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Forgotten Opera Singers
Dec 25, 2011
Giovanni Gravina (Bass) (Italy 1872 – Havana, Cuba 1912)
He began his stage career approximately in 1895 in Italy. In 1902 he sang for the first time at La Scala in ‘’Il Trovatore’’ as a partner of Rosa Caligaris, Julian Biel and Antonio Magini-Coletti. Here he also performed on 11. 3. 1892 in the premiere of the opera ‘’Germania’’ of Franchetti with Enrico Caruso, Amelia Pinto and Mario Sammarco. During the following years he was successful in Italy like in South America, above all, however, in Russia, where he appeared almost annually together with the great baritone Mattia Battistini. In the 1907-08 season he was engaged by the Metropolitan Opera in New York, sang there, however, only in one performance as Sparafucile in ‘’Rigoletto’’. In 1912 he had in the opera of Boston big success in Verdi’s ‘’Aida’’ as a partner of Carmen Melis. His life ended tragically. He lost his right eye as a result of being stabbed by famous tenor Florencio Constantino during a swordplay in Rossini’s ‘’Il Barbiere di Siviglia’’ in Havana, Cuba. Constantino gave him 50 000 dollars. He suffered on the stage and died from injury after four weeks.
Chronology of some appearances
1896 Politeama Castagnola Catania ‘’Rigoletto’’ with Antonio Agresti, Emilia Balvetti and Emanuele Bucalo and Carmelina Vega
1896 Politeama Castagnola Catania ‘’Lucia di Lammermoor’’ wih with Antonio Agresti, Emilia Balvetti and Emanuele Bucalo and Carmelina Vega
1896 Politeama Pacini Catania ‘’Norma’’ with Antonio Ceppi, Elisa Ferrari, Hilda Brizzi and Emanuele Bucalo
1897 Teatro Nazionale Catania ‘’La Traviata’’ with Antonio Papa Annina Franco and Vittorio Ferraguti
1897 Teatro Nazionale Catania "La forza del destino’’ with De Salvin, Annina Franco, Giuseppe La Puma and Enrico Dondi
1902 La Scala Milan ‘’Il Trovatore’’ with Julian Biel, Rosa Caligaris and Antonio Magini-Coletti
1904 Teatro Comunale Bologna "I maestri cantori di Norimberga" with Giuseppe Krismer, Amina Matini, Gaetano Pini-Corsi, Giuseppe De Luca and Arturo pessina.
RECORDINGS FOR SALE
G&T, Milano 1902-04
Robert le diable (Meyerbeer): Evocazione 523421711b Simon Boccanegra (Verdi): Romanza 523671713b
Gioconda (Ponchielli): La turbini e farnetichi 523431714b