Country of origin: Italy
Licia Albanese (born July 22, 1913) is an Italian-born American operatic soprano. Noted especially for her portrayals of the lyric heroines of Verdi and Puccini, Albanese was a leading artist with the Metropolitan Opera of New York from 1940 to 1966. She also made many recordings and is chairman of The Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation which is dedicated to assisting young artists and singers.
Albanese became a United States citizen in 1945. On October 5, 1995, President Bill Clinton presented her with the National Medal of Honor for the Arts.
She has received awards and honorary degrees from Marymount Manhattan College, Montclair State Teachers College, Saint Peter's College, New Jersey, Seton Hall University, University of South Florida, Fairfield University, Siena College, Caldwell College, and Fairleigh Dickinson University.
She received the prestigious Handel Medallion, the highest official honor given by the City of New York and presented to individuals for their contributions to the city's cultural life, from Rudolph Giuliani in 2000. At the ceremony, Mayor Giuliani commemorated the career of a woman who is “without question [one] of the most loved and respected performers in the world."
To read more about Licia Albanese, read her page on Wikipedia.