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.
Cecilia Bartoli is an Italian opera singer and recitalist. A coloratura mezzo-soprano, Bartoli is renowned for her interpretations of the works of popular composers like Mozart, Bellini, Handel, and Vivaldi. Also known for her versatility, Cecilia Bartoli can sing both mezzo and soprano roles. She is the recipient of several prestigious awards, including Grammy Awards.
Renata Tebaldi was an Italian lirico-spinto soprano. Regarded as one of the 20th century's greatest opera singers, Tebaldi is best remembered for her performances at popular opera houses like San Carlo, La Scala, and the Metropolitan Opera. Renata Tebaldi was the recipient of several prestigious awards, including a Grammy Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
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.
Franco Corelli was an Italian tenor best remembered for his powerhouse voice, clear timbre, electrifying top notes, remarkable performances, and passionate singing. Nicknamed the prince of tenors, Franco Corelli had a long and successful association with the Metropolitan Opera where he performed between 1961 and 1975.
also been the subject of other artworks such as plays and TV series.
Adelina Patti was an Italian opera singer who achieved immense poularity in the USA and Europe. One of the finest singers of her generation, Patti was also among the highest-paid at the peak of her career. Along with her near contemporaries Thérèse Tietjens and Jenny Lind, Adelina Patti is considered one of the most popular sopranos of all time.
Mirella Freni was an Italian operatic soprano who appeared at famous international opera houses over the course of her career, which spanned 50 years. Mirella Freni achieved international fame at the popular Glyndebourne Festival, where she performed as Adina in L'elisir d'amore and as Zerlina in Don Giovanni.
Beniamino Gigli was an Italian opera singer who is counted among the best tenors of his generation. He achieved international prominence in the 1920s after the demise of Enrico Caruso; Gigli became a much sought-after singer after Caruso's death and people even referred to him as Caruso Secondo.
Giuseppe Di Stefano was an Italian operatic tenor who was active from the mid 1940s to the early 1990s. Best remembered for his unique timbre, excellent diction, and passionate singing, Di Stefano was considered a successor of Beniamino Gigli. Over the course of his illustrious career, Giuseppe Di Stefano performed at popular opera houses, including the Royal Opera House.
Ezio Pinza was an Italian opera singer best remembered for his rich and sonorous voice. He is also remembered for his association with the Metropolitan Opera, where he spent 22 seasons and appeared in over 750 performances of 50 operas. Over the course of his career, Pinza also performed at the Royal Opera House, San Francisco Opera, and La Scala.
Renata Scotto is an Italian singer and opera director. Best known for her musicality and her sense of style, Scotto is regarded as one of the leading singers of her generation. She is the recipient of several awards, including the Anton Coppola Award and two Emmys. Renata Scotto has been working as a teacher since her retirement as a perfomer.
Seventeenth-century Italian composer Francesco Cavalli had taken up the surname of his Venetian patron Federico Cavalli. He was initially a soprano at the St. Mark's Basilica. While he mainly composed for operas, he also developed the early recitative-aria technique. Two of his most notable works were Erismena and L’Ormindo.
Mario del Monaco was an Italian operatic tenor who performed at the popular Metropolitan Opera between 1951 and 1959. Counted among the most popular Italian tenors of his generation, Mario del Monaco is best remembered for his virile appearance and ringing voice, which earned him the nickname Brass Bull of Milan.
Tito Gobbi was an Italian operatic baritone who performed at major opera houses throughout Italy. He is best remembered for his portrayal of the roles of Falstaff and Iago. After his retirement, Tito Gobbi focused on his writing skills and produced two books, including his autobiography titled Tito Gobbi: My Life.
Senesino was an Italian contralto castrato best remembered for his collaboration with George Frideric Handel. After making his debut at Venice in 1707, Senesino went on to establish himself as an important singer and performer.
Italian coloratura soprano Amelita Galli-Curci was a celebrated operatic-singer of the 20th-century whose recordings sold in great numbers. She garnered acclaim in Italy following her operatic debut 1906. For several years, Galli-Curci toured extensively in Europe, Russia and South America and later bolstered her career in the US working with Chicago Opera Association, Victor Talking Machine Company and Metropolitan Opera.
Italian operatic soprano Magda Olivero is counted among the greatest singers of the 20th-century. In her expansive career spanning almost five-decades, Olivero garnered acclaim appearing in opera houses across Italy and around the world including in the US and Europe. Some of her memorable performances include essaying leading roles in operas like Fedora, La Fanciulla del West and La Wally.
Carlo Bergonzi was an Italian operatic tenor best remembered for his performances of operas composed by Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi. He is credited with reviving many of Verdi's lesser known works. After his retirement, Carlo Bergonzi worked as a mentor for many other popular tenors like Berle Sanford Rosenberg, Giuliano Ciannella, Vincenzo La Scola, and Fernando del Valle among others.
Katia Ricciarelli is an Italian singer and actress. She has performed at major American and European opera houses, such as the Metropolitan Opera and the Royal Opera House. Apart from her opera performances, Ricciarelli has also appeared in many films; she is best known for her portrayal of Desdemona in the 1986 film adaptation of Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi's Otello.
Giuditta Pasta was an Italian opera singer. Such was her popularity that several roles were written specifically for her. Pasta is credited with originating iconic roles, such as Donizetti's Anna Bolena, Bellini's Amina in La sonnambula, and the title role in Norma. Giuditta Pasta also worked as a teacher and among her well-known pupils are Emma Albertazzi and Adelaide Kemble.
Rosa Feola is an Italian operatic soprano best known for her performance as Elvira in Vincenzo Bellini's opera, I puritani. Over the course of her career, Rosa Feola has performed at popular venues, such as the Metropolitan Opera and the Zürich Opera House.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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 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.
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 bass Antonio Montagnana is best-remembered for his powerful-voice and performances in George Frideric Handel’s operas. He went to London in 1731 and joined Handel's opera company where he performed and created many roles in Handel's works. Montagnana later worked with Opera of the Nobility before relocating to Madrid where he sang in operas and cantatas at the royal chapel.