Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

Jul 8, 2014

Rosetta Pampanini (Soprano) (Milano 1896 - Corbola 1973)


She was born in Milan into a musical family. She initiallly trained to become a teacher but eventually decided to study voice. She was taught by the couple Emma and Lorenzo Molajoli and made her debut in 1920 at the Teatro Nazionale in Rome as Micaela. Subsequently she appeared at numerous Italian opera houses. In the first years of her career she built up her repertory under Tullio Serafin’s guidance. Of great importance was her association with Pietro Mascagni who often conducted her in his opera Iris. Pampanini’s success in the role re-established the piece from 1898 in the contemporary repertoire. Another significant mentor was Arturo Toscanini. He conducted the revival of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly at La Scala in 1925, with Rosetta Pampanini in the title role. The 12 performances turned out to be a complete triumph - not least because of the heroine whose artistry ensured that Madame Butterfly soon became one of the most popular operas. Not only did Pampanini help to establish Madame Butterfly, the role of Cio-Cio-San also made her to one of the most splendid Italian artists of the time. She remained at La Scala as long as Toscanini stayed there (until 1930), appearing in a number of world premieres of then contemporary operas as well as in her Puccini repertoire. She also toured with the Scala ensemble. Toscanini invited her to Berlin to sing Manon Lescaut and Madame Butterfly (1929). Covent Garden saw her in her Puccini parts. From 1926 she was a regular guest at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. In the season 1931/32 she was engaged as Butterfly, Nedda and Mimì at the Chicago Opera, but was not reinvited later. Further performances at the opera houses of Vienna (1930-1932), Oslo (1933) and Prague (1935) followed. A special occasion was her performance of Mimì in a performance of La Bohème, conducted by Pietro Mascagni in Puccini’s home town Torre del Lago. From 1937 she turned to more dramatic roles such as Leonora in La Forza del destino, Aida and Maddalena. Rosetta Pampanini bade farewell to the stage in 1946. After her retirement she worked as a singing coach.

Chronology of some appearances

1920 Rome Teatro Nazionale Carmen  (Micaela)
1925 Milan La Scala Madame Butterfly (Cio-Cio-San)
1926 Buenos Aires Teatro Colón  (-)
1931 Chicago Chicago Opera (-)


Fonotipia, Milano 1926-04-08
Wally (Catalani): Ebben? Ne andrò lontana 152034 Pho5694
Manon Lescaut (Puccini): In quelle trine morbide 152035 Pho5695
Madama Butterfly (Puccini): Un bel dì, vedremo 74975 XXPh5696

Fonotipia, Milano 1926-04-09
Bohème (Puccini): Sì, mi chiamano Mimì 74976 XXPh5701
Otello (Verdi): Canzone del salce 74985 XXPh5705

Fonotipia, Milano 1926-04-10
Iris (Mascagni): Un dì 74986 XXPh5708
Otello (Verdi): Ave Maria unpubl. Pho5709

Fonotipia, Milano 1926-04-12
Carmen (Bizet): Io dico, no, non son paurosa 74989 XXPh5710
Tosca (Puccini): Vissi d'arte unpubl. Pho5711
Andrea Chénier (Giordano): La mamma morta 74990 XXPh5712

Fonotipia, Milano 1926-10-20
Bohème (Puccini): O soave fanciulla with Aureliano Pertile 120001 XXPh5775

Fonotipia, Milano 1926-10-26
Turandot (Puccini): Signore, ascolta 168014 Pho5789
Turandot (Puccini): Tanto amore segreto... Tu che di gel sei cinta 168015 Pho5790
Otello (Verdi): Ave Maria 168038 Pho5792

Fonotipia, Milano 1927-01-20
Pagliacci (Leoncavallo): Stridono lassù 168038 Pho5854
Faust (Gounod): C'era un re, un re di Thulé 120039 XXPh5855

Fonotipia, Milano 1927-01-24 
Madama Butterfly (Puccini): Un bel dì, vedremo 120043 XXPh5873
Wally (Catalani): Ebben? Ne andrò lontana 120043 XXPh5874

Fonotipia, Milano 1928-01-11
Manon Lescaut (Puccini): In quelle trine morbide 168191 Pho6096
Andrea Chénier (Giordano): La mamma morta 120165 XXPh6098

Fonotipia, Milano 1928-05-19
Madama Butterfly (Puccini): Bimba non piangere with Ferdinando  Ciniselli 120148  XXPh6239 
Madama Butterfly (Puccini): Quest'obi pomposa with Ferdinando Cinizelli 120148 XXPh6240

Fonotipia, Milano 1928-05-21
Madama Butterfly (Puccini): Adesso voi with Ferdinando  Ciniselli 120149 XXPh6247
Madama Butterfly (Puccini): Via dall'anima in pena with Ferdinando  Ciniselli 120149 XXPh6248

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