José Luccioni


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(b Bastia, 14 Oct 1903; d Marseilles, 5 Oct 1978). Corsican tenor. He abandoned his formal education to work for Citroën motors, but while doing his military service he was encouraged to seek proper voice teachers. He studied in Paris with Léon David and Léon Escalaïs, and won second prize in a singing competition, whereupon he was engaged to sing at the Paris Opéra, making his début in 1931 in Alfred Bruneau's Virginie. Success came to him the following year in Rouen, as Cavaradossi. He was re-engaged at the Opéra, where for the next 15 years he became the leading heroic tenor. His international career began in Monte Carlo, where he sang Dmitry opposite Chaliapin as Boris. He also appeared in Chicago, Barcelona, Rome (where, in 1936, he created Franco Alfano's Cyrano de Bergerac) and at Covent Garden, where he sang Don José to Supervia's Carmen and Calaf opposite Turner as Turandot. Among his other roles were Matho in Ernest Reyer's Salammbô, Otello, which he sang 120 times at the Opéra, and Samson, which he recorded complete in 1947. Luccioni's true tenor voice was matched by a compelling dramatic skill. He also made two films, Colomba (1933) and Le bout de la route (1949).

From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Opera.

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