Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

Jan 4, 2016

Umberto di Lelio (Bass) (Roma 1890 † 1946 Milano)

He was a pupil of Antonio Cotogni in Rome. He began his career in the smaller towns opera houses and already in 1916 sang at the Teatro Petruzzelli of Bari in U. Giordano’s ’’Fedora’’ and ‘’Ernani’’ of  G. Verdi. He had his first big success in 1920 at the Teatro Massimo in Palermo. In 1921 he sang at La Scala in Milan the part of Pistol in G. Verdi’s  ‘’Falstaff’’ and had there till 1941 a long and successful career. In 1923 he sang  at  La Scala in the premiere of the opera ‘’Debora e Jaele’’ by I. Pizzetti. In 1927 he appeared there in ‘’Ariane et Barbe-Bleue’’ by Dukas. in 1929 again at La Scala he performed in the première of N. Rimsky-Korsakov’s ‘’The Tale of Tsar Saltan’’. At La Scala his repertoire included Klingsor in ‘’Parsifal’’, Sparafucile in ‘’Rigoletto’’, Warlaam in ‘’Boris Godunov’’, Lodovico in ‘’Othello’’, Sulpice in ‘’La Fille du régiment’’, Count in ‘’Nozze di Figaro’’, Traveller in ‘’Siegfried’’ and Orest in ‘’Elektra’’, he sang this part at La Scala under the management of composer Richard Strauss. In the 1924-1925 season he took part in the guest performance tour through Australia under the management of prima donna Nellie Melba. In 1923 he appeared at the Arena di Verona. In 1935 he made guest appearance in Rio de Janeiro. In 1936 he sang at the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genova in the Italian première of Richard Strauss’s opera ‘’Arabella’’. He achieved his biggest success as an interpreter of Buffo parts, however, he also appeared with great success as Ramphis in ‘’Aida’’ and King Heinrich in ‘’Lohengrin’’. His daughter, Loretta di Lelio, became a known soprano; she married tenor Franco Corelli.

Chronology of some appearances

1922 Milano Teatro alla Scala Debora e Jaele (Hever)
1926 Parma Teatro Regio Norma (Oroveso)
1926 Parma Teatro Regio La Leggenda di Natale (Badro)
1930 Roma Teatro Reale dell'Opera Don Pasquale (Don Pasquale)
1933 Venezia Teatro La Fenice Don Pasquale (Don Pasquale)
1933 Venezia Teatro La Fenice Crepuscolo degli Dei (Hagen)
1934 Venezia Teatro La Fenice Don Pasquale (Don Pasquale)
1934 Venezia Teatro La Fenice Aida (Ramfis)
1938 Venezia Teatro La Fenice Elisir d'amore (Dulcamara)


HMV, Milano 1919
Complete Barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini) with Edoardo Taliani, Malvina Pereira, Ernesto Badini and Davide Carnevali

Columbia, Milano 1927-11
Sonnambula (Bellini): Vi ravviso D5749 WB1696
Sonnambula (Bellini): Tu non sai D5749 WB1698

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