MUSICIANmilestones...recent obits of classical and traditional popular music performers and composers
Death of a popular Verdi soprano, 79... Rita Orlandi Malaspina
The Italian soprano Rita Orlandi, who was billed as Rita Orlandi Malaspina after her marriage to the bass Massimiliano Malaspino, died in Milan on April 8, 2017.
Originally from Bologna, she made her 1963 debut in Giovanna d’Arco, reached La Scala three years later in Forza and specialised throughout her international career in Verdi roles, though she also sang Elsa in Lohengrin and, inevitably, Tosca.
For a soprano of her stature, she made comparatively few recordings.
Orlandi-Malaspina enjoyed a particularly fruitful partnership with La Scala, where she made her debut on 29 April 1966 as Leonora in Verdi's La forza del destino under the baton of Gianandrea Gavazzeni with a cast that included Luigi Ottolini, Piero Cappuccilli, Nicola Zaccaria, Bianca Maria Casoni and Renato Capecchi. Other Verdi roles she was admired for at that house were Aida, Amelia in Un ballo in maschera, Elvira in Ernani, Leonara in Il trovatore, and Odabella in Attila. She also appeared as a guest artist at the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, the Teatro di San Carlo, the Teatro Carlo Felice, La Fenice, the Teatro Regio di Parma, the Teatro Massimo, the Teatro Regio di Torino, the Teatro Comunale di Bologna, and the Teatro Comunale Giuseppe Verdi. She was a regular performer at the Arena di Verona Festival where she sang in 1968–1969 and 1971–1972. She also made several appearances at the Baths of Caracalla in Rome.