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Forgotten Opera Singers
Aug 21, 2011
Italo Cristalli (Tenor) (Castel San Giovanni, Piacenza 1879 - Castel San Giovanni, Piacenza 1932)
One of the best italian tenors of the early 20th century Italo Cristalliwas born in Piacenza. He made his opera debut in ''La Boheme'' in Torino in the year 1900. He studied at the Musical High School of Piacenza with Tito Piroli and he studied in Florence with the singer-composer Corrado Pavesi Negri. Cristalli enjoyed a substantial international career for many years. He was successful as a verismo singer, with a distinct sense of style, clarity and command in his voice. He was one of the few Italian singers who had a voice for the works of Wagner. He performed throughout Italy and in 1911 he joined Pietro Mascagni for a series of concerts in South America. He came to the United States and sang with the Metropolitan Opera of New York from 1913 to 1914. During his year with the Met, Cristalli was one of the few tenors who had the honour of singing with the great conductor Toscanini, the other tenors being Enrico Caruso and Giovanni Martinelli. He sang tenor in an opening act before Caruso on several nights, including his last performance with the Met in Atlanta, Georgia on May 2, 1914. By the mid-1920s Cristalli returned to his home town of Piacenza and only gave performances in smaller, out-of-the-way locations. He died at the early age of 52.