Titi Gobbi

Titi Gobbi

Italian baritone
Date of Birth: 24.10.1913
Country: Italy

Biography of Tito Gobbi

Tito Gobbi was an Italian baritone and singer, born in Bassano del Grappa, in the province of Veneto, into a merchant family. He studied under tenor Giulio Crimi, a soloist at the Metropolitan Opera. In 1936, he won first prize at the International Vocalists Competition in Vienna. He made his debut in 1937 on the stage of the Roman theater "Adriano" in the role of Georges Germont. From 1942, he performed at La Scala, making his debut in the role of Belcore in Donizetti's "L'elisir d'amore". In the same season, he performed the role of Wozzeck in Berg's opera. From 1950 to 1974, he regularly sang at Covent Garden. He first performed in the United States in San Francisco in 1948 and joined the Metropolitan Opera in 1956, debuting in the role of Scarpia. In 1951, he toured South America with Maria Callas. He performed at the Salzburg Festival (as Don Giovanni and Falstaff) and at the "Arena di Verona" festival (from 1954). In 1970, he was a jury member at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. Gobbi was one of the most outstanding baritones of his time. He had a flexible voice, captivating with its richness of nuances and refined taste. The singer had a repertoire of about 100 roles, but he was especially famous as an unparalleled master of bel canto. Gobbi brilliantly succeeded in both dramatic and comic roles, earning a reputation as an exceptional singer-actor and a master of transformation. Among his best roles were Falstaff, Iago, Simon Boccanegra, Figaro ("Il barbiere di Siviglia" by Rossini), Amonasro, Rigoletto, Tonio, Guillaume Tell, and Gérard in Giordano's "Andrea Chénier". Gobbi performed the role of Baron Scarpia in Puccini's "Tosca" over 900 times! His partners on stage included the legendary Maria Callas, Giuseppe Di Stefano, and others. Tito Gobbi's career was one of the longest in the history of vocal art. His last performance took place in 1978 in the opera "The Oracle" by Leoncavallo, in the role of Kim-Fen. The singer appeared in 26 films, including "L'elisir d'amore", "Pagliacci" (director M. Costa, 1947-48), "Rigoletto" (director C. Gallone, 1946), and "Il barbiere di Siviglia" (1955). From the second half of the 1960s, Gobbi also worked as an opera director, staging several productions at the Chicago Opera (1965, "Simon Boccanegra"; 1966, "Otello"; 1968, "Falstaff", and others). He wrote several books, including "The World of Italian Opera" and his memoirs "My Life". Among his many recordings, notable ones include the leading roles in "Falstaff" (conductor Karajan) and "Rigoletto" (conductor Serafin, both on EMI), the rarely performed Puccini opera "Le Villi" (conductor Maazel, Sony, in the role of the Narrator), and the role of Iago (conductor Erede, Memories).

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