Luciano Pavarotti was an operatic tenor who went on to become one of the most loved and acclaimed tenors of all time. Nicknamed the King of the High Cs, Pavarotti is regarded as one of the best tenors of the 20th century. Also a well-known humanitarian, Luciano Pavarotti hosted annual charity concerts to raise money for various UN causes.
Widely regarded as an opera singer with the most beautiful voice, Andrea Bocelli is an Italian record producer and singer-songwriter. He serves as an inspiration to many as he went on to become one of the most popular Italian singers of all time, despite losing his vision at age 12. He has sold more than 90 million records worldwide.
Enrico Caruso was an operatic tenor who performed at prominent opera houses in the Americas and Europe. His commercially released recordings made him an international star in the early-1900s. Thanks to his illustrious career that spanned 25 years, Caruso became one of the most popular entertainers of his generation. In 1987, he was honored with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
One of the greatest Italian basses, opera singer Cesare Siepi is remembered for playing the iconic title role of Don Giovanni. Initially a bank teller, he made his stage debut with Verdi’s Rigoletto. Apart from performing legendary venues such as La Scala, he also performed at the Vienna State Opera and on Broadway.
Italian soprano who soared to fame in the 1950s and 1960s with her performances at Milan’s iconic La Scala. She was 12 when she began her concert performances and later soared to fame with her appearances at venues such as Paris Opera and Covent Garden. She retired at 36 to focus on her family.
Legendary Italian operatic baritone Piero Cappuccilli initially wished to become an architect but switched to singing later. After gaining fame with his performances in cities such as London, Paris, and Vienna, and his impeccable Verdi interpretations, he was forced to end his career due to an automobile accident.
Legendary Italian opera singer Giulia Grisi was the opera world’s prima donna for over 3 decades. She was 17 when she made her debut with Zelmira. She later also soared to fame in Paris and London. She later married opera singer and Italian nobleman and knight Giovanni Matteo Mario.
Italian opera singer Luigi Lablache is remembered for his performance as Leporello in Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Admired for his bass voice, he had a successful career in London and Paris, too, playing Geronimo in Il matrimonio segreto. He married fellow singer Teresa Pinotti, and many of his children too were singers.
Italian operatic tenor Ferrucio Tagliavini was compared to opera legends Tito Schipa and Beniamino Gigli for his mastery of the lyric-opera technique. He is remembered for his iconic roles such as those of Ernesto in Don Pasquale and Fritz in L'Amico Fritz. He also appeared in opera films, such as The Barber of Seville.
Italian operatic mezzo-soprano Faustina Bordoni was a prima donna of the 18th century. Known both for her vocal range and her beauty, she was a noblewoman who made her musical debut with Ariodante. She was a prominent rival of fellow opera singer Francesca Cuzzoni, and both were satirized in John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera.
Legendary Italian baritone Giuseppe Taddei was just 21 when he made his debut at the Rome Opera. However, his Metropolitan Opera debut came at the age of 69. He performed in many iconic operas, such as The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni, and was equally successful in both comedy and drama.
Baroque-era Italian operatic soprano Francesca Cuzzoni was also known as a major rival of fellow opera singer Faustina Bordoni. Known for her iconic roles such as those of Dalinda in Ariodante and Teofane in Ottone, she immortalized many roles penned by composer George Frideric Handel. She, however, died in poverty.
Italian tenor Giovanni Battista Rubini who was a major figure of the bel canto era romantic style of opera singing. He was only 12 when he worked as a musician at the Riccardi Theatre and later gained immense fame in Europe. Most of his performances were for Vincenzo Bellini’s operas.
Italian nobleman Giovanni Matteo Mario was a talented opera singer who had a flourishing career in London and Paris. He was the opera partner of popular soprano Giulia Grisi. Initially an officer in the Piedmontese Guard, he later left the army for his passion, opera. However, he suffered in poverty in his final days.
Italian opera singer Marietta Alboni is remembered for her impeccable bel canto performances. After achieving considerable fame with her role in Rossini’s Le Siège de Corinthe at Milan’s La Scala, she toured Austria, Germany, Spain, Russia, and the US, and eventually retired due to her obesity issues.
The first star in the history of opera, Italian singer and actor Anna Renzi soared to fame in the 17th century. After gaining attention with her Venetian debut as Deidamia in Sacrati’s La finta pazza, she also featured in poet and intellectual Giulio Strozzi’s writings. She was the highest-paid singer of her time.
Italian operatic baritone Antonio Tamburini was born to a bandmaster father and was trained in music since childhood. He was 18 when he made his debut with La contessa di colle erbose. After gaining fame with his performances in Italy and Britain, he spent the final years of his career in Russia.
Italian operatic soprano Cecilia Fusco is remembered for her performances at Milan’s La Scala. The daughter of renowned film composer Giovanni Fusco, she made her musical debut with Verdi's Rigoletto at Teatro Margherita. She had also won hearts in London, New York, and Paris, among other cities.
Italian soprano Eugenia Ratti is remembered for her soubrette roles, primarily in interpretations of Cimarosa and Mozart. Starting her stage career with Sestri Levante, she later performed at iconic venues such as La Scala and the San Francisco Opera. She had also performed in Paris, Munich, and Vienna, among other cities.