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Subject: Opera's di Stefano dies aged 86

Written By: Philip Eno on 03/04/08 at 9:10 am

One of the greatest tenors of the 20th Century, Giuseppe di Stefano, has died at his home near the Italian city of Milan at the age of 86.

Sicilian-born di Stefano was famed for his powerful voice and his duets with the late Maria Callas.

He was best known for his roles in Verdi's Rigoletto and Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor.

He never fully recovered after being attacked while on holiday in Kenya in 2004.

He had two operations after being hit on the head by unknown assailants.

He suffered the blow whilst trying to defend his wife as the assailants attempted to steal her necklace.

During a career that began in the 1950s, di Stefano sang at prestigious opera houses including Milan's La Scala, New York's Metropolitan, Vienna and Berlin.

Rome saw his last performance in 1992.

He was described by the late Luciano Pavarotti as "the maestro".

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