Carmen Melis


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Renata Tebaldi (1922—2004)

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(b Cagliari, 16 Aug 1885; d Longone al Segino, nr Como, 19 Dec 1967). Italian soprano. Her teachers included Antonio Cotogni and Jean De reszke. She made her début as Thaïs at Novara in 1905 and had a great success at Naples the following year in Pietro Mascagni's Iris; she also sang in Rome and toured Russia and Poland in 1907. From 1909 to 1913 she was with Oscar Hammerstein's company at the Manhattan Opera House, New York, where she was admired for her Latin temperament as well as for her voice. In Boston her roles included Desdemona and Helen of Troy, with the Giacomo Puccini heroines at the centre of her repertory. She sang at Covent Garden in 1913, appearing in Pagliacci and La bohème with Caruso, and giving her part in I gioielli della Madonna ‘all its romance and savagery’ (The Times). On her return in 1929 the voice had faded, and she contributed an overplayed Musetta and an undersung Tosca. She remained a favourite for many years at La Scala, where in 1924 she sang Ginevra in the première of Umberto Giordano's La cena delle beffe, and in Buenos Aires, where she undertook more unexpected roles such as the Marschallin and Sieglinde. She later taught, numbering Renata Tebaldi among her pupils. Her recordings, which include a complete Tosca (1929), show a voice of beautiful quality in the middle register, used with warmth and imagination.

From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Opera.

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