Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

Jun 6, 2013

Francesco Navarini (Bass) (Cittadella presso Padova 1855 - Milano 1923)

                                          with  Armanda Degli Abbati in ''Demon''

He studied singing under Carlo Boroni and Giuseppe Felix in Milan and made his debut in 1876 at the Teatro Comunale of Ferrara as Alfonso in ‘’Lucrezia Borgia’’ of Donizetti. He made guest appearances in Malta, Venice, Trieste, Florence and Turin and sang in the 1881-83 seasons at the Teatro San Carlo in Lisbon. In 1883 he made his debut at La Scala; sang with success also at the Teatro Costanzi of Rome. He sang at La Scala in the premieres of the operas ‘’Condor’’ of Carlos Gomes (21. 2. 1891) and ‘’Fior d'Alpe’’ of Alberto Franchetti (15. 3. 1894). In 1894 he sang at La Scala in the premiere of the revised version of Verdi’s ‘’Don  Carlos’’. He took part at the Teatro Carlo Felice, Genoa in the premiere of Alberto Franchetti's opera ‘’Cristoforo Colombo’’ (6. 10. 1892). He made guest appearances in London (1887), Monte Carlo (1900), Prague (1901), St. Petersburg, Madrid, Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Moscow, Odessa and Seville. Especially in Russia Navarrini achieved shining success. In the 1898-99 season he performed at La Scala in Wagner’s ‘’Meistersinger’’ under Toscanini. In 1902 tour through the USA with an opera troupe under the direction of Pietro Mascagni and he excited sensation especially as an Il Cieco in ‘’Iris’’. He retired from the stage in 1912. He spent his old age in Rossano Veneto.

Chronology of some appearances

1883 Milano  Teatro alla Scala Gioconda (Alvise)
1884 Milano Teatro alla Scala Don Carlo (Inquisitore)
1884 Ravenna  Teatro Alighieri Don Carlo (Inquisitore)
1885 Milano  Teatro La Scala Favorita (Baldassarre)
1886 Bologna  Teatro Comunale  Ballo in Maschera (Samuel)
1888 Milano  Teatro La Scala Favorita (Baldassarre)
1889 Roma  Teatro Costanzi Favorita (Baldassarre)
1890 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Opera Favorita (Baldassarre)
1890 Milano  Teatro La Scala Barbiere di Siviglia (Don Basilio)
1890 Milano  Teatro La Scala Ernani (Silva)
1892 Genova  Teatro Carlo Felice Mondial Premiere Cristoforo Colombo (Roldano)
1892 Genova Politeama Genovese Favorita (Baldassarre)
1892 Milano  Teatro La Scala Cristoforo Colombo (Roldano)
1892 Roma  Teatro Costanzi Barbiere di Siviglia (Don Basilio)
1892 Pesaro  Teatro Rossini Barbiere di Siviglia (Don Basilio)
1893 Venezia  Teatro Malibran Ernani (Silva)
1894 Palermo  Politeama Ernani (Silva)
1898 Barcellona  Teatro Liceo Boheme (Colline)
1899 Barcellona  Teatro Liceo Boheme (Colline)
1906 Barcellona  Teatro Liceo Ernani (Silva)
1908 San Pietroburgo  Teatro Petit Ernani (Silva)
1909 San Pietroburgo  Teatro Conservatorio Ernani (Silva)
1910 San Pietroburgo  Teatro Conservatorio Ernani (Silva)
1911 San Pietroburgo  Teatro Conservatorio Ernani (Silva)
1913 Karkov  Teatro Mussura Ernani (Silva)
1913 Kiev  Teatro Solodownikoff Ernani (Silva)
1914 San Pietroburgo  Narowni Doma Ernani (Silva)


Fonotipia, Milano 1907-02-01
Sonnambula (Bellini): Vi ravviso 62032  XPh2392
Mignon (Thomas): Del suo cor   62034  xph2393
Stabat Mater (Rossini): Pro peccatis 62024 XPh2394
Barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini): La calunnia 74033  XXPh2396
Lucrezia Borgia (Donizetti): Vieni la lia vendetta 62026 XPh2398
Lucrezia Borgia (Donizetti): Qualunque sia l'evento  62027 XPh2397

Fonotipia, Milano 1907-02-04
Juive (Halevy): Se oppressi ognor  62028  XPh2406
Juive (Halevy): Voi che del Dio 62029 XPh2407
Faust (Gounod): Dio dell' or 62030 XPh2409
Faust (Gounod): Tu che fai l'addormentata 62031 XPh2410

Fonotipia, Milano 1907-02-05
Simon Boccanegra (Verdi): Il lacerato spirito 62025  XPh2419
Robert le diable (Meyerbeer):  Suore che riposate! 62033  XPh2420
Martha (Flotow): Chi mi dirà 62035  XPh2421
Don Carlo (Verdi): Dormiro sol 74034 XXPh2422


  1. A wonderful voice & a great singer! It is astonishing to think that he had been on the stage for 30 years when he finally recorded. The voice had suffered by then, but it is still wonderful to be able to hear him on these records.