Italian soprano Mirella Freni dead at 84

Italian soprano Mirella Freni worked with some of opera's biggest stars, including Luciano Pavarotti
Italian soprano Mirella Freni worked with some of opera's biggest stars, including Luciano Pavarotti

Celebrated Italian soprano Mirella Freni has died at the age of 84.

Freni died on Sunday at her home in Modena, Italy, from a degenerative muscular disease and a series of stokes, according to her manager, Jack Mastroianni of IMG Artists.

The singer retired in 2005 after a 50-year career. One of her most famous roles was Mimi in Giacomo Puccini's La Boheme.

Freni worked with some of the biggest names in the opera world, including the late Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti, a childhood friend of hers who was also from Modena.

"Modena and the world have lost Mirella Freni. A splendid voice of Modena, a woman, an artist and a friend has left us," the city's mayor Gian Carlo Muzzarelli wrote on Facebook.

Australian Associated Press