Anna Moffo - Opera Diva and Actress

Anna Moffo - Wayne

Anna Moffo was born in Wayne, Pennsylvania to first generation Italian parents. After graduating from Radnor High School where she performed in school shows and plays, she turned down an offer from Hollywood to attend the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia.

Moffo continued her education in Rome where she studied with Mercedes Llopart and Luigi Ricci. She made her official operatic debut in 1955 at Spoleto as Norina in Don Pasquale. With very little experience, she was offered the challenging role of Cio-Cio in an Italian TV production of Madame Butterfly and became an overnight sensation in Italy.

After many roles overseas, Moffo returned for her American debut as Mimi in La Boheme at the Lyric Opera House in Chicago. Her Metropolitan Opera debut took place in 1959 when she appeared as Violetta in La Triviata, a part that would become her signature role. She performed at the Metropolitan Opera for 17 years, appeared in both movies and TV, and toured throughout the world.

Moffo's heavy workload led to physical exhaustion and a serious vocal breakdown in 1968 from which she never fully recovered. Her last performance at the Met was during the 1983 Centennial celebrations, where she sang the Sigmund Romberg duet Will you Remember with Robert Merrill.

Anna Moffo died in 2006 at the age of 73.