(b Milan, 2 Sept 1896; d Corbola, nr Rovigo, 2 Aug 1973). Italian soprano. A pupil of Emma Molajoli, she made her début in 1920 at the Teatro Nazionale, Rome, as Micaëla in Carmen. She was then heard at the S Carlo, Naples (1923), at the Comunale, Bologna (1923–4) and at La Scala (1925) in Madama Butterfly, conducted by Arturo Toscanini; she returned there until 1930 and again between 1934 and 1937. She sang in the leading Italian theatres and appeared at the Colón, Buenos Aires (1926), at Covent Garden (1928) in Madama Butterfly and Pagliacci and as Liù in Turandot, returning there in 1929 and 1933, at the Berlin Städtische Oper (1929), at the Chicago Civic Opera (1931–2) and at the Paris Opéra (1935). Pampanini's pure, natural voice was full of warmth and brilliance, with a strong, resonant top register; she was considered one of the world's leading Puccini sopranos between 1925 and 1940, partly because of the variety of colour and inflection she brought to the utterances of Mimì, Cio-Cio-San and Manon, and partly because of the grace and simplicity of her bearing. She was also admired in Andrea Chénier, Iris and Tosca. After she retired in 1946 she taught singing in Milan; Amy Shuard and Victoria Elliott were among her pupils.
From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.