Opera Scotland

Beniamino Gigli Suggest updates

Born Recanati, 20 March 1890.

Died Rome, 30 November 1957.

Italian tenor.

Gigli was seen by some as the natural successor to Caruso and his voice retained its beauty throughout a long career.  While in the UK he didn't perform staged opera outside London, he made many tours between the wars and later up to 1955.  He was one of the reasons for opera's great popularity in Britain at that time.

He studied in Rome at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia and won the voice competition at Parma in 1914.  His debut that year was as Enzo La Gioconda at Rovigo.

He first sang at La Scala in 1918, and appeared regularly at the New York Met 1920-32 and 1938-9.

At Covent Garden  he sang during three seasons, 1930-1, 1938-9 and 1946.  He made a number of concert tours of Britain and was hugely popular.

He made many recordings of operatic arias and more popular items (that might be termed 'crossover'), as well as appearing in films.  He made several complete opera recordings including Verdi (Aïda, Requiem);  Leoncavallo (Pagliacci);  Puccini (Bohème Tosca);  Giordano (Andrea Chénier) and Mascagni (Cavalleria Rusticana, conducted by the conposer).

Roles in Scotland

Tenor
Celebrity Concert 1937

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