Pia Tassinari


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(b Modigliana, 15 Sept 1903; d Faenza, 15 May 1995). Italian soprano, later mezzo-soprano. She studied in Bologna with Cesare Vezzani and in Milan, making her début in 1927 as Mimì at Casale Monferrato. In 1932 she appeared at La Scala in the première of Antonio Veretti's Il favorito del re, and in the 1936 season she sang Elsa and Margherita and created Lucia in Riccardo Zandonai's La farsa amorosa. After World War II she extended her career to the Americas, but continued to appear at La Scala until 1956. At the Metropolitan in 1947 she sang Tosca to the Cavaradossi of her husband, Ferruccio Tagliavini, but her voice was by then considered too worn. From 1952 she sang principally in mezzo roles such as Carmen and Charlotte, giving her last stage performance, as Carmen, in Philadelphia in 1962. Her best solo recordings are those of the 1930s, fresh of tone and generous without being excessive in emotion. She was also an excellent Alice Ford in the first recording of Falstaff (1930); and as a mezzo she sang an effective Ulrica in Un ballo in maschera (1954).

From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Opera.

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