The opera world paid tribute Sunday to Italian tenor Marcello Giordani, who died of a heart attack at his home in Sicily. He was 56.
Only last month, he had been playing the role of Calaf in Puccini's opera Turandot at two open-air theatres in Sicily.
"The Met family sends its condolences to all of Giordani’s family and friends," the New York Metropolitan Opera said.
Giordani debuted with the Met in 1995, going on to give nearly 250 performances in 27 roles there.
Soprano Angela Georghiu said of her former operatic partner: "I am devastated by the very sudden and early loss of my dear friend and great colleague, Marcello Giordani, a tenor with a golden voice."
"Your voice will live eternally in our hearts!" she said, recalling performing with Giordani in New York, London, Madrid and Tokyo.
Giordani's broad repertoire ranged from bel canto roles in the operas of Rossini, Donizetti and Bellini to more dramatic parts of Verdi, Puccini and Berlioz.
After studies in Catania, Sicily, and Milan, he won the Spoleto singing competition in 1986, catapulting him into a breakthrough role in Verdi's "Rigoletto".
Giordani made his US debut at Portland, Oregon, in 1988 and the same year sang at Milan's La Scala.
In 2010, he set up the Marcello Giordani Foundation to encourage young opera singers at the beginning of their career.