World-renowned Russian opera diva Galina Vishnevskaya, 86, who with her husband defied the Soviet regime to give shelter to writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn and suffered exile from her homeland, died Tuesday in Moscow.
Moscow's Opera Center, which Ms. Vishnevskaya created, did not give a cause of death.
Ms. Vishnevskaya and the cellist Mstislav Rostropovich married in 1955, frequently performed together, and used their star status in the Soviet Union to help friends in trouble. In the most notable example of their defiance of Communist authorities, they sheltered Solzhenitsyn at their country home for several years as he faced official reprisals.
After Solzhenitsyn was expelled from the country, the couple left the Soviet Union with their two daughters in 1974. They lived in Paris and then Washington, and were stripped of their Soviet citizenship in 1978.