Soprano Licia Albanese, who turns 100 on July 22, is heard in this live 1950s performance in the title role of Puccini's 'Tosca.'

Most centennial celebrations take place without the honoree. But Italian-born soprano Licia Albanese is still with us, so it's even sweeter to take note of her birthday as she reaches the age of 100 today, July 22.

She enjoyed a great opera career, loved for the sweetness of her tone and her intense commitment to a role. Licia Albanese is one of those distinctive singers who could justifiably sum up her glory days by paraphrasing Norma Desmond: "We had voices!"

Note: This clip from a live recording of "Tosca" gets weird at the end. Not sure if the soprano wanted to rush the climactic phrase of "Vissi d'arte" or if the recording just has a nasty edit, but no matter. There aure is some honest-to-goodness expression going on here.