Chiara, Maria(-Rita), Italian soprano; b. Oderzo, near Venice, Nov. 24, 1939. She studied with Antonio Cassinelli, who later became her husband, and with Maria Carbone. In 1965 she made her operatic debut in Venice as Desdemona. She subsequently appeared with the Bavarian State Opera in Munich and with the Vienna State Opera (1970); her debut at London’s Cov-ent Garden came in 1973 as Liù. In 1977 she made her U.S. debut as Manon Lescaut at the Chicago Lyric Opera; her Metropolitan Opera debut in N.Y. followed on Dec. 16, 1977, as Violetta. In 1985 she appeared as Aida at Milan’s La Scala. She sang Amelia in Un ballo in maschera in Naples in 1989. In 1991 she appeared as Leonora in II Trovatore in Turin. Among her most noted roles are Anna Bolena, Maria Stuarda, Amelia Boc-canegra, Aida, and Elisabeth de Valois.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire