Giovanni Davide


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(b Naples, 15 Oct 1790; d St Petersburg, 1864). Italian tenor. Son and pupil of the tenor Giacomo Davide, he appeared with his father at Siena in 1808 in Simon Mayr's Adelaide di Guesclino. Engagements in Brescia, Padua and Turin followed, and in 1814 he created Narciso in Il turco in Italia at La Scala, the first of many Rossini premières in which he took part. Two years later he went to Naples and sang in the first performances of Otello (as Roderigo, 1816), Ricciardo e Zoraide (Ricciardo, 1818), Ermione (Orestes, 1819), La donna del lago (James V, 1819) and Zelmira (Ilo, 1822). He also sang in Tancredi, La gazza ladra, Matilde di Shabran, Bianca e Falliero, Mosè in Egitto, Semiramide and Otello (in the title role). In 1830 he appeared in Paris, and the following season in London, but by then his voice, notable for its extreme agility and amazing compass of three octaves up to b”, was beginning to decay. After his retirement he went to St Petersburg to direct the Italian opera.

From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Opera.

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