Piero Cappuccilli (November 9, 1926 – July 11, 2005) was an Italian operatic baritone. Best known for his interpretations of Verdi roles, he was widely regarded as one of the finest Italian baritones of the second half of the 20th century. He was enormously admired within the field of opera for his rich and abundant voice, fine vocal technique and exceptional breath control. In the great Italian tradition he fused words and music into elegant phrases. He focused on Italian repertory, particularly the operas of Verdi, singing 17 major roles.
A baritone is a type of classical male singing voice whose vocal range lies between the bass and the tenor voice types. Originally from the Greek βαρύτονος (barýtonos), meaning heavy sounding, music for this voice is typically written in the range from the second F below middle C to the F above middle C (i.e. F2–F4) in choral music, and from the second A below middle C to the A above middle C (A2 to A4) in operatic music, but can be extended at either end. The baritone voice type is generally divided into the baryton-Martin baritone (light baritone), lyric baritone, Kavalierbariton, Verdi baritone, dramatic baritone, baryton-noble baritone, and the bass-baritone.
Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi was an Italian opera composer. He was born near Busseto to a provincial family of moderate means, and developed a musical education with the help of a local patron. Verdi came to dominate the Italian opera scene after the era of Vincenzo Bellini, Gaetano Donizetti, and Gioachino Rossini, whose works significantly influenced him. By his 30s, he had become one of the pre-eminent opera composers in history.
Born in Trieste, Cappuccilli originally intended to become an architect. He auditioned at a local opera house in 1949, where Luciano Donaggio (a retired singer beginning a second career as a teacher) heard him and urged him to study. Cappuccilli was still reluctant, believing he had a better potential career as an architect, and even briefly discontinued his lessons, until Donnaggio's urging and the offer of free lessons persuaded him to resume studies in 1950. He studied with Luciano Donaggio in his native city. After encouragement from relatives he decided to pursue a career in opera and made his stage debut there in 1951, singing small parts.
Trieste is a city and a seaport in northeastern Italy. It is situated towards the end of a narrow strip of Italian territory lying between the Adriatic Sea and Slovenia, which lies almost immediately south and east of the city. It is also located near Croatia some further 30 kilometres (19 mi) south.
An architect is a person who plans, designs and reviews the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to provide services in connection with the design of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the buildings that have human occupancy or use as their principal purpose. Etymologically, architect derives from the Latin architectus, which derives from the Greek, i.e., chief builder.
In 1955, Cappuccilli auditioned for La Scala in Milan, where the auditioners, deeply impressed, encouraged him to enter the Viotti competition. After his first place award, he made his official operatic debut in 1957 at the Teatro Nuovo in Milan, singing Tonio in Pagliacci . In 1960, he made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera, singing Giorgio Germont in La traviata , which was to be his only performance at the Met.
The Teatro Nuovo is a theater in Milan, located on the Piazza San Babila in the lower level of the Palazzo del Toro. The theater, designed by architect Emilio Lancia, was the project of the impresario Remigio Paone. It was inaugurated on 22 December 1938 with a performance of Eduardo De Filippo's comedy Ditegli sempre di sì.
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 1,372,810 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.
Pagliacci is an Italian opera in a prologue and two acts, with music and libretto by Ruggero Leoncavallo. It is the only Leoncavallo opera that is still widely performed. Opera companies have frequently staged Pagliacci with Cavalleria rusticana by Mascagni, a double bill known colloquially as 'Cav and Pag'.
Cappuccilli spent most of his career singing in Europe, with only infrequent travels to North and South America. He made his debut at the Teatro alla Scala in 1964, as Enrico, at the Royal Opera House in London as Germont in 1967, and his Opéra de Paris debut took place in 1978, as Amonasro. He also appeared at the Vienna State Opera and the Salzburg Festival. He worked with the greatest European conductors of his time (Karajan, Gavazzeni, Abbado, Kleiber) and became one of the finest interpreters of the Italian repertoire.
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.
The Royal Opera House (ROH) is an opera house and major performing arts venue in Covent Garden, central London. The large building is often referred to as simply "Covent Garden", after a previous use of the site of the opera house's original construction in 1732. It is the home of The Royal Opera, The Royal Ballet, and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House. Originally called the Theatre Royal, it served primarily as a playhouse for the first hundred years of its history. In 1734, the first ballet was presented. A year later, Handel's first season of operas began. Many of his operas and oratorios were specifically written for Covent Garden and had their premieres there.
La traviata is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi set to an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave. It is based on La Dame aux camélias (1852), a play adapted from the novel by Alexandre Dumas fils. The opera was originally titled Violetta, after the main character. It was first performed on 6 March 1853 at the La Fenice opera house in Venice.
Cappuccilli was highly respected as a "Verdi baritone", where his beautiful voice, fine vocal technique, musical elegance and dignified stage presence were shown to their best advantage.
He left an impressive discography, he recorded Lucia di Lammermoor twice, first with Maria Callas in 1959, and with Beverly Sills in 1970. Other notable recordings include; Rigoletto , opposite Ileana Cotrubas and Plácido Domingo, under Carlo Maria Giulini, Macbeth , opposite Shirley Verrett, and Simon Boccanegra , opposite Mirella Freni and Nicolai Ghiaurov, both under Claudio Abbado. He also recorded Don Carlo , Il trovatore and Aida under Herbert von Karajan
Maria Callas, Commendatore OMRI was an American-born Greek soprano. She was one of the most renowned and influential opera singers of the 20th century. Many critics praised her bel canto technique, wide-ranging voice and dramatic interpretations. Her repertoire ranged from classical opera seria to the bel canto operas of Donizetti, Bellini and Rossini and further, to the works of Verdi and Puccini; and, in her early career, to the music dramas of Wagner. Her musical and dramatic talents led to her being hailed as La Divina.
Beverly Sills was an American operatic soprano whose peak career was between the 1950s and 1970s.
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.
Cappuccilli sang until his mid-sixties; an automobile accident in 1992 ended his stage career. He died in his native Trieste, at the age of 78.
He is survived by his wife, Graziella; three children, Patrizia, Giovanni and Pier Paolo; and two grandchildren, according to the Trieste newspaper.
Ileana Cotrubaș is a Romanian opera soprano whose career spanned from the 1960s to the 1980s. She was much admired for her acting skills and facility for singing opera in many different languages.
Renata Scotto is an Italian soprano and opera director.
Sherrill Milnes is an American dramatic baritone most famous for his Verdi roles. From 1965 until 1997 he was associated with the Metropolitan Opera. His voice is a high dramatic baritone, combining good legato with an incisive rhythmic style. By 1965 he had made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera. His international debuts followed soon thereafter, and Milnes became one of the world's prominent Verdi baritones of the 1970s and 1980s.
Nicolai Ghiaurov was a Bulgarian opera singer and one of the most famous basses of the postwar period. He was admired for his powerful, sumptuous voice, and was particularly associated with roles of Mussorgsky and Verdi. Ghiaurov married the Bulgarian pianist Zlatina Mishakova in 1956 and Italian soprano Mirella Freni in 1978, and the two singers frequently performed together. They lived in Modena until Ghiaurov's death in 2004 of a heart attack.
Mirella Freni is an Italian soprano whose repertoire includes Verdi, Puccini, Mozart and Tchaikovsky. Freni was married for many years to the Bulgarian bass Nicolai Ghiaurov, with whom she performed and recorded.
Katia Ricciarelli is an Italian soprano.
Lamberto Gardelli was a Swedish conductor of Italian birth, particularly associated with the Italian opera repertory, especially the works of Giuseppe Verdi.
Franco Bonisolli was an Italian operatic tenor, particularly associated with the Italian repertory, notably as Manrico and Calaf.
Ruggero Raimondi is an Italian bass-baritone opera singer who has also appeared in motion pictures.
Daniel Oren is an Israeli conductor.
Roberto Abbado is an Italian opera and symphonic music conductor. Currently he is Artistic Partner of The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. In 2015 he has been appointed Music Director of Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia, Spain. From 2018 he's Music Director of the Festival Verdi in Parma. Previously he held the position of Chief Conductor of Münchner Rundfunkorchester.
Ferruccio Furlanetto is an Italian bass. His professional debut was in 1974 in Lonigo, he debuted at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan in 1979, in a production of Verdi's Macbeth, conducted by Claudio Abbado. He has gone on to sing numerous roles, including both Don Giovanni and Leporello in Mozart's Don Giovanni, Philip II in Verdi's Don Carlos, Figaro in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro, Gremin in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, Zaccaria in Verdi's Nabucco, Méphistophélès in Gounod's Faust, Orestes in Strauss' Elektra, Fiesco in Verdi's Simon Boccanegra, the title role of Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov, as well as many other roles.
Giorgio Zancanaro is an Italian baritone, particularly associated with the Italian repertory, especially Verdi.
Vicente (Vicenç) Sardinero, né Sardinero-Puerto, was a Spanish operatic lyric baritone. Born in Barcelona, he made his debut at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in his native city in the 1964–65 season, as Escamillo in Carmen. His first appearance at the Teatro alla Scala was in 1967, as Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor, opposite Renata Scotto, subsequently appearing there in Il trovatore (1978), I due Foscari (1980), and Falstaff. Sardinero also sang at London's Covent Garden and was often heard in zarzuela.
Mario Sereni was an Italian baritone, who sang leading roles at the New York Metropolitan Opera for many years.
Richard Mohr was one of RCA Victor’s most prominent producers of classical and operatic music recordings from 1943 through 1977. His producing credits included recording the casts of the world premieres of Samuel Barber's Vanessa and Gian Carlo Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors, as well as the first LP recordings of Ernani,Luisa Miller and Lucrezia Borgia and three versions each of Rigoletto,Aida,La Traviata and Il Trovatore.
Gianni Raimondi was an Italian lyric tenor, particularly associated with the Italian repertory.
Anthony Laciura is an American operatic tenor, noted for his abilities as a comprimario, and actor. Born in New Orleans, he studied voice there with Charles Paddock, also the teacher of Ticho Parly.
Verdi is a 2013 album of baritone arias by the 72-year-old Plácido Domingo, returning to the baritone register of his youth. The album, the first collection of baritone arias by the singer, was released by Sony Classics on 27 August 2013. Domingo is accompanied by the Cor de la Generalitat Valenciana and the Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana conducted by Pablo Heras-Casado. The album won a Latin Grammy in 2014 for Best Classical Album.
Emil Tchakarov, born 29 June 1948 in Burgas, Bulgaria; died 4 August 1991 in Paris, was a Bulgarian conductor who had a career both in the concert hall and in the opera house. He also made a series of Russian opera recordings.