Italian soprano Daniela Dessì was born in Genoa on 14 May 1957. She studied singing and piano at the Conservatory 'Arrigo Boito' in Parma and later specialised in chamber singing at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena. She won first prize in the 1980 international competition organised by RAI TV.
She fell out famously with Franco Zeffirelli in 2010 when the Italian director commented that she was too 'well built' to play Violetta in his production of La traviata.
In 2011, she was awarded the Prize Belcanto 'Celletti', recognized as an 'absolute soprano'.
Dessì died in Brescia on 20 August 2016, aged only fifty-nine, from colon cancer, following a short illness.