'Voice of an angel' dead at 82 Renata Tebaldi, an Italian soprano renowned for her angelic voice, her stardom at New York's Metropolitan and Italy's La Scala and her media-fueled rivalry with Maria Callas, died on Sunday in San Marino at age 82. Tebaldi was considered to have one of the most beautiful Italian voices of the 20th century, relying on rich, perfectly produced tones. The late conductor Arturo Toscanini once said she had "the voice of an angel." She appeared in 270 performances at the Met during her career. Much of the supposed rivalry with the Greek-American diva Callas was actually whipped up by the media and Tebaldi once told an interviewer the fiery Callas was never a rival. And Callas' husband, Giovanni Battista Meneghini, once suggested the "feud" was a cynical move to boost record sales, with both divas playing along. This photo was taken in Milan in 1959.
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