This week in the War, 7–13 February 1944: Death of Italian opera singer Lina Cavalieri
Italian opera singer Lina Cavalieri (1874–1944), painted by artist Giovanni Boldini (1842–1931) [Public domain]
This week in the war, Italian opera singer Lina Cavalieri was killed on the night of 7/8 February 1944 during an Allied bombing raid on Florence. She and her husband were running from her house to the air raid shelter in the grounds but did not reach the shelter before the bombs landed.
Lina Cavalieri was born in 1874, orphaned as a girl, and raised by nuns. She ran off and eventually found her way to Paris. She began singing in cafés and music halls and finally decided to train as an opera singer.
In the course of her career, she sang in many well-known opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, and she performed opposite many of the famous opera stars of her day, including such greats as Enrico Caruso.
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