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Opera star Blanche Thebom dies at 94

SAN FRANCISCO - Blanche Thebom, a mezzo-soprano who sang more than 350 performances with the Metropolitan Opera in New York, died March 23 of pneumonia in her San Francisco home, a longtime friend said. She was 94.

From 1944 to 1967 Thebom was a star of the Met, part of a wave of American opera singers to gain international fame. She was best known for her Wagner performances.

Born in Monessen, Pa., Thebom was discovered while singing in a shipboard lounge as a teenager. After retiring from the Met, she taught opera at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, then established the Opera Arts Training Program in San Francisco. - AP

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