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Hipólito Lázaro

(1887—1974)


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(b Barcelona, 13 Dec 1887; d Barcelona, 14 May 1974). Spanish tenor. Success in amateur zarzuela performances, and a period with Adolfo Bracale's opera company in Eygpt led to his operatic début at Barcelona in La favorita. He then studied with Enrico Colli in Milan. In 1913 he sang in Pietro Mascagni's Isabeau at Genoa under the composer, who subsequently engaged him as Ugo for the première of his Parisina at La Scala. In 1914 he made his first tour of South America, where he enjoyed some of his greatest successes. He appeared at the Metropolitan in 1918, making a strong impression there with the high tessitura of I puritani. Back in Italy he received acclaim for his part (the Prince of Fleury) in the première of Mascagni's Il piccolo Marat at the Costanzi, Rome, in 1921, and he repeated his success, also under Mascagni, in Paris in 1928. He was Gianetto in the première of La cena delle beffe in 1924, but withdrew from further performances after disagreements with the composer, Umberto Giordano. He was engaged for the 1925–26 season by Bracale in Egypt when Mascagni was principal conductor. His contentious disposition probably hindered the development of his career in the 1930s, when he appeared in Santa Cruz de Tenerife although he continued to sing to the end of his life, giving a farewell concert in New York in 1944 and making his final operatic appearances in Havana in 1950. A bright, penetrating voice with magnificent high notes is heard on recordings that also show him to have been capable of some delightful as well as some deplorable stylistic effects. He also wrote an egotistical autobiography, El libro de mi vida (Havana, 1949, 2/1968).

From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Opera.


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