Raffaele Mirate


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(b Naples, 3 Sept 1815; d Sorrento, Nov 1895). Italian tenor. He studied with Crescentini and made his début in 1837 at the Teatro Nuovo, Naples, in Gaetano Donizetti's Torquato Tasso. He went on singing the Rossini-Bellini-Donizetti repertory – at the Théâtre Italien, Paris, La Scala (Amenophis in Rossini's Mosè in Egitto, 1840), and elsewhere – but in 1845 appeared in Rome in Verdi roles (Jacopo in I due Foscari and Charles VII in Giovanna d’Arco). Verdi's librettist F. M. Piave compared him to the the previously supreme lyric tenor, Moriani. As the highest paid singer at La Fenice, Venice, in 1850 and 1851 he created, in the latter year, the Duke in Giuseppe Verdi's Rigoletto. A more forceful Duke than some later tenors, he was said to have a brilliant and intense timbre and incisive phrasing; Verdi approved of his singing the heavier part of Manrico in Il trovatore (1853–4, Venice; 1855, Milan). He sang in Boston and New York in 1855, in Buenos Aires in 1857 and 1860, retired in 1861, but appeared again in 1863–6 at the S Carlo, Naples, where he sang Leicester in Maria Stuarda (1865) and took part in the first performance of Saverio Mercadante's Virginia (1866); by then he was in serious decline.

From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Opera.

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