The death has been announced of the internationally renowned soprano and music teacher Dr Veronica Dunne. She was 93 years old.

A renowned singer in her own right, Dr Dunne also trained some of Ireland's best known classical singers, and established the Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition, which is dedicated to discovering the best classical singers of the future.

Born in Dublin, Veronica Dunne who was known to her friends as Ronnie, began her vocal studies at the age of 12. She studied in Rome in the 1940s and made her operatic debut in 1948 with the Dublin Grand Opera Society, and her Italian debut in 1952. She later joined the company of the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London.

Dr Dunne married Peter McCarthy in 1953 and had two children, continuing her performing career with roles in Ireland, Britain and the United States.

She eventually moved into part time performance and retired from the stage in 1973. However she also began a teaching career in 1961, first with the Dublin Institute of Technology College of Music, and later with the Leinster School of Music and the Royal Irish Academy of Music.

She continued to teach until very recently and taught almost every major Irish classical singer.

Veronica Dunne gave numerous broadcasts and appearances on television with RTÉ and the BBC. She made several recordings with EMI, including the first recording of The Irish Ring, which was a tremendous success all over the world.

She was a founding member of the Friends of the Vocal Arts in Ireland, which was established to financially assist vocal students in Ireland.

In 1987 she received an honorary doctorate from UCD and she is a life member of the Royal Dublin Society. For over 60 years, Veronica Dunne was a constant presence in the Irish opera world, a highly respected musician and teacher and a friend to all in that community.

Listen: Vocal Chords: Veronica Dunne

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President Michael D Higgins has paid tribute to Dr Dunne, saying that she "captivated millions with her singing".

In a statement he said: "The legacy she leaves lies in the talents of those scores of others whose talents and performances she unlocked with her enthusiasm, energy and commitment as a teacher and friend.

"Guided by her warmth, passion and energy, she developed the Veronica Dunne Competition, from its beginnings in 1995, into one of the foremost international singing competitions in the world."

President Higgins said that he and his wife Sabina offered their deepest condolences to Dr Dunne's family and friends.

The Taoiseach, Michéal Martin, also paid tribute to Dr Dunne. 

He said she was: "An outstanding performer in her own right, she made an extraordinary contribution to music in Ireland and around the world."

"She inspired many emerging artists and developed many classical talents, leaving a wonderful and lasting legacy. My deepest sympathy to her family and friends." 

The Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition was established in 1995 and has encouraged young and emerging singers from all over the world to pursue their careers.

Minister for Arts Catherine Martin described Dr Dunne as a "trailblazer" who "inspired generations of musicians worldwide".

In a statement, Ms Martin said she "was much loved for her contribution to music, to teaching and encouraging up and coming musicians".

The minister said she offered her "deepest condolences" to the family and friends of Veronica Dunne.