Acclaimed Italian opera singer  has died at the age of 82.  Her doctor said she died at home in San Marino following a long illness.

Tebaldi was considered among the greatest sopranos of her era, earning accolades during a career of more than 30 years for her graceful stage presence and beautiful voice. 

Renata Tebaldi began studying music after childhood polio prevented her from taking part in strenuous activities.  She attended Parma Conservatory in central Italy and made her professional debut in 1944 at the age of 22.

Soon she began performing in the world's best opera houses, taking lead roles in operas such as La Boheme, Madame Butterfly, and Tosca.  She stopped performing in 1976.

Famed conductor Arturo Toscanini once said the Italian diva had the "voice of an angel." 

Some information provided by Reuters and AFP.