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Anna Moffo (1932 - 2006)

Anna Moffo’s parents were Italian, her father a shoemaker. As a child she sang frequently in her home town and surrounding region; and possessing both beauty and a good voice, was offered the chance to audition for Hollywood. Moffo however chose music instead, winning a scholarship to study at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, where she became a fully-rounded musician, studying the piano and viola as well as voice with Eufemia Giannini-Gregory (sister of soprano Dusolina Giannini).

In 1954 Moffo won a Fulbright scholarship to train for opera at the Accademia de Santa Cecilia in Rome. Here she was a pupil of Mercedes Llopart and Luigi Ricci and made her operatic debut in 1955 as Norina / Don Pasquale at the Spoleto Festival. Soon afterwards she was engaged to sing the title role in an Italian television film of Madama Butterfly, directed by Mario Lanfranchi (whom she married in 1957). The broadcast of this production in 1956 made Moffo a star overnight in Italy and was followed by performances throughout the country. She quickly appeared in two other television opera productions, as Nanetta / Falstaff and Amina / La sonnambula, and sang Zerlina / Don Giovanni at the Aix-en-Provence Festival with Hans Rosbaud conducting.




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