Cynthia Hansell-Bakić, a Virginia-born soprano who built her career as one of the leading opera singers in Croatia, has died at 73.
Born in Arlington to a family of prominent Shenandoah Valley landowners, Cynthia Hansell studied at the New England Conservatory of Music and was a soloist in its chorus. She emigrated to Croatia in 1971 and married Ante Bakić, a scientist, in 1973. Bakić died in 1990.
With a repertory of more than 60 roles, ranging from Monteverdi and Mozart to contemporary works, Hansell-Bakić sang in opera houses throughout the former Yugoslavia, as well as the Mozarteum in Salzburg, and taught at the Academy of Music in Zagreb and Split.
A profile of the singer by Marija Barbieri for Croatia’s International Summer Music School Pucisca: