Nicoletta Panni, the niece of baritone Giuseppe de Luca, passed away on Sept. 12 in Rome, the city of her birth.
Her career lasted twenty years, during which time she performed on many of Italy’s most famous stages such as Teatro alla Scala, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, and Teatro Grande di Brescia. She also performed at the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Liceu among others.
She studied singing at the Conservatory of S. Cecilia, where she graduated with honors and would go on to win several singing competitions, such as Concours International in Geneva, The Spoleto Experimental Competition, the Vercelli Contest, and one held by the National Musicians Union.
She made her debut in 1953, at the Teatro a Spoleto, performing Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari’s comic opera “Il segreto di Susanna.” She also spent some time focusing her talents on chamber music under Maestro Giorgio Favaretto before returning to the stage of opera in 1957 with Poulenc’s “The Dialogues of the Carmelites,” where she played the lead role of Blanche de la Force. Other prominent roles include Eurydice in Gluck’s “Orfeo ed Eurydice,” Mimi in Puccini’s “La Boheme,” and Marguerite in Gounod’s “Faust.” She also sang Desdemona in “Otello” and Nanetta in “Falstaff” as well as Nedda in “Pagliacci.”