Ruggero Raimondi

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Ruggero Raimondi (born 3 October 1941) is an Italian bass-baritone opera singer who has also appeared in motion pictures.

A bass-baritone is a high-lying bass or low-lying "classical" baritone voice type which shares certain qualities with the true baritone voice. The term arose in the late 19th century to describe the particular type of voice required to sing three Wagnerian roles: the Dutchman in Der fliegende Holländer, Wotan/Der Wanderer in the Ring Cycle and Hans Sachs in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. Wagner labelled these roles as Hoher Bass —see fach for more details.

Contents

Life and career

Early training and career

Ruggero Raimondi was born in Bologna, Italy, during World War II. His voice matured early into its adult timbre, and at the age of 15, he auditioned for conductor Francesco Molinari-Pradelli, who encouraged him to pursue an operatic career. He began vocal studies with Ettore Campogalliani, and was accepted at age 16 as a student at the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory in Milan. He then continued his studies in Rome, under the guidance of Teresa Pediconi and Armando Piervenanzi.

Bologna Comune in Emilia-Romagna, Italy

Bologna is the capital and largest city of the Emilia-Romagna region in Northern Italy. It is the seventh most populous city in Italy, at the heart of a metropolitan area of about one million people.

Francesco Molinari-Pradelli was a prominent Italian opera conductor. He studied piano and composition at Bologna, and graduated from the Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Rome in 1938. He made his debut at La Scala in 1946 and his Covent Garden debut in 1956. His account of Puccini's Turandot with Birgit Nilsson and Franco Corelli is commonly regarded as one of the greatest recordings of that work.

Giuseppe Verdi 19th-century Italian opera composer

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.

After having won the National Competition for young opera singers in Spoleto, he made his debut in the same city in the role of Colline in La Bohème in the Festival dei Due Mondi. Subsequently an opportunity arose for him at the Teatro dell'Opera in Rome when he was called upon to substitute in the role of Procida in Giuseppe Verdi's I Vespri Siciliani , and he received enormous success from the public and the critics. The young singer was very shy and stiff at first, but his early directors helped him, and he was soon an accomplished opera actor.

Spoleto Comune in Umbria, Italy

Spoleto is an ancient city in the Italian province of Perugia in east-central Umbria on a foothill of the Apennines. It is 20 km (12 mi) S. of Trevi, 29 km (18 mi) N. of Terni, 63 km (39 mi) SE of Perugia; 212 km (132 mi) SE of Florence; and 126 km (78 mi) N of Rome.

Opera, film and television star

Raimondi's career soon extended to the major opera houses in Italy, such as La Fenice in Venice, the Teatro Regio in Turin, Teatro Comunale in Florence and abroad, beginning with the Glyndebourne Festival (Don Giovanni in 1969). His La Scala debut was as Timur in Turandot in 1968, his Metropolitan Opera debut was as Silva in Ernani in 1970, and his Covent Garden debut was as Fiesco in Simon Boccanegra in 1972. In 1975, he made his Paris Opera debut as Procida, followed by the title role in Boris Godunov , and his Salzburg Festival debut in 1980 as the King in Aida . In 1986, he first directed a production of Don Giovanni, and decided to continue his career as a director as well.

La Fenice Opera house in Venice, Italy

Teatro La Fenice is an opera house in Venice, Italy. It is one of "the most famous and renowned landmarks in the history of Italian theatre", and in the history of opera as a whole. Especially in the 19th century, La Fenice became the site of many famous operatic premieres at which the works of several of the four major bel canto era composers – Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Verdi – were performed.

Turin Comune in Piedmont, Italy

Turin is a city and an important business and cultural centre in northern Italy. It is the capital city of Piedmont and of the Metropolitan City of Turin, and was the first Italian capital 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 875,698 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.

Glyndebourne Festival Opera English opera festival

Glyndebourne Festival Opera is an annual opera festival held at Glyndebourne, an English country house near Lewes, in East Sussex, England.

Some of his most important roles have been King Philip in Verdi's Don Carlos ; Fiesco; the title roles in Boris Godunov (including the Andrzej Żuławski film) and Attila ; Silva; Escamillo in Bizet's Carmen (including the Francesco Rosi film, 1984, with Plácido Domingo and Julia Migenes); the title role in Don Giovanni (including the Joseph Losey film, 1979); Count Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro ; and Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte ; the title role in Don Quichotte by Massenet; and Scarpia in a recording of Tosca produced by Ardermann and later filmed live from Rome, with Plácido Domingo and Catherine Malfitano, conducted by Zubin Mehta. He also made the television film Six characters in search of a singer. In 2008 he appeared in the Mini-Series "Les Sanglot des Anges" on French TV, in which he played the role of an Italian opera singer. In July 2011 he played the role of Pagano in Verdi's I Lombardi alla prima crociata on the rooftop of the Duomo of Milan . The concert was organized to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Italian Unity by the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano .

<i>Don Carlos</i> five-act grand opera composed by Giuseppe Verdi to a French-language libretto by Joseph Méry and Camille du Locle, based on the dramatic play Don Carlos, Infant von Spanien by Friedrich Schiller

Don Carlos is a five-act grand opera composed by Giuseppe Verdi to a French-language libretto by Joseph Méry and Camille du Locle, based on the dramatic play Don Carlos, Infant von Spanien by Friedrich Schiller. In addition, it has been noted by David Kimball that the Fontainebleau scene and auto da fé "were the most substantial of several incidents borrowed from a contemporary play on Philip II by Eugène Cormon". The opera is most often performed in Italian translation, usually under the title Don Carlo.

<i>Boris Godunov</i> (opera) opera by Modest Mussorgsky

Boris Godunov is an opera by Modest Mussorgsky (1839–1881). The work was composed between 1868 and 1873 in Saint Petersburg, Russia. It is Mussorgsky's only completed opera and is considered his masterpiece. Its subjects are the Russian ruler Boris Godunov, who reigned as Tsar during the Time of Troubles, and his nemesis, the False Dmitriy. The Russian-language libretto was written by the composer, and is based on the drama Boris Godunov by Aleksandr Pushkin, and, in the Revised Version of 1872, on Nikolay Karamzin's History of the Russian State.

Andrzej Żuławski Polish film director

Andrzej Żuławski was a Polish film director and writer. He was born in Lwów (Lviv), [Poland]. Żuławski often went against mainstream commercialism in his films, and enjoyed success mostly with European art-house audiences.

Recordings

Audio recordings

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Austrian composer of the Classical period

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, baptised as Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, was a prolific and influential composer of the classical era.

<i>Don Giovanni</i> opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Don Giovanni is an opera in two acts with music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Italian libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte. It is based on the legends of Don Juan, a fictional libertine and seducer. It was premiered by the Prague Italian opera at the National Theater, now called the Estates Theatre, on 29 October 1787. Da Ponte's libretto was billed as a dramma giocoso, a common designation of its time that denotes a mixing of serious and comic action. Mozart entered the work into his catalogue as an opera buffa. Although sometimes classified as comic, it blends comedy, melodrama and supernatural elements.

Decca Records US/British record label

Decca Records is a British major record label established in 1929 by Edward Lewis. Its U.S. label was established in late 1934 by Lewis, along with American Decca's first president Jack Kapp and later American Decca president Milton Rackmil. In 1937, anticipating Nazi aggression leading to World War II, Lewis sold American Decca and the link between the UK and U.S. Decca labels was broken for several decades. The British label was renowned for its development of recording methods, while the American company developed the concept of cast albums in the musical genre. Both wings are now part of the Universal Music Group, which is owned by Vivendi, a media conglomerate headquartered in Paris, France. The US Decca label was the foundation company that evolved into UMG.

TV

Filmography

Honours

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References