Lina Pagliughi (27 May 1907 – 2 October 1980) was an Italian-American opera singer. Based in Italy for the majority of her career, she made a number of recordings and established herself as one of the world's finest lyric coloratura sopranos of the 1930s and 1940s.
A coloratura soprano is a type of operatic soprano voice that specializes in music that is distinguished by agile runs, leaps and trills.
Pagliughi was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Italian immigrants. Her parents took her to live in San Francisco when still a child and she displayed a love of singing at an early age. She was noticed by the legendary soprano Luisa Tetrazzini who sensed her potential and encouraged her to study toward an operatic career.
Brooklyn is the most populous borough of New York City, with an estimated 2,648,771 residents in 2017. Named after the Dutch village of Breukelen, it borders the borough of Queens at the western end of Long Island. Brooklyn has several bridge and tunnel connections to the borough of Manhattan across the East River, and the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge connects it with Staten Island. Since 1896, Brooklyn has been coterminous with Kings County, the most populous county in the U.S. state of New York and the second-most densely populated county in the United States, after New York County.
New York is a state in the Northeastern United States. New York was one of the original thirteen colonies that formed the United States. With an estimated 19.54 million residents in 2018, it is the fourth most populous state. In order to distinguish the state from the city with the same name, it is sometimes referred to as New York State.
San Francisco, officially the City and County of San Francisco, is a city in, and the cultural, commercial, and financial center of, Northern California. San Francisco is the 13th-most populous city in the United States, and the fourth-most populous in California, with 883,305 residents as of 2018. It covers an area of about 46.89 square miles (121.4 km2), mostly at the north end of the San Francisco Peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area, making it the second-most densely populated large US city, and the fifth-most densely populated U.S. county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs. San Francisco is also part of the fifth-most populous primary statistical area in the United States, the San Jose–San Francisco–Oakland, CA Combined Statistical Area.
At the age of 15, Pagliughi moved to Italy with her family and she took voice lessons from the conductor/pedagogue Gaetano Bavagnoli in Milan. She made her debut in 1927, at Milan's Teatro Communale, as Gilda in Rigoletto . Her success was such that she was immediately engaged to sing the part in a complete recording of the opera, with the baritone Luigi Piazza and the tenor Tino Folgar performing the leading male roles. She also provided the singing voice of the titular character in the original Italian dub of Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs .
Gaetano Bavagnoli (1879–1933) was an Italian conductor who was particularly known for his work within the field of opera. He was mainly active within Italy's major opera houses during the first third of the 20th century; although he did conduct at important international stages like the Metropolitan Opera in New York City and the Royal Opera House in London as well. He also worked as a voice teacher and was notably the instructor of opera singers Emanuel Kopecky, Lina Pagliughi, and Aureliano Pertile.
Milan is a city in northern Italy, capital of Lombardy, and the second-most populous city in Italy after Rome, with the city proper having a population of 1,395,274 while its metropolitan city has a population of 3,245,308. Its continuously built-up urban area has a population estimated to be about 5,270,000 over 1,891 square kilometres. The wider Milan metropolitan area, known as Greater Milan, is a polycentric metropolitan region that extends over central Lombardy and eastern Piedmont and which counts an estimated total population of 7.5 million, making it by far the largest metropolitan area in Italy and the 54th largest in the world. Milan served as capital of the Western Roman Empire from 286 to 402 and the Duchy of Milan during the medieval period and early modern age.
Rigoletto is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi. The Italian libretto was written by Francesco Maria Piave based on the play Le roi s'amuse by Victor Hugo. Despite serious initial problems with the Austrian censors who had control over northern Italian theatres at the time, the opera had a triumphant premiere at La Fenice in Venice on 11 March 1851.
Pagliughi's fame spread throughout Italy and she was invited to sing at all the major opera centres, including Turin, Parma, Venice, Florence, Rome and Naples. Critics acclaimed her as the successor of Toti dal Monte (1893–1975) in the Rossini-Donizetti-Bellini repertory, in which her sweetly limpid voice, agile technique and expressive phrasing were shown to best effect. However, apart from a successful tour of Australia in 1932 and a few performances that she gave in Monte Carlo and London during the same decade, she hardly ever sang outside Italy.
Turin is a city and an important business and cultural centre in northern Italy. It is the capital city of the Metropolitan City of Turin and of the Piedmont region, and was the first capital city of Italy from 1861 to 1865. The city is located mainly on the western bank of the Po River, in front of Susa Valley, and is surrounded by the western Alpine arch and Superga Hill. The population of the city proper is 878,074 while the population of the urban area is estimated by Eurostat to be 1.7 million inhabitants. The Turin metropolitan area is estimated by the OECD to have a population of 2.2 million.
Parma is a city in the northern Italian region of Emilia-Romagna famous for its architecture, music, art, prosciutto (ham), cheese and surrounding countryside. It is home to the University of Parma, one of the oldest universities in the world. Parma is divided into two parts by the stream of the same name. The district on the far side of the river is Oltretorrente. Parma's Etruscan name was adapted by Romans to describe the round shield called Parma.
Venice is a city in northeastern Italy and the capital of the Veneto region. It is situated on a group of 118 small islands that are separated by canals and linked by over 400 bridges. The islands are located in the shallow Venetian Lagoon, an enclosed bay that lies between the mouths of the Po and the Piave rivers. In 2018, 260,897 people resided in the Comune di Venezia, of whom around 55,000 live in the historical city of Venice. Together with Padua and Treviso, the city is included in the Padua-Treviso-Venice Metropolitan Area (PATREVE), which is considered a statistical metropolitan area, with a total population of 2.6 million.
She became extremely stout as she grew older, which limited her capacity to be convincing in 'girlish' roles, no matter how well she sang them, and she quit the stage in 1947; but she continued to be heard on Italian radio RAI until 1956, when she retired for good and turned to teaching with students such as the Swedish soprano Hjördis Schymberg.
RAI – Radiotelevisione italiana (Italian pronunciation: [ˈrai ˌradjoteleviˈzjoːne itaˈljaːna]; commercially styled as Rai since 2000; known until 1954 as Radio Audizioni Italiane is the national public broadcasting company of Italy, owned by the Ministry of Economy and Finance.
Hjördis Gunborg Schymberg was a Swedish coloratura and lyric soprano active on the opera stage and in concert halls between 1934 and 1968. One of the leading singers of the Royal Swedish Opera, she was awarded the title of Hovsångerska in 1943, and in her later years became a distinguished voice teacher.
During her prime, Pagliughi recorded her interpretations of showpiece operatic arias. She also recorded complete operas for Cetra Records, including such bel canto works as Lucia di Lammermoor (opposite Giovanni Malipiero), La fille du régiment , Un giorno di regno , Rigoletto and La sonnambula (opposite Ferruccio Tagliavini and Cesare Siepi). Many of these recordings are available on CD re-issues.
Cetra Records was an Italian company which produced opera recordings from the 1930s onwards. Its roster of artists included Maria Callas, Renata Tebaldi, Lina Pagliughi, Ebe Stignani, Carlo Bergonzi, Galliano Masini, Giovanni Malipiero, Ferruccio Tagliavini, Carlo Tagliabue, Rolando Panerai, Italo Tajo, Giuseppe Taddei, Tancredi Pasero and Cesare Siepi, among other leading Italian opera singers.
Bel canto —with several similar constructions —is a term with several meanings that relate to Italian singing.
Lucia di Lammermoor is a dramma tragico in three acts by Gaetano Donizetti. Salvadore Cammarano wrote the Italian-language libretto loosely based upon Sir Walter Scott's historical novel The Bride of Lammermoor.
Pagliughi was married to the tenor Primo Montanari (1895–1972). She died in Rome at the age of 73.
Franco Corelli was an Italian tenor who had a major international opera career between 1951 and 1976. Associated in particular with the spinto and dramatic tenor roles of the Italian repertory, he was celebrated universally for his powerhouse voice, electrifying top notes, clear timbre, passionate singing and remarkable performances. Dubbed the "prince of tenors", Corelli possessed handsome features and a charismatic stage presence which endeared him to audiences. He had a long and fruitful partnership with the Metropolitan Opera in New York City between 1961 and 1975. He also appeared on the stages of most of the major opera houses in Europe and with opera companies throughout North America.
Amelita Galli-Curci was an Italian coloratura soprano. She was one of the most popular operatic singers of the 20th century, with her recordings selling in large numbers.
Giuseppe Di Stefano was an Italian operatic tenor who sang professionally from the mid 1940s until the early 1990s, although there was a sharp decline in his, until then extraordinary, vocal powers during the early 1960s. Called Pippo by both fans and friends, he was known as the "Golden voice" or "The most beautiful voice", as the true successor of Beniamino Gigli. Luciano Pavarotti said he modeled himself after Di Stefano. In an interview Pavarotti said "Di Stefano is my idol. There is a solar voice...It was the most incredible, open voice you could hear. The musicality of di Stefano is as natural and beautiful as the voice is phenomenal". Di Stefano was also the tenor who most inspired José Carreras.
(Giuseppe) Mario Sammarco was an Italian operatic baritone noted for his acting ability.
Ferruccio Tagliavini was an Italian operatic tenor mainly active in the 1940s and 1950s. Tagliavini was hailed as the heir apparent to Tito Schipa and Beniamino Gigli in the lyric-opera repertory due to the exceptional beauty of his voice, but he did not sustain his great early promise across the full span of his career.
Carmen Melis was an Italian operatic soprano who had a major international career during the first four decades of the 20th century. She was known, above all, as a verismo soprano, and was one of the most interesting singing actresses of the early 20th century. She made her debut in Novara in 1905 and her career rapidly developed in her native country over the next four years. From 1909-1916 she performed with important opera companies in the United States; after which she was busy performing at many of Europe's most important opera houses. From 1917 until her retirement from the stage in 1935 she was particularly active at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome and at La Scala in Milan. After her singing career ended, she embarked on a second career as a voice teacher. Her most notable student was soprano Renata Tebaldi.
Aureliano Pertile was an Italian lyric-dramatic tenor. Many critics consider him one of the most exciting operatic artists of the inter-war period, and one of the most important tenors of the 20th century.
Antonietta Meneghel, better known by her stage name Toti Dal Monte, was a celebrated Italian operatic soprano. She may be best remembered today for her performance as Cio-cio-san in Puccini's Madama Butterfly, having recorded this role complete in 1939 with Beniamino Gigli as Pinkerton.
Gianna D'Angelo was an American coloratura soprano, primarily active in the 1950s and 1960s.
Margherita Rinaldi is an Italian lyric soprano, primarily active in the 1960s and 1970s.
Riccardo Stracciari was a leading Italian baritone. His repertoire consisted mainly of Italian operatic works, with Rossini's Figaro and Verdi's Rigoletto becoming his signature roles during a long and distinguished career which stretched from 1899 to 1944.
Mercedes Capsir was a Catalan Spanish opera singer, a high coloratura soprano, particularly associated with light Italian roles, such as Lucia and Gilda.
Giovanni Malipiero was an operatic tenor who enjoyed a prominent career on stage and on radio in his native Italy during the 1930s and 1940s.
Giuseppe Cremonini was an Italian operatic tenor who had a prominent opera career in Europe and the United States during the last decade of the nineteenth century.
Flora Perini was an Italian operatic mezzo-soprano who had a prominent opera career in Europe, South America, and the United States during the first half of the twentieth century. She sang a wide repertoire that encompassed works by verisimo composers like Mascagni, bel canto composers like Rossini and Bellini, the Italian grand operas of Verdi, the German operas of Strauss and Wagner, and the Russian operas of Rimsky-Korsakov. She sang in numerous premieres throughout her career, including creating the role of the Princess in the original 1918 production of Puccini's Suor Angelica.
Ines Maria Ferraris was an Italian operatic soprano and pianist who sang for more than two decades at La Scala in addition to appearances on the international stage. Although popular in Italy, she had a particularly devoted fanbase throughout South America. A light lyric soprano with a pure and agile voice, Ferraris sang a wide repertoire that encompassed the verismo operas of Puccini, the Italian grand opera of Verdi, and the German operas of Richard Strauss. She is particularly remembered for portraying the role of Lisette in the world première of Puccini's La rondine in 1917.
Vina Bovy born Ghent 22 May 1900, died in the same city 16 May 1983 was a Belgian operatic soprano.
Ada Adini was an American operatic soprano who had an active international career from 1876 up into the first decade of the 20th century. She possessed a large, expressive voice which enabled her to sing a broad range of roles that extended from the coloratura soprano repertoire to dramatic soprano parts. She made five recordings with Fonotipia Records in Paris in 1905.
Carlo Broccardi (1886–1953) was an Italian operatic tenor who had an active international career during the first third of the 20th century. He notably sang for the first complete recordings of Giuseppe Verdi's Rigoletto and Giacomo Puccini's Tosca ; both for His Master's Voice. He also made recordings for the Fonografia Nazionale and Kalliope record labels.
Ayres Borghi-Zerni was an Italian operatic soprano who had a distinguished international career from 1914 till 1928.