Antonio Selva


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(b Padua, 1824; d Padua, Sept 1889). Italian bass. He was a struggling 19-year-old member of the chorus at La Fenice, Venice (with some experience of singing leading parts in a minor theatre) when Giuseppe Verdi in an emergency chose him for the important comprimario part of Don Ruy Gomez De Silva in Ernani (1844). This was the type of the granitic Verdi bass; he went on to sing other such parts, for instance Zaccaria in Nabucco, in leading Italian theatres and at the Théâtre Italien, Paris. At S Carlo he sang Balthazar in La favorite (1848) and also created Count Walter – another comprimario part – in Luisa Miller (1849). He sang frequently in Madrid between 1864 and 1874.

From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Opera.

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