Remembering Italian Soprano Daniela Dessì

Aug 23, 2016 599

by Fred Plotkin

In our day, because of social media and all manner of electronic communications, news can rapidly spread around the world. On Aug. 20, people who work in or care about opera learned of the passing of Italian soprano Daniela Dessì at the age of 59 within hours of her demise. The outpouring of grief and fond recollections was notable for its intensity compared to the customary "rest in peace" one often sees written.

The cause of Dessì's death was a very aggressive form of cancer that claimed her quickly. She was appearing in public as recently as May. She was to sing the daunting role of Cherubini's Medea at the Festival della Valle d'Itria in Martina Franca in July but canceled due to illness. It was one of her dreams to do this seldom-performed work. She announced that she intended to return to singing with a concert already scheduled for Oct. 8.

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