Most centennial celebrations take place without the honoree. But Italian-born soprano Licia Albanese is still with us, so it's even sweeter to take note of her birthday as she reaches the age of 100 today, July 22.
She enjoyed a great opera career, loved for the sweetness of her tone and her intense commitment to a role. Licia Albanese is one of those distinctive singers who could justifiably sum up her glory days by paraphrasing Norma Desmond: "We had voices!"
Note: This clip from a live recording of "Tosca" gets weird at the end. Not sure if the soprano wanted to rush the climactic phrase of "Vissi d'arte" or if the recording just has a nasty edit, but no matter. There aure is some honest-to-goodness expression going on here.