Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

Oct 16, 2011

Antonio Pini-Corsi (Baritone) (Zara 1858 – Milan 1918)

He was born into a musical family in what is now Croatia. (Many of his relatives sang professionally, most notably his brother Gaetano, who was a successful operatic tenor.). He made his professional opera debut in Cremona in 1878 as Dandini in La Cenerentola. Pini-Corsi subsequently appeared in opera houses throughout Italy for the next 15 years, specializing in the comic operas of Rossini and Donizetti. He made his La Scala debut in 1892 as Don Rolando Ximenes in the first performance of the revised version of Alberto Franchetti's Cristoforo Colombo. Pini-Corsi's career was now booming. In 1893, he returned to La Scala to portray the title role in Giuseppe Verdi's Rigoletto opposite Nellie Melba as Gilda. Shortly thereafter he portrayed Ford in the premiere of Verdi's final opera, Falstaff, at La Scala on 9 February 1893 at the behest of the composer, who admired his vocal skill and stage craft. During the course of that same year he also sang the role of Ford in Genoa, Rome, Venice and Brescia. He also made an appearance at the Vienna State Opera. On 14 May 1894 he made his Royal Opera House at Covent Garden debut as Lescaut in Puccini's Manon Lescaut. Five days later he returned to the house to sing Ford in the company's first production of Falstaff. He then joined the roster of the Opéra de Monte-Carlo in 1895, singing there on and off for two years. On 1 February 1896, Pini-Corsi portrayed the role of Schaunard in the original production of Puccini's La bohème at the Teatro Regio Torino. He later reprised the role in several productions throughout Italy. He appeared in another new opera, Franchetti's Signor di Pourceaugnac, in both Genoa and Rome in 1898. The following year he made his debut in the United States when, on November 20, 1899, he performed to acclaim at the New York Metropolitan Opera as Bartolo in Il Barbiere di Siviglia. He sang with the company for the next two years, appearing as Alfio in Cavalleria Rusticana, Bartolo in Le Nozze di Figaro, Cajus in Die Lustigen Weiber von Windsor, Dr. Dulcamara in L'Elisir d'Amore, Leporello in Don Giovanni, Masetto in Don Giovanni, Monostatos in Die Zauberflöte, Sacristan in Tosca, and the title role in Don Pasquale. In 1902, Pini-Corsi returned to Italy where he spent seven years, performing mostly at La Scala. Most notably he took part in the premiere performances of Umberto Giordano's Siberia (1903) and Franchetti's La figlia di Iorio (1906), and appeared in Catalani's La Wally (1905) and in Der Freischütz (1906). He also was a frequent guest artist at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo, appearing in productions with them in 1903, 1907, and 1909. In 1907 he performed at the Berlin State Opera and in 1908 performed in several operas throughout South America including performances at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. That same year he also made a few appearances at the Vienna State Opera. In 1909 he sang Don Pasquale to Alice Nielsen's Norina with the Boston Opera Company. On November 16, 1909 Pini-Corsi returned to the Met to portray the role of Bailiff in Werther. He remained with the Met until 1914, appearing in numerous world premieres, including those of the Monk in Walter Damrosch's Cyrano, Happy in La fanciulla del West, the Innkeeper in Engelbert Humperdinck's Königskinder, and Mauprat in Victor Herbert's Madeline. He also appeared in the American premieres of two operas by Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari, Arnolfo in L'amore medico and Pantalone in Le donne curiose, and that of Crisogono in Alberto Franchetti's Germania. His other roles at the Met included Alcindoro in La bohème, Barnaba in Il maestro di cappella, Benoit in La bohème, Don Pasquale, Ford, Geronte in Manon Lescaut, Larivaudière in La Fille de Madame Angot, the Night Watchman in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Sacristan in Tosca, Schaunard in La bohème, and Sir Tristram in Martha. Pini-Corsi returned to Italy in 1914. In 1915 he sang Don Pasquale and Dulcamara at the Teatro Regio Parma. His last opera appearance was in 1917 in Rossini's Il Signor Bruschino at the Teatro Dal Verme, Milan, when his voice, if not as powerful or as steady as it had been 40 years previously, was still as agile as ever and used with the same keen intelligence that had always distinguished his performances.

Chronology of some appearances

1882 Vicenza Teatro Garibaldi Concerto
1883 Genova Teatro Paganini Figlia del Reggimento (Sulpizio)
1886 Catania Politeama Pacini Forza del Destino (Melitone)
1888 Milano Teatro Carcano Fra' Diavolo (Rockburg)
1892 Livorno Teatro Avvalorati Cavalleria Rusticana (Alfio)
1894 Milano Teatro La Scala Cristoforo Colombo di A.Franchetti (Rolando)
1896 Torino Teatro Regio Boheme (Schaunard)
1898 Genova Teatro Carlo Felice Lakme
1900 Torino Teatro Carignano Don Pasquale (Don Pasquale)
1904 Milano Teatro La Scala Griselda di J.Massenet (Priore)
1907 Novara Teatro Coccia Falstaff (Ford)
1909 Montecarlo Grand Theatre Iris (Kyoto)
1911 New York Teatro Metropolitan I Maestri cantori di Norimberga (Guardiano Notturno)
1914 New York Teatro Metropolitan Madeleine di V.Herbert (Cavaliere di Mauprat)
1917 Madrid Teatro Reale Barbiere di Siviglia (Don Bartolo)
1918 Montecarlo Grand Theatre Matrimonio Segreto (Geronimo)



G&T, Milano 1903-12?
Siberia (Giordano): Cani ed avari, fuori i denari 52774 Con392

Columbia, Milano 1904?
Barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini) Largo al factotum 10245

G&T, Milano 1905-10/11
Barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini): Manca un foglio 052099 563c

Victor, USA 1905-10/11
Barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini): Pace e gioia with Emilio Perea 52569 7351b
Don Pasquale (Donizetti): Aspetta, aspetta, cara sposina with Giovanni Polese 62103 7560½b

G&T, Milano 1906-05
Don Pasquale (Donizetti): Vieni, cara sposina with Antonio Pini-Corsi  54299 8005b
Forza del destino (Verdi): Toh, toh! Poffare il mondo! 2-52557 8006½b
Don Pasquale (Donizetti): Signorina in tanta fretta with Emilia Corsi  054094  606c
Don Pasquale (Donizetti): Son nov'ore with  Ernesto Badini 054091 609c
Barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini): Numero quindici with Fernando De Lucia 54293 8053b
Barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini): All'idea di quel metallo with Fernando De Lucia 054080 619c
Barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini): Ah qual colpo with Fernando De Lucia and Giuseppina Huguet 054083 630c

Victor, USA 1906-05
Don Pasquale (Donizetti): Un fuoco insolito with Ernesto Badini 62104 8037b

G&T, Milano 1906-12?
Don Pasquale (Donizetti): E' rimasto là with Linda Brambilla , Gaetano Pini-Corsi and Augusto Scipioni  52458 9554b
Don Pasquale (Donizetti): heti cheti immantinente with Augusto Scipioni 54330 9556b
Don Pasquale (Donizetti): Via da brava  with Linda Brambilla, Gaetano Pini-Corsi and Augusto  Scipioni 58305 928c

G&T, Milano 1907-06
Barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini): Guarda, Don Bartolo with Huguet, E. Badini & G Pini-Corsi 54350 10638b

Pathe, Milano 1912?
Elisir d'amore (Donizetti):  Udite, udite, o rustici, pt 1  84538-1 10078 
Elisir d'amore (Donizetti): Udite, udite, o rustici, pt 2  84538-2 10078

1 comment:

  1. MOLTO BELLO!!! Thank you my Friend for sharing this Valuable Biographical information.