Renowned Australian tenor Lance Ingram, who went by the stage name Albert Lance and made his mark in France, has died at the age of 86, his biographer said Thursday.
Ingram, described in his time as Australia's greatest tenor, died on Wednesday at his home in France after a long illness.
He leaves a widow, former mezzo-soprano Iris Parel, and daughter Marie-Christine.
"It is with the greatest sadness and regret that I announce on behalf of the family, the passing of Lance Ingram -- Australia's 'greatest ever tenor' and national tenor of France," biographer Doug Holden said on Ingram's website.
Born in the Australian town of Menindee in 1925, Ingram started out in the Melbourne music hall and vaudeville scene in the 1940s.
He went on to become Australia's principal tenor in the early 1950s before travelling to France in 1955, becoming one of the most sought after tenors there for nearly 20 years.
He also sang with two of the greatest sopranos of the 20th century, Maria Callas and Dame Joan Sutherland, as well as many other of the world's operatic stars.
Weeks before her death Sutherland said she deeply regretted not having sung more with Ingram than she had, adding that it was a great tragedy that Australians had not seen more of him at his peak.
One of his biggest fans was late French president Charles De Gaulle, who called him "maestro" and awarded him French citizenship.
Ingram spent his 30-year "retirement" teaching as professor of music in the south of France and, until just before his death, was working on operatic productions for his own Albert Lance Lyric Theatre Company.