Four Famous Italian Basses

Artist Luciano Neroni
Title Four Famous Italian Basses
Release Date Sunday, September 10, 2006
Genre Classical > Choro
Composers Arrigo Boito, Vincenzo Bellini, Giacomo Puccini, Giuseppe Verdi, Antonio Carlos Gomes, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Amilcare Ponchielli, Gaetano Donizetti, Gioacchino Rossini, Charles Gounod
Songwriters Giulio Neri, Luciano Neroni / Giuseppe Manachini, Italo Tajo, Luciano Neroni, Cesare Siepi, Giulio Neri / Gianni Poggi
Copyright © Preiser Records

Promotion Text

Lebendige Vergangenheit

Luciano Neroni, born on 11 February 1909 in Ripatransone, got his training from the vocal pedagogues Gambardella and Giacopetti. In 1931 he made his debut in a concert given by the great Beniamino Gigli at the Teatro Ventidio Basso in Ascoli Piceno. He continued his studies and made his opera debut in 1933 at the Teatro Persiani in Recanati as Basilio in "The Barber of Seville". Then he sang at the Teatro Petruzzelli in Bari and the theatre in Ancona, andin the 1934-35 season he appeared at several of the smaller ltalian opera houses. In 1935 he made a guest appearance at the Bucharest National Opera as Ramphis in "Aida" and as Oroveso in "Norma". In 1936 he appeared at the Teatro Adriano in Rome as Sparafucile in "Rigoletto" and the Commendatore in "Don Giovanni". He was then given a contract by the ltalian radio company EIAR for several opera performances, two of which were also produced as records, "Turandot" (1938) and "Lucia di Lammermoor" (1939). After guest appearances at the Teatro Regio in Parma and the Teatro Coccia in Novara, he made his debut at La Scala in Milan in 1940 as the Marchese di Calatrava in "La forza del destino". In the 1941-42 season he also sang the Landgrave in "Tannhäuser" and Timur in "Turandot". In 1942 he was heard in Rossini's "La gazza ladra" at the Teatro Reale in Rome. After the Second World War his career advanced quickly with appearances at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples, the Teatro Massimo in Palermo, the Teatro Bellini in Catania (where one of his roles was Wotan in "Die Walküre"), at the Teatro Comunale in Florence, the Teatro Comunale in Bologna, the Teatro Vittorio Emanuele in Turin and other Italian opera houses. In 1950 he gave a concert in Lisbon. He was engaged by the Metropolitan Opera in New York for the next season, but he died totally unexpectedly of a heart attack in his home town on 23 October 1951. Giulio Neri was born on 21 May 1909 in Turrita di Siena. He studied for a year with the singing teacher Ferraresi in Florence and then for three years at the Conservatory of the City of Rome. His stage debut in 1935 was as an extra at the Teatro delle Quattro Fontane in Rome. After singing small parts at opera houses in Italy, he gradually became one of the best-known Italian basses of his generation - From 1938 until shortly before his death he was leading bass at the Rome Opera. In 1945 he took part in the "Aida" performances at the Baths of Caracalla in Rome. He sang at La Scala, in Venice, Florence and Catania. After the Second World War he appeared as a guest at the Covent Garden Opera in London (in 1953 as Oroveso in "Norma" and Ramphis in "Aida"), at the Teatro Liceo in Barcelona, the Munich State Opera, the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires and the Rio de Janeiro Opera. From 1951 to 1957 he sang at the festivals in Verona. He was preparing to set out for a guest appearance in London when he died of a heart attack on 21 April 1958 in Rome. Neri had a virtually inexhaustible repertoire of serious and buffo roles, above all many major parts in operas by Verdi and Wagner. Among his most outstanding creations were Basilio in "The Barber of Seville", the eponymous hero in "Mefistofele" by Boito and the Grand Inquisitor in Verdi's "Don Carlo". Italo Tajo, born on 25 April 1915 in Pinerolo (Piemont), studied the violin and singing at the Conservatory in Turin with Nilde Stinchi-Bertozzi. He made his debut in 1935 at the Teatro Vittorio Emanuele in Turin as Fafner in "Das Rheingold" under Fritz Busch. Busch hired him for the Glyndeboume Festival that year, at which he sang in the chorus and appeared once as Bartolo in "The Marriage of Figaro". Then he had to do his military service. In 1939 he was back on the operatic stage, scoring big successes at major Italian houses. He began singing at La Scala in Milan in 1940, appearing there regularly until 1956, and at the Opera in Rome (1939-48). Later he was heard at the festivals in Verona (1952-54) and the Maggio musicale in Florence, where he sang until 1954. Italo Tajo began a major international career after the Second World War, with guest appearances in London, at the Grand Opera in Paris, the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires and at the leading German opera houses. From 1946 to 1950 he sang at the Chicago Opera, and from 1948 to 1950 at the San Francisco Opera. In 1951 he was heard at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples and then at the Grand Opera in Paris as Talbot in Verdi's "Giovanna d' Arco". His first period as a member of the Metropolitan Opera in New York lasted from 1948 to 1950. In those years he sang Figaro in "The Marriage of Figaro", Dulcamara in "L'Elisir d'amore", and Gianni Schicchi in Puccini's opera of that name. He was again at the Metropolitan after 1976 in buffo and character parts such as Alcindoro in "La boheme", the Verger in "Tosca", . and as Donizetti's Don Pasquale. Tajo had a very long career: in 1989 he sang the• Verger in "Tosca" at the Salzburg Festival, and in 1991 the same role marked his farewell to the stage of the Metropolitan. He died on 29 March 1993 in Cincinnati. Cesare Siepi was born on 10 February 1923 in Milan. To a large extent he was self­ taught and was a student at the Milan Conservatory only for a short time. He made his debut in 1941 in Schio near Venice as Sparafucile in Verdi's "Rigoletto". The war prevented any further career. In 1943 he fled to Switzerland for political reasons and was put in an internment camp. There his voice attracted attention, and he was allowed to take singing lessons in Lugano. In 1945 he resumed his career, scoring a huge success at the Teatro Fenice in Venice as Zaccaria in Verdi's …