Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

Jan 2, 2015

Carlo Morelli (Baritone) ( Valparaiso, Chile 1897 - Mexico City 1970)

The father of this singer was an Italian, the mother Chilean. His real name was Carlo Zanelli. His older brother Renato Zanelli (1892-1935) had a great career, first as a baritone, than later as heroic tenor. First he was active in California as an engineer. Then he studied singing in Bologna and later under Leopoldo Mugnone in Florence. He began his career in Italy (1921). Then he appeared at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome in the role of Cinna in G. Spontini’s ‘’La Vestale’’ (1923). The next year he performed as Jochanaan in R. Strauss’s ‘’Salome’’ and also sang in the premiere of R. Bianchi's ‘’La Ghibellina’’. In 1925 at the Teatro Alla Scala he sang the role of Germont-père in G. Verdi’s ‘’La Traviata’’ as a beginning role and appeared with success till 1934. He sang during these years at the Teatro Alla Scala roles like the father in ‘’Hansel and Gretel’’, Amonasro in ‘’Aida’’, Gellner in A. Catalani’s ‘’La Wally’’, Manfredo in ‘’L'Amore dei tre Re’’ of I. Montemezzi, Tonio in ‘’Pagliacci’’, Gunther in "Götterdämmerung", Amfortas in ‘’Parsifal’’, Valentin in ‘’Faust’’ of C. Gounod and Carlos in ‘’La forza del destino’’. In 1927 he appeared there in the premiere of the opera ‘’Madonna di Challant’’ by Guarino. In 1929 he sang at the Opera House in Rome as Germont-père in ‘’La Traviata’’, Scarpia in ‘’Tosca’’, Gérard in ‘’Andrea Chénier’’ of  U. Giordano, Enrico in ‘’Lucia di Lammermoor ‘’ and as Tonio in ‘’Pagliacci’’. At the Opera House in Monte Carlo he sang in the 1931-1933 seasons with great success 15 different roles - the Posa in G. Verdi’s ‘’Don Carlo’’, Rigoletto, Renato in ‘’Un Ballo in maschera’’, Jack Rance in G. Puccini’s ‘’La Fanciulla del West’’, Alfonso in G. Donizetti’s ‘’Lucrezia Borgia’’ and the Raffaele in ‘’I Gioielli della Madonna’’ by E. Wolf-Ferrari. In 1936 at the San Francisco Opera House he was heard as count di Luna in ‘’Il Trovatore’’, Figaro in ‘’Il Barbierte di Siviglia’’ and as Carlo in ‘’La forza del destino’’. At the Chicago Opera he sang in 1935 in the American première of the opera ‘’La Fiamma’’ by O. Respighi. In 1928 and 1930 he made guest appearances at the Royal Opera in Copenhagen, in 1929 he took part in the Germany tour of the opera society of Max Sauter. In the 1935-1940 seasons he was a member of the Metropolitan Opera in New York. (Beginning role: Marcello in G. Puccini’s ‘’La Bohème’’). Here he sang, primarily, the Italian repertoire for dramatic baritone, all together 13 roles in 72 performances, among other things the Barnaba in ‘’La Gioconda’’ by A. Ponchielli, Jago in ‘’Otello’’ and Carlo in ‘’La forza del destino’’ of G.Verdi, Amonasro in ‘’Aida’’ and Alfio in ‘’Cavalleria Rusticana’’. In 1946 he travelled with the San Carlo Opera Company around the USA. He made also guest appearances at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires and in other famous South American opera houses as well as at the Opera House in Mexico City. Later in Mexico City he worked as a vocal pedagogue.

Chronology of some appearances

Amonasro 5/15/1937, Barnaba 1/23/1940, Rigoletto 2/6/1941, Figaro 3/20/1941, 1/29/1942, 4/7/1943, Il barone Scarpia 5/15/1943, Marcello 5/18/1943, Giorgio Germont 5/20/1943, Il barone Scarpia 5/22/1943, Figaro 9/30/1943, Escamillo 10/1/1943, Il conte di Luna 10/3/1943, Il barone Scarpia 12/15/1943, 12/16/1943, Giorgio Germont 12/19/1943, 1/20/1944, Escamillo 5/3/1944, 5/5/1944, Giorgio Germont 5/9/1944, Figaro 5/11/1944, Valentin 5/13/1944, Figaro 5/18/1944, Escamillo 9/28/1944, Il conte di Luna 9/30/1944, Giorgio Germont 10/5/1944, Il conte di Luna 10/6/1944, Marcello 10/7/1944, Figaro 11/15/1944, 11/16/1944 (Filadelfia)

I wish to thank Victor Toledo for sending me photo


Columbia, Milano 1928-04-26
Hérodiade (Massenet): Visione fuggitiva DQ687 WB1909

Columbia, Milano 1928-04-28
Zazà (Leoncavallo): Zazà piccola zingara DQ685 WB1919
Andrea Chénier (Giordano): Un dì m'era di gioia CQX16508 WBX270
Otello (Verdi): Credo in un Dio crudel CQX16508 WBX271

Columbia, New York 1940-01-22
Alma mia (Grever) 17192-D Co25808

No comments:

Post a Comment