Obituary: Luisa Mandelli Dies At 95

By Francisco Salazar

Soprano Luisa Mandelli has died on 95.

The soprano, who was best-known for performing Annina alongside Maria Callas at La Scala, was a constant presence in the theatre, traveling on the metro from her home in Verdi’s retirement house for musicians to La Scala. She last appeared onstage at the Milanese theatre on Sept. 14, 2017, for an evening to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Callas’ passing.

Born in Saronno, north of Milan, on Oct. 16,  1922, she auditioned for La Scala and made her debut as a page in a “Rigoletto,” conducted by Nino Sanzogno. She would then go on to appear in Gluck’s “Alceste” with Maria Callas, “Cyrano di Bergerac” and “I quatro rusteghi.” She also went on to sing Giannetta in Franco Zeffirelli’s production of “L’Elisir d’Amore” and starred in the world premiere of Milhaud’s “David.” She also performed other works by Pizzetti, Prokofiev, Rossini, Charpentier, Puccini, Janáček, and Rota.

Here she is alongside Maria Callas in her signature Annina.