Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

Apr 7, 2012

Giuseppe Russitano (Tenor) (Palermo 1865 -?)

He made his debut in Alessandria in Verdi’s ‘’Aida’’. Probably it happened in 1885. In 1889 he appeared at the Politeama Pacini in Catania as Don Jose in ‘’Carmen’’ sharing the role of Don Jose with Dante Del Papa. In 1890 he sang the role of Fernando in ‘’Favorita’’ at the Teatro Brunetti in Bologna. Up to 1894 he appeared in smaller Italian opera houses. His American debut, that was unsuccesful, occurred in 1894 at the opera house of Philadelphia in ‘’Carmen’’ with Mario Ancona and Zelie de Lussan. In that year he debuted at the MET in New York as Duke in ‘’Rigoletto’’ with Victor Maurel and Nellie Melba and sang in this opera house until 1896 appearing in different operas and MET concerts (‘’Trovatore’’, ‘’Traviata’’, ‘’Aida’’, ‘’Cavalleria rusticana’’, ‘’Lucia di Lammermoor’’, ‘’Faust’’, ‘’La Navaraisse’’, ‘’Les Huguenots’’ etc.). As a member of the MET he guested in Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington and Detroit. The next year, he arrived in Moscow and performed with Mattia Battistini and Regina Pacini in ‘’Rigoletto’’. Here he also sang with Mattia Battistini in ‘’Andrea Chenier’’. In 1899 Russitano was in Poland where at the Imperial Theatre of Warsaw he performed in Verdi’s ‘’Otello’’ togheter with Giovanni Lunardi and Nina Rosini, with Salomea Kruszelnicka and Mattia Battistini he sang in ‘’Ballo in maschera’’. Probably he continued to sing publicly until 1905 and after his retirement he taught singing in Italy. Baritone Pedro Terol was among his pupils. In 1902 he made in Milan only one published record.

Chronology of some appearances

1887 Lodi  Teatro Gaffurio Ruy Blas  (Ruy Blas)
1888  Napoli  Teatro Bellini Ruy Blas  (Ruy Blas)
1889 Livorno  Politeama Puritani (Arturo)
1889  Catania  Politeama Pacini Norma (Pollione)
1899 Ferrara  Teatro Comunale Mefistofele (Faust)
1890  Bologna  Teatro Brunetti Favorita (Fernando)
1890 Genova  Politeama Genovese Traviata (Alfredo)
1891  Macerata  Teatro Lauro Rossi Carmen (Don Jose)
1891 Rovigo  Teatro Sociale Carmen (Don Jose)
1891 Rovigo  Teatro Sociale Cavalleria rusticana (Turiddu)
1892 Cadice Teatro Principal Ballo in maschera (Riccardo)
1892 Catania  Teatro Bellini Carmen (Don Jose)
1893  Trieste  Anfiteatro Fenice Carmen (Don Jose)
1893 Como Teatro Sociale Gioconda (Enzo)
1893  Trieste  Anfiteatro Fenice Rigoletto (Duca)
1894 Como Teatro Sociale Trovatore (Manrico)
1894 Como  Teatro Sociale Ugonotti (Raoul)
1894  L'Aquila  Teatro Comunale Carmen (Don Jose)
1894 Osimo  Teatro Nuova Fenice Carmen (Don Jose)
1895 Boston  Opera House Pagliacci (Canio)
1896  Chicago  Civic Opera House Traviata (Alfredo)
1897  Mosca  Teatro Imperiale Rigoletto (Duca)
1899 Varsavia Teatro Imperiale Ballo in maschera (Riccardo)
1899 Varsavia Teatro Imperiale Boheme (Rodolfo)
1899 Varsavia  Teatro Imperiale Otello (Otello)
1899 Catania  Politeama Pacini Carmen (Don Jose)
1900 Varsavia  Teatro Imperiale Carmen (Don Jose)
1900  Varsavia  Teatro Imperiale Trovatore (Manrico)
1903 Lodz  Teatro Nazionale Trovatore (Manrico)
1903  Lodz  Teatro Nazionale Ugonotti (Raoul)



G&T, Milano 1902-12
Otello (Verdi): Esultate  52282 5516a  

Russitano by Stampanoni


  1. Enjoyed reading about Giuseppe Russitano. Have done research on him - after leaving the Met in NYC, he went back to Europe and changed his name to Gulielmo Paridini and had a more successful career. After he retired, he published a book on how to sing.

    1. Hello, thanks a lot for your interesting information
      All the best

    2. vincenzo lo piccoloApril 11, 2016 at 4:44 PM

      Giuseppe Russitano was my grandmother's (mother of my mother) brother. Unfortunately we haven't much material and news about him, except a few photos and a copy of his book on opera singing. We appreciate your work very much, and are willing to cooperate in finding further news. I inform you that Russitano was born in 1864 and died in 1945. I ignored that he changed his name to Paridini, and would appreciate very much if Mrs Leonora could tell us more about this, and where she found this news. Thank you and best regards. Vincenzo Lo Piccolo