Page last updated at 09:40 GMT, Monday, 12 May 2008 10:40 UK

Turkish soprano Leyla Gencer dies

Leyla Gencer
Leyla Gencer made her UK debut at London's Royal Opera House in 1962

Renowned Turkish Soprano Leyla Gencer has died at her home in Milan, Italy, at the age of 80.

The singer made her career at Italy's La Scala opera house and was known as La Diva Turca, or The Turkish Diva. She appeared in more than 70 productions.

Gencer died of respiratory problems and heart failure on Friday.

La Scala expressed "immense sorrow" over Gencer's death, saying the singer had "one of the most moving voices of any time".

Her performances provided "years of unrepeatable splendour", it added.

Gencer was a contemporary of opera singers Maria Callas and Renata Tebaldi and made her debut at La Scala in 1957 playing Madame Lidoine in Francis Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmelites.

After retiring in 1985, she devoted herself to discovering and training young talent.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2018 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific