Swedish operatic sensation Birgit Nilsson has died. She was 87.

The singing star reached notoriety as one of the greatest Wagnerian sopranos in a glittering career that stretched from 1946 to her retirement in the 1980s. Her unique vocal range made her one of the most sought-after sopranos of her time.

The singer's most famous role came in Wagner's Tristan And Isolde, in which she played ISOLDE in her debut at New York's Metropolitan Opera in 1959.

It is not known when or how Nilsson died. Her funeral was held earlier today (11JAN06) in her home town of Vastra Karup in southern Sweden.