Vienna: South African soprano Elizabeth Connell died aged 65 in London Saturday after battling lung cancer, her agent said in Vienna.

Connell began her career at Ireland's Wexford festival in 1972 and sang at the opening of Sydney's spectacular new opera house in 1973.

She later sang at most opera houses around the world in roles created by Giuseppe Verdi, Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss.

Her last public appearance was at the Prague opera on February 24 last year in Giacomo Puccini's "Turandot".