(b Nicolosi, nr Catania, 6 Oct 1876; d Zoagli, nr Rapallo, 27 May 1929). Italian tenor. He first appeared at the age of 13 as a violinist in his native city. After some experience in operetta he made his operatic début, by his own account, at Patras, Greece (c 1896–8), singing various leading Italian roles. Serious studies with the conductor Luigi Mancinelli led to appearances in Genoa (1900) and soon afterwards at the S Carlo, Naples. In 1901 (and again in 1904 and 1909) he sang at Covent Garden; his success was still greater in Buenos Aires, Warsaw, Moscow and St Petersburg, and greatest of all in Spain. His warm, beautiful timbre and impassioned delivery (clearly evident in his many Fonotipia records made between 1907 and 1910) were helped by vivid enunciation as well as by a romantic appearance. He retired in 1918 and made his final public appearance, once more as a violinist, at Rapallo in 1926. Also a composer, he wrote songs, chamber music and a Poema sinfonico for orchestra.
From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.