Francesco Navarrini


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(b Cittadella, nr Padua, 26 Dec 1853; d Milan, 21 or 23 Feb 1923). Italian bass. He studied in Milan and made his début at Treviso (1878) in Lucrezia Borgia. After a season at Malta, he sang in various Italian cities, acquiring a large repertory and making his first appearance at La Scala in 1883 as Alvise in La Gioconda. His portrayal there of the Grand Inquisitor in the first Italian presentation of Don Carlos was highly praised, and he soon took his place as the theatre's principal lyric bass. He sang Lodovico in the première of Otello (1887) and was the Pogner of the production under Arturo Toscanini of Die Meistersinger (1898). Abroad he appeared in London, Paris and Madrid, and from 1894 to 1912 was a favourite in Russia. At Monte Carlo his singing of the Slander Song in Il barbiere di Siviglia was a highlight of the 1900 season, and in 1902 he visited the USA as a member of Pietro Mascagni's touring company. His virtues as a singer are demonstrated in his 16 recordings of 1907: a fine, sonorous voice, evenly produced, and exemplifying the traditional graces of the best Italian school.

From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Opera.

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