Dance of the blessed spirits Christoph Willibald Gluck
12 December 2012, 11:06
The Swiss soprano Lisa Della Casa has died aged 93 in Münsterlingen, Switzerland.
Lisa Della Casa, Swiss soprano and operatic star, has died aged 93. She passed away on Monday in Münsterlingen, Switzerland.
Born in 1919, Della Casa shot to fame in the UK in 1953 when she made her debut at the Royal Opera House, as part of the touring Bavarian State Opera's production of Strauss' Arabella. Before that, though, she had already established a formidable international career with roles at Glyndebourne, the Vienna State Opera House and La Scala.
She was a regular face at New York's Metropolitan Opera, and gave 47 performances of The Marriage of Figaro alone. However, operatic appearances became fewer and further between as the 60s wore on. Her daughter Vesna suffered from ill health, and Della Casa eventually retired in 1974, aged 55 - a shock at the time for a public who saw her as being at the very peak of her operatic career.
In her later career throughout the 60s and 70s, she branched out into lieder recordings alongside more traditional operatic recordings for Decca, frequently working alongside Sir Georg Solti. Controversially, she was also a heavy smoker during her career, something which she defended after a doctor told her that singing was more of a stress on her voice than smoking.
Her later years were spent quietly with her husband at her castle home on Lake Constance.