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Thank you for posting, Farrell Fan. Sad news, although no one can say he didn’t lead a rich, full, and long life.

Renowned for his superb voice, Mr. Di Stefano had only brief years at the top, with a repertory that focused on lyric roles like the Duke in “Rigoletto,” the title role in “Faust” and “Werther.”

Rudolf Bing, the longtime general manager of the Metropolitan Opera, asserted that Mr. di Stefano could have been as great as Enrico Caruso if he had demonstrated more restraint in his personal and professional conduct.

Mr. di Stefano conceded that he could be reckless. He reveled in his image as a bon vivant and bragged of his affairs, including a long romance with Maria Callas, his favorite onstage partner.

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I've sometimes wondered how much di Stefano's lifestyle really had to do with his vocal decline, or perhaps his voice would have gotten shot early even if he'd been in bed by nine o'clock every night?

I think his early decline was caused by a combination of factors; his hard use of his voice, taking on roles too heavy for a lyric tenor, and maybe lifestyle choices too.

Sad, by his early 30s, his voice was showing signs of distress. I heard him a few times when he was about 50, when many singers are still at or near their peak, and his voice was in ruins.

Still, he left some wonderful recordings. What a voice he had.

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