been forced to cancel all my events for this summer. I’ll see you on October 8th for a big sacred concert in the Basilica in Loreto.’ There was no other indication of her illness.

Fellow soprano Angela Gheorghiu wrote a Facebook post on 21 August remembering her contemporary, writing: ‘I am mourning the loss of my colleague Daniela Dessì, one of the most important artists of the 20th and 21st centuries!

‘Daniela Dessì’s career is extremely vast and eclectic. She remains one of the most beautiful and extremely talented artist of our times, a Diva that we love and we wholeheartedly admire.

‘Family, colleagues, friends and audiences are pained and shocked by her sudden and unexpected departure.

‘Daniela and Fabio are our benchmark in the art of poetry and love.

‘Dear Daniela, I bow before you and applaud you, with the most sincere love and consideration.’

Dessì’s funeral will be held at the Brescia’s cathedral on 23 August.

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