Giuseppe Nessi


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(b Bergamo, 25 Sept 1887; d Milan, 16 Dec 1961). Italian tenor. He studied at the Istituto Musicale G. Donizetti, Bergamo, and made his début at Saluzzo in 1910 as Alfredo. After a short career as a lyric tenor he began to specialize in character roles and became the leading Italian comprimario of his time. From 1921 to 1959 he sang regularly at La Scala, where he created Gobrias in Arrigo Boito's Nerone (1924), Pong in Turandot (1926), Dona Pasqua Polegana in Il campiello (1936) and roles in operas by Ildebrando Pizzetti and G. F. Malipiero among others. Two of his most notable parts were Bardolph in Falstaff, which he sang at Salzburg (1935–9), and Malatestino in Francesca da Rimini. He appeared frequently at Covent Garden (1927–37) and was the first London Pong and the first Covent Garden Trabuco (La forza del destino) in 1931. He appeared in most leading Italian opera houses and his repertory included Goro, Spoletta, Missail (Boris Godunov) and Vašek. He was a master of make-up and a gifted comic actor. He sang several of his comprimario roles in recordings associated with La Scala. His last appearance was as Pinellino (Gianni Schicchi) at La Scala in 1959.

From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Opera.

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