MILAN, Italy, March 4 (UPI) -- Famed Italian lyric tenor Giuseppe di Stefano has died at his home in Santa Maria Hoe, north of Milan, his wife Monika Curth said. He was 86.
The Los Angeles Times said di Stefano had never fully recovered from head injuries he sustained trying to protect Curth during a 2004 robbery at his family's villa in Kenya.
Born in Sicily, di Stefano was drafted into the Italian army during World War II. After the war, he made his operatic debut in 1946 in Reggio Emilia as Des Grieux in Jules Massenet's "Manon."
He made his La Scala debut in the same role the following year and first performed at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in 1948 as the Duke of Mantua in Verdi's "Rigoletto."
Di Stefano went on to sing 112 performances there from 1948 to 1965.
His last performance was in Rome in 1992.
Curth told the Times he will be buried in Santa Maria Hoe after a church funeral Wednesday.