Italian opera singer Carlo Bergonzi has died, aged 90.

Bergonzi passed away in Milan, Italy on Friday (25Jul14), and the sad news was confirmed by Stefan Zucker, President of the Bel Canto Society for opera singing.

The cause of Bergonzi's death had not been released as Wenn went to press.

Bergonzi, who turned 90 earlier this month (Jul14), was considered the leading performer of composer Verdi's work during his 40-year career. He made his debut as a tenor in a Milan production of La Scala in 1953, and recorded a number of famous operatic works including La Boheme, Madame Butterfly and all of Verdi's major arias.

Bergonzi performed more than 300 times with the Metropolitan Opera of New York, and at the age of 75 he took on the title role in Verdi's Othello at Carnegie Hall in the Big Apple, but withdrew because the role was too challenging.

After his retirement from opera, he continued to work as a teacher.