Mar 22, 2023

By Andy Johnson

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She was a versatile and durable soprano, noted for her many performances of Violetta in Verdi’s “La Traviata.”

Virginia Zeani was a Romanian, with a brilliant, powerful voice and striking good looks, who overcame childhood poverty and the perils of war to become a fixture on the opera stage

Plácido Domingo said she was ranked among the top four sopranos of the 20th century but never gained the mass following of a Maria Callas or a Joan Sutherland.

She preferred to live in Rome which limited her career on this side of the ocean and once turned down a contract from New York’s Metropolitan Opera; later carving our a second career as a voice teacher.

Virginia Zeani died Monday in West Palm Beach, Florida after an extended cardiac respiratory illness at the age of 97.



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