Page last updated at 20:28 GMT, Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Body of opera singer discovered

Amy Black
Amy Black had just recovered from major heart surgery

A well-known opera singer has been found dead in an East Yorkshire village, her family has told the BBC.

The body of Amy Black, from Hedon near Hull, was found outside a market garden in Keyingham on Tuesday. Police are treating it as an unexplained death.

The 36-year-old mezzo-soprano had an international reputation and had performed around the world before undergoing heart surgery in June.

A post-mortem examination was taking place to establish how she died.

Comeback performance

Humberside Police said they were called at 0755 GMT by the ambulance service after the discovery of woman's body near Mill Nurseries in Main Street, Keyingham.

Police cordoned off the area but officers said it was too early to speculate about the cause of death.

Ms Black studied at the Royal Academy of Music and sang for Glyndeboume Opera, English Touring Opera, The European Union Opera, Wexford Festival Opera and English National Opera.

In June she had her aortic valve replaced with a pig's valve and 65% of her aorta removed by surgeons during an eight-hour operation at Chelsea's Royal Brompton Hospital.

For three months she was unable to sing, but made her comeback in October with a performance at Toll Gavel Methodist Church in Beverley.

Paul Brereton, concert manager with the Driffield Male Voice Choir in East Yorkshire, said: "I don't think she could ever be replaced.

"She was absolutely wonderful and had sung at such a high level before. It has been absolutely devastating news."

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