Posted Dec. 18, 2014 by The New York Times.
Irene Dalis, a versatile and fiery mezzo-soprano who starred at the Metropolitan Opera for two decades before building a second career as the director of Opera San José, an innovative company she founded in her California hometown, died on Dec. 14 in nearby Saratoga, Calif. She was 89.
Her daughter, Alida Loinaz, confirmed her death.
Ms. Dalis did not set out to be a singer or an impresario. She studied piano and music education at what was then San Jose State College before earning a master’s degree at Columbia’s Teachers College in Manhattan in the late 1940s. The plan was to go back home and teach.