Ilva Ligabue

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Ilva Ligabue (May 23, 1932, Reggio Emilia - August 19, 1998, Palermo) was an Italian operatic soprano, best known for the role of Alice Ford in Falstaff, which she recorded twice, under Georg Solti (RCA, 1963) and Leonard Bernstein (Sony, 1966).

Ilva Ligabue studied at the Milan Conservatory and at La Scuola di Canto alla Scala. After singing with success at most of the Italian opera houses, she won considerable acclaim in the lead role of Beatrice di Tenda at La Scala in 1961, followed by Margherita in Boito's Mefistofele.

She then began appearing abroad, notably in Germany, also singing at the Vienna State Opera, the Paris Opera, and became a regular guest artist at the Glyndebourne Festival and the Aix-en-Provence Festival, where she was especially admired as Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte. She also appeared in Buenos Aires, Chicago and New York.

A sensitive and intelligent singer and a fine actress, other notable roles included Amelia in Un ballo in maschera and Desdemona in Otello.

She appears on two notable recordings: Verdi's Otello in Dallas 1962 with Del Monaco & Vinay (singing Iago) and Verdi's I Masnadieri in Rome 1972 with Raimondi, Bruson & Christoff.


  • Dictionnaire des interprètes, Alain Pâris, Robert Laffont, Paris, 1989. ISBN 2-221-06660-X
  • Opera News, Obituaries, October 1998.