Mirella Freni sang at La Scala from 1962 until 1996 (an account of those years, with comments by Mirella Freni, is here).
La Scala issued a statement, which reads:
The news of Mirella Freni's passing has deeply moved all the workers, the musicians, and the management of the La Scala Theatre. Before the performance of Il Trovatore on Sunday, February 9, there will be a minute's silence. Mirella Freni was part of the La Scala family and among the great voices of the 20th century perhaps no one was more liked by both the public and colleagues.
In thirty-four years in the Milanese Opera House, from 1962 to 1996, Mirella Freni was the protagonist of some of the performances that have formed the identity of the theatre, including seven openings of the opera season. Her legendary rigour, and innate musicality coupled with study and respect for the score, made her an interpreter loved by conductors as much as by the audiences.
La Scala will dedicate the opening of Umberto Giordano's Fedora to her on 3 June 2020. Fedora was the last role that Mirella Freni sang at La Scala, in 1996.
Here are more than 50 photographs documenting some of her many appearances.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.