(b New York, 27 May 1907; d Savignano sul Rubicone, nr Rimini, 2 Oct 1980). Italian soprano. Born in New York of Italian parents, she appeared in public for the first time when she was 12. She studied in San Francisco with Silvia Puerara Maracci and Domenico Brescia, and then in Milan with Manlio Bavagnoli. She made her début at the Teatro Nazionale, Milan (1927), as Gilda. Subsequently she appeared at Monte Carlo (1931), at the S Carlo, Naples (1936), as Lucia, at La Scala (1937) as Sinaïde in Gioachino Rossini's Mosè in Egitto and (1947) as Lucia, at Covent Garden (1938) as Gilda, at the Maggio Musicale, Florence (1940), as the Queen of Night and at the Rome Opera (1949) as Elvira (I puritani). Pagliughi's other roles included Rosina, Violetta and Amina, and she appeared in the title role in Umberto Giordano's Il re. She retired from the stage in 1954 and taught in Milan. Her vocal and stylistic gifts – sweet, pure tone, smooth, flexible technique, perfect legato and delicacy of expression – made her the leading Italian light soprano after Toti Dal Monte. Her unimpressive stage presence was a hindrance to her theatrical career, but she sang a great deal on the radio and made many successful recordings.
From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.