Sesto Bruscantini (10 December 1919 – 4 May 2003) was an Italian baritone, one of the greatest buffo singers of the post-war era, especially renowned in Mozart and Rossini.
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.
Bruscantini was born in Civitanova Marche, Marche, Italy. After obtaining a law degree, he turned to vocal studies in Rome, with Luigi Ricci at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. He won a vocal contest organized by RAI in 1947 and made his debut at La Scala in Milan in 1949, as Geronimo in Cimarosa's Il matrimonio segreto .
Civitanova Marche is a comune (municipality) in the Province of Macerata in the Italian region Marche, located about 40 kilometres southeast of Ancona and about 25 km (16 mi) east of Macerata.
Marche, or the Marches, is one of the twenty regions of Italy. The name of the region derives from the plural name of marca, originally referring to the medieval March of Ancona and nearby marches of Camerino and Fermo. Marche is well known for its shoemaking tradition, with the finest and most luxurious Italian footwear being manufactured in this region.
Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a country in Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 (116,350 sq mi) and has a largely temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe.
Bruscantini rapidly established himself in buffo roles in opera by Mozart and Rossini such as Le nozze di Figaro , Don Giovanni , Cosi fan tutte , Il turco in Italia , L'italiana in Algeri , Il barbiere di Siviglia , La Cenerentola but also in works by Donizetti such as L'elisir d'amore , La fille du régiment and Don Pasquale . In some of these works he often alternated roles, from Figaro to the Count in Nozze, Guglielmo to Alfonso in Cosi, Belcore to Dulcamara in Elisir, Malatesta to Pasquale in Don Pasquale, etc. He also took part in many revivals of opera by Pergolesi, Scarlatti and Cimarosa. He even recorded with Marilyn Horne the first modern performance of Antonio Vivaldi's Orlando Furioso .
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.
Il turco in Italia is an opera in two acts by Gioachino Rossini. The Italian-language libretto was written by Felice Romani. It was a re-working of a libretto by Caterino Mazzolà set as an opera by the German composer Franz Seydelmann in 1788.
L'Italiana in Algeri is an operatic dramma giocoso in two acts by Gioachino Rossini to an Italian libretto by Angelo Anelli, based on his earlier text set by Luigi Mosca. It premiered at the Teatro San Benedetto in Venice on 22 May 1813. The music is characteristic of Rossini's style, remarkable for its fusion of sustained, manic energy with elegant, pristine melodies.
In the 1960s, Bruscantini started singing more lyrical and dramatic roles in opera such as I puritani alternating between Riccardo and Giorgio, and La favorite singing both Alfonso and Baldasare. He also added Verdi roles such as Rigoletto , Germont in La Traviata , Simon Boccanegra , Melitone in La forza del destino , Rodrigo in Don Carlos and Ford in Falstaff .
I puritani is an opera by Vincenzo Bellini. It was originally written in two acts and later changed to three acts on the advice of Gioachino Rossini, with whom the young composer had become friends. The music was set to a libretto by Count Carlo Pepoli, an Italian émigré poet whom Bellini had met at a salon run by the exile Princess Belgiojoso, which became a meeting place for many Italian revolutionaries.
La Favorite is a grand opera in four acts by Gaetano Donizetti to a French-language libretto by Alphonse Royer and Gustave Vaëz, based on the play Le comte de Comminges by Baculard d'Arnaud. The opera concerns the romantic struggles of the King of Castile, Alfonso XI and his mistress, the "favourite" Leonora, against the backdrop of the political wiles of receding Moorish Spain and the life of the Catholic Church. It premiered on December 2, 1840 at the Académie Royale de Musique in Paris, France.
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.
Bruscantini was a regular guest at the Glyndebourne and Salzburg festivals, the Vienna State Opera, also appearing in Brussels, Monte Carlo, Paris, Madrid, and London. He sang relatively little outside Europe but did appear at the Lyric Opera of Chicago beginning in 1961 as Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia, and continuing in a total of 14 roles in 11 seasons through 1985-86.
The Salzburg Festival is a prominent festival of music and drama established in 1920. It is held each summer in the Austrian town of Salzburg, the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. One highlight is the annual performance of the play Jedermann (Everyman) by Hugo von Hofmannsthal.
The Vienna State Opera is an Austrian opera house and opera company based in Vienna, Austria. It was originally called the Vienna Court Opera. In 1920, with the replacement of the Habsburg Monarchy by the First Austrian Republic, it was renamed the Vienna State Opera. The members of the Vienna Philharmonic are recruited from its orchestra.
Lyric Opera of Chicago is one of the leading opera companies in the United States. It was founded in Chicago in 1954, under the name 'Lyric Theatre of Chicago' by Carol Fox, Nicolà Rescigno and Lawrence Kelly, with a season that included Maria Callas's American debut in Norma. The company was re-organized by Fox in 1956 under its present name and, after her 1981 departure, it has continued to be of one of the major opera companies in the United States. The Lyric is housed in the Civic Opera Building, which the company now owns.
From 1953 until 1956 Bruscantini was married to soprano Sena Jurinac, with whom he often appeared on stage in the 1950s. Both may be seen in their roles in Le nozze di Figaro in the 1955 film On Such a Night .
A soprano[soˈpraːno] is a type of classical female singing voice and has the highest vocal range of all voice types. The soprano's vocal range (using scientific pitch notation) is from approximately middle C (C4) = 261 Hz to "high A" (A5) =880 Hz in choral music, or to "soprano C" (C6, two octaves above middle C) =1046 Hz or higher in operatic music. In four-part chorale style harmony, the soprano takes the highest part, which usually encompasses the melody. The soprano voice type is generally divided into the coloratura, soubrette, lyric, spinto, and dramatic soprano.
Srebrenka "Sena" Jurinac was a Bosnia-born Croatian-Austrian operatic soprano.
Bruscantini enjoyed a long and distinguished career, singing well into his 60s, making his belated Metropolitan Opera debut in 1981, as Taddeo in L'italiana in Algeri, in his two seasons at the Met he also sang Bartolo in Il barbiere di siviglia and Dulcamara in L'elisir d'amore. He also left an impressive discography, recording as late as 1986, the role of Don Romualdo in Donizetti's Emilia di Liverpool for Opera Rara.
Sesto Bruscantini died in his native Civitanova Marche, on 4 May 2003, aged 83.
Luis Ernesto Alva y Talledo, better known as Luigi Alva is a Peruvian operatic tenor. A Mozart and Rossini specialist, Alva achieved fame with roles such as Don Ottavio, Count Almaviva and Fenton. He retired from the stage in 1989.
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Rolando Panerai is an Italian baritone, particularly associated with the Italian repertory. He was born in Campi Bisenzio, near Florence, Italy and studied with Frazzi in Florence and Armani and Giulia Tess in Milan. Panerai made his stage debut in 1947 in Naples at the Teatro di San Carlo as the pharaon in Rossini's Mosè in Egitto. Other debuts, both in 1951, were as Simon Boccanegra in Simon Boccanegra in Bergamo and as Sharpless in Madama Butterfly at La Scala in Milan. He sang in many rarely performed Verdi operas on radio broadcast for RAI in 1951, such as Giovanna d'Arco, La battaglia di Legnano, and Aroldo. Later roles included most of the great Verdi baritone roles, particularly the title character in Rigoletto, The Count of Luna in Il trovatore, Giorgio Germont in La traviata, Marquis of Posa in Don Carlos, Amonasro in Aida.
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