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Famed Russian Opera Singer Yelena Obraztsova Dies in Germany

Yelena Obraztsova with female cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova in 2009.

Renowned Russian opera singer Yelena Obraztsova died Monday in Germany at age 75 following a long illness, according to a statement on the singer's website.  

"The great Russian singer, whose name has become a symbol of Russian opera in the 20th century, has passed away," Natalya Ignatenko, director of the Yelena Obraztsova Foundation, said in the online statement.  

Obraztsova collected numerous awards throughout her glittering career, performing in venues around the world during the Cold War, including La Scala in Milan and the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. One of the roles for which she was best known was that of Carmen in Franco Zeffirelli's television production of the eponymous opera.  

In December 2011, Obraztsova established the Yelena Obraztsova Charitable Foundation for Musical Arts to support and promote the performance of opera in Russia.  

Muscovites were denied one last performance from Obraztsova when a December concert at the Kremlin Palace was canceled due to health reasons, according to the foundation's website. At the time, the soprano's press secretary Yekaterina Shikalovich said that doctors had advised Obraztsova to spend winter in the warmer climate of southern Germany.

The opera star will be buried in Moscow, Ignatenko was cited by various media reports as saying.

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