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Charity 'Sunshine' Tillemann-Dick: Opera singer with transplanted lungs dies


World updates

Updated25/04/19  
BBc
Charity "Sunshine" Tillemann-Dick, a venerated American opera singer who survived two double lung transplants, has died at age 35.
Tillemann-Dick was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension in 2004, forcing her to undergo two emergency lung transplants needed to save her life.
Despite her illness Tillemann-Dick pursued a renowned career, performing her soprano across the world.
Her family announced her death on her Facebook page on Wednesday.
"This morning, life's curtain closed on one of its consummate heroines", the post said.
"Our beloved Charity passed peacefully with her husband, mother, and siblings at her side and sunshine on her face."
A cause of death was not immediately clear.
Tillemann-Dick lived in Baltimore, Maryland with her husband Yonatan Doron.
She performed across the US, Europe and Asia. Her opera roles included Titania in A Midsummer's Night Dream, Gilda in Rigoletto and Violetta in La Traviata.
The singer took the stage at storied theatres worldwide, including the Rose Theater at Lincoln Center in New York, the John F Kennedy Center in Washington DC and the Palace of the Arts in Budapest.
Tillmann-Dick was raised in Denver, Colorado, growing up in a Mormon-Jewish family alongside her 10 siblings.
Though she loved to sing from an early age, cherishing family trips to the symphony and opera, Tillemann-Dick initially thought she might pursue a career in politics.
She would be following in the footsteps of her grandfather, Tom Lantos, a Holocaust survivor who served as a Democrat in the House of Representatives for almost 30 years, and an older brother, Tomicah Tillemann, who worked as a speech writer for Hillary Clinton.
"That's kind of our family trade I suppose," Tillemann-Dick said of politics in an interview with BBC World Service in 2013.
But after graduating from college and spending time on a few political campaigns, she made the choice to return to music.
"I decided I could never forgive myself if I didn't try my hand at music", she told the BBC.
Tillemann-Dick began an intensive training programme at the renowned Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, Hungary.

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