Eugenio Giraldoni


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(b Marseilles, 20 May 1871; d Helsinki, 23/24 June 1924). Italian baritone, son of the baritone leone Giraldoni and the soprano and violinist Carolina Ferni (1839–1926). Eugenio was taught by his mother and made his début in 1891 as Escamillo at Barcelona. He became well known throughout Italy and in South America and in 1900 was given the role of Scarpia in the world première of Tosca at the Costanzi in Rome. He repeated the part later that year at La Scala and in other houses including Covent Garden (1906), but was generally considered to exaggerate the sadism and underplay the refinement of the part. In his single season at the Metropolitan, in 1904, he was also found somewhat coarse in his performances. He nevertheless continued to be in great demand in Europe and South America. He was a widely admired Boris, a part he first sang at Buenos Aires in 1909. He was also Italy's first Yevgeny Onegin in 1900 and Golaud in the Rome première of Pelléas et Mélisande. Other roles outside the standard Italian repertory were Hans Sachs, Telramund, Ochs and Anton Rubinstein's Demon. He was considered the best singer of Gérard in Andrea Chénier and in 1906 took part in the première of Alberto Franchetti's La figlia di Iorio. He retired from the stage in 1921 and thereafter taught in Helsinki. His recordings, magnificent in quality of voice, often show him as a colourful stylist too; strangely, they do not include any excerpts from Tosca.

From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Opera.

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