Magda’s Demented Met Debut

Martin Filler: ‘How old is too old in opera? It all depends on the voice and the role, of course. Beverly Sills, who had a relatively light instrument, retired at fifty-one, wary of outstaying her welcome. Birgit Nilsson, the Heldensopran of Wagnerian fortitude, bowed out at sixty-four. The tenor Plácido Domingo is still onstage at seventy-three…in baritone parts. But few have lived up to the standard set by the soprano Magda Olivero (pictured), who died in Milan this month, at the age of 104. The news of her death brought back vivid memories of my strangest night at the opera, which took place in the spring of 1975.’ Read the details here.

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