I can't let the passing of a legendary singer go by unnoticed. Licia Albanese, a true link to a by gone era of singing has passed away at 105.
She was beloved in the Verdi/Puccini repertoire, and was a favorite of Toscanini. If my memory serves me correctly, I have in my possession a great old recording of La Boheme with Albanese, conducted by Toscanini. This live recording is a lot of fun, not only for the great singing by the principals, but also for the slightly under pitch vocal accompaniment in the pit from the Maestro!
I highly recommend checking out some of this great artist's recordings. While it was not the most opulent sound of singers in her fach, she was a master of style, and from all accounts, a quite affecting actress.