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Virgilio Lazzari

(1887—1953)


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(b Assisi, 20 April 1887; d Castel Gandolfo, 4 Oct 1953). Italian bass, later naturalized American. He sang with the Vitale Operetta Company, 1908–11, then studied in Rome with Cotogni. He made his operatic début at the Teatro Costanzi, Rome, in 1914. After singing in South America, in 1917 he made his North American début at Boston. He sang with the Chicago Opera (1918–33), then made his Metropolitan début as Don Pédro (L'Africaine), remaining with the company until 1951 and singing 20 roles. From 1934 to 1939 he appeared at the Salzburg Festival, where he sang Pistol (Falstaff), Bartolo and Leporello, the role of his only Covent Garden appearance (1939). His most famous role was that of Archibaldo (Italo Montemezzi's L'amore dei tre re), which he sang first in 1916 in Mexico City and as late as 1953 in Genoa. Although not blessed with a great voice, Lazzari was considered one of the best singing actors in his particular repertory.

From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Opera.


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