The singer cancelled her summer performances last month (Jul16) due to an undisclosed health problem.

Her companion, Fabio Armiliato, told the ANSA news service she died in Italy after a "brief, terrible and incomprehensible illness."

A spokesman for revered Italian opera house La Scala paid tribute to Dessi on Saturday (20Aug16), calling her one of the most "notable figures on the international operatic scene", adding her performances there "remain among the unforgettable pages of La Scala's history from recent decades."

Dessi also performed in New York, Vienna, and Berlin.