Italian baritone, who was one of the finest singing actors of his day.
After reading law at Padua University, Gobbi studied singing in Rome with Giulio Crimi, having first to overcome the two most dreadful afflictions of a singer – a stammer and asthma. He made his opera debut at Gubbio as Rodolfo in Bellini's La sonnambula in 1935 and the following year won an international singing competition in Vienna and sang Germont in Verdi's La traviata at the Teatro Adriano in Rome. His performance of the title role in Berg's Wozzeck in its first Italian performance (1942) was an outstanding success. The same year he sang Belcore in Donizetti's L'Elisir d'amore at La Scala and made his Covent Garden debut in the same role in 1951. Gobbi particularly excelled in Verdi's baritone roles as well as in Scarpia in Puccini's Tosca, which he sang with Maria Callas in memorable performances in 1964. In 1965 he produced Verdi's Simon Boccanegra in Chicago and at Covent Garden. He made twenty-six films and his autobiography was published in 1979.