Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

Dec 30, 2011

Francesco Marconi (Tenor) (Rome 1853/55 – Rome 1916)

He worked as a carpenter during his youth. The promising quality of his voice came to the attention of a singing teacher, Ottavio Bartolini, who gave him his first lessons. Later, he studied with a much more prominent pedagogue, Venceslao Persichini, at the Rome Conservatory. Persichini also taught Marconi's coevals Antonio Magini-Coletti (1855–1912) and Mattia Battistini (1856–1928) — both of whom were baritones with outstanding voices and, like Marconi, international reputations. Marconi made his operatic debut in the Spanish capital of Madrid in 1878 at the Teatro Real, singing the title role in Faust by Charles Gounod. His debut was a success, and he was soon appearing regularly at Italy's premier opera house, La Scala, Milan, with lucrative summer seasons spent performing in South America, mainly at Buenos Aires. He also sang with distinction at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London, for two seasons: 1883 and 1884. He was engaged to perform the United States, and in New York City in 1888, he appeared as the protagonist in the first American performances of Giuseppe Verdi's ‘’Otello’’. He failed, however, to achieve a real success on this particular occasion because his lyric voice was not equal to the heavyweight dramatic demands of Otello's score, which had been written by Verdi to suit the more powerful tones of his stentorian rival Tamagno. Thereafter, Marconi built his operatic career increasingly in Eastern Europe, singing often in Poland and Russia to considerable acclaim during the 1890s. While in Russia, he appeared at the imperial opera houses situated in Moscow and Saint Petersburg, and added Anton Rubinstein's ‘’Nero’’ and Peter Tchaikovsky's ‘’Eugene Onegin’’ to his repertoire. Marconi's repertoire did not consist entirely of operas, however. He also participated in performances of such significant sacred works as Rossini's ‘’Stabat mater’’ and the Verdi ‘’Requiem’’. Indeed, near the end of his career, he toured widely in the Requiem, performing as part of a regular quartet of singers which contained one other top-class artist, Francesco Navarini (1855-1923), who was considered to be the best Italian bass of the era. The operatic parts that Marconi undertook in Europe and the two American continents included the principal tenor roles in the following works: ‘’Lucrezia Borgia’’, ‘’Lucia di Lammermoor’’, ‘’La favorita’’ (all composed by Gaetano Donizetti), ‘’I Puritani’’ (by Vincenzo Bellini), ‘’Un ballo in maschera’’, ‘’Rigoletto’’, ‘’La traviata’’ and ‘’Aida’’ (all by Verdi), ‘’La Gioconda’’ (by Amilcare Ponchielli), ‘’Mefistofele’’ (by Arrigo Boito), ‘’Ruy Blas’’ (by Filippo Marchetti), ‘’L'Africaine’’ and ‘’Les Huguenots’’ (by Giacomo Meyerbeer) and ‘’Lohengrin’’ (by Richard Wagner). Famed during the peak of his career for the silvery beauty of his singing, the ease of his high notes and the spontaneity of his interpretations, Marconi retained all his life a simplicity of character which endeared him to many admirers.

Chronology of some appearances

1879 Roma  Politeama Romano Favorita (Fernando)
1880 Milano  Teatro La Scala Rigoletto (Duca)
1885 Milano  Teatro La Scala Puritani (Elvino)
1895 Lisbona  Teatro San Carlos Rigoletto (Duca)
1887 Roma  Teatro Nazionale Puritani (Elvino)
1891 Roma  Teatro Nazionale Puritani (Elvino)
1896 Roma  Teatro Argentina Puritani (Elvino) 
1896 Roma  Teatro Costanzi Puritani (Elvino)
1897 Milano  Teatro La Scala Puritani (Elvino)
1897 Lisbona  Teatro San Carlos Rigoletto (Duca)
1897 Lisbona  Teatro San Carlos Favorita (Fernando)
1899 Varsavia Teatro Imperiale Rigoletto (Duca)
1899 Varsavia  Teatro Imperiale Ballo in Maschera (Riccardo)
1904 Roma  Teatro Costanzi Ballo in Maschera (Riccardo)



G&T, Milano 1903-11?
Rigoletto (Verdi): Questa o quella 52788 Con366
Mefistofele (Boito): Dai campi, dai prati 52016 Con367
Nerone (Rubinstein): Stanze 52017 Con368
Eugen Onegin (Tchaikovsky): Romanza del duello 052054 Con720
Africana (Meyerbeer): O paradiso 052055 Con721
Gioconda (Ponchielli): Cielo e mar 052056 Con722
Requiem (Verdi): Ingemisco 052057 Con724
Non guardami cosi (Paloni) 052065 Con728
Bella cantiam l'amore (Mascagni) 052058 Con730

Gramophone, Roma 1907-10
Nerone (Rubinstein): Invan, invan 2-52631 11131b
Rigoletto (Verdi): Questa o quella 2-52632 11133b
Romeo et Juliette (Massenet): Madrigale with Bice Mililotti 054186 1414c
Geisha (Jones): O mia Mimosa with Bice Mililotti 054187 1415c
Martha (Flotow): Duetto della rosa with Bice Mililotti 054188 1416c
Lucrezia Borgia (Donizetti): Di pescator ignobile 052200  1417c
Guarany (Gomez): Sento una forza indomita with Bice Mililotti 054189 1418c
Lucrezia Borgia (Donizetti): Madre se ognor lontano with Bice Mililotti 054190 1419c

Gramophone, Milano 1908-05
Mefistofele (Boito): Dai campi, dai prati 2-52672  11170b
Ruy Blas (Marchetti): Ed ei non 2-52662  11171b
In questa sera (Denza) 2-52673 11178b
I Mulattieri (Masini) with Antonio Cotogni 54373 11180Ѕb
Favorita (Donizetti): Una vergine 2-52663  11185b
Africana (Meyerbeer): O Paradiso 052233 1437c
Lucia di Lammermoor (Donizetti): Fra poco a me ricovero 052221 1438c
Forza del destino (Verdi): Solenne in quest'ora with Nestore della Torre 054214 1439c
Lucia di Lammermoor (Donizetti): Tu che a Dio 052234 1440c
Puritani (Bellini): Vieni fra queste braccia with Maria Galvany 054208 1446c

1 comment:

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