Lieto Fine! Opera Star Malfitano Gets $2.6 M. for Tribeca Loft

malfitano karin cooper Lieto Fine! Opera Star Malfitano Gets $2.6 M. for Tribeca Loft

It is no surprise that legendary soprano Catherine Malfitano inhabited a bold and dramatically high-ceilinged duplex loft on the waterfront in Tribeca. The native New York diva and key contributor to the current operatic canon recently sold her three-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom duplex at 79 Laight Street for $2.6 million. The apartment has double-height ceilings and windows, as well as a wood-burning fireplace and, according to the Douglas Elliman listing, “pin-drop quiet bedrooms.”

One wonders how pin-drop quiet they were when Ms. Malfitano was practicing her scales in preparation for some of the more than 70 operatic roles she has embodied onstage. Gaining worldwide acclaim for her legendary portrayals of heroines such as Verdi’s Violetta and Puccini’s Tosca-a performance that was broadcast live with Placido Domingo from the Roman settings of the opera and that consequently earned her an Emmy. For the majority of her career, Ms. Malfitano garnered acclaim as a deft vocalist and a commanding performer; however, in recent years, she has expanded her artistic horizons to include directing, producing and teaching at the Manhattan School of Music.

The Renaissance soprano is selling the Tribeca loft with her husband, Steven Holowid, a fellow actor, musician and singer whom she met when singing with the New York City Opera in the 1970s.

The loft was listed last March at $3.099 million; listing agent Karen Giaquinto told The Observer: “The market was changing when the property was originally listed. Both buyers and banks were being extremely cautious, and the price point was difficult to determine because of those factors.”

The apartment is located in the historic United States Sugar Building, which was built in 1853 but only converted to residential units in 2002. “The property has a grand ambience with original detail, so many buyers were drawn to the original brickwork and charm of the property,” Ms. Giaquinto said. “It is a beautiful home, and to my knowledge there is no extensive renovation planned by the new owners.”

The buyer, according to city records, was Amber Roberts. Neither she nor Ms. Malfitano could be reached for comment.

cmalle@observer.com