Lisa Della Casa

Swiss soprano Lisa Della Casa was born in Burgdorf on 2 February 1919 to an Italian-Swiss father and a Bavarian-born mother. She studied singing at the Zurich Conservatory from the age of fifteen, and made her operatic debut in 1940 at Solothurn-Biel Municipal Theatre, singing Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly, then joining the Zurich Municipal Opera House ensemble in 1943. Talent-spotted there, she moved on to the Salzburg Festival and Vienna State Opera, both in 1947, then La Scala Milan two years later. By 1953 she was singing at Covent Garden and New York Metropolitan Opera.

When her daughter became ill, Della Casa retired early, in 1974.

Lisa Della Casa died on 10 December 2012 in Münsterlingen, aged ninety-three.