Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

Jan 2, 2015

Francesco Battaglia (Tenor) (Catania 1893 – Milano 1968)


He began his career in the early 1920’s and after he had appeared at the famous Italian provincial opera houses in 1930 he sang the role of Manrico in G. Verdi’s ‘’Il Trovatore’’ at the  Opera House in Rome. In 1931 he appeared at the Teatro San Carlo in Napoli, in 1933 at the Opera House in Monte Carlo (as Riccardo in G. Verdi’s ‘’Un ballo in maschera’’). In 1933 he he made guest appearance at the Covent Garden in London. Here he performed as Radames in G. Verdi’s ‘’Aida’’, then sang at the Berlin Städtischen Oper. In 1936 he made his debut at the Teatro Alla Scala as Vasili in ‘’Siberia’’ by U. Giordano. Till 1948 he appeared several times in this famous opera house, among other things as Kalaf in G. Puccini’s ‘’Turandot’’, Canio in ‘’Pagliacci’’ and Pollione in ‘’Norma’’ of V. Bellini. He sang the role of Kalaf also in 1937 at the Arena di Verona. In the same 1937 he guested at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels. In  1930 at the Teatro Comunale in Florence he appeared as Radames in G. Verdi’s ‘’Aida’’, in 1932 as Pollione in ‘’Norma’’ by V. Bellini and in 1942 the role of Canio in R. Leoncavallo’s ‘’Pagliacci’’. Other guest performances put down to him in France (among other things in 1935 in Vichy), Spain, Holland, USA and in Australia. He continued his stage activity also during the years after the Second World War and sang among other things in 1953 the role of Canio at the festival of the Terme di Caracalla, Roma. To his most important roles counted the Gennaro in G. Donizetti’s ‘’Lucrezia Borgia’’, Duke in ‘’Rigoletto’’, Cavaradossi in ‘’Tosca’’, Mateo in ‘’Conchita’’ of R. Zandonai and the Gennaro in ‘’I gioielli della Madonna’’ by E. Wolf-Ferrari. In 1925 he made 10 records for Polydor in Berlin.

Chronology of some appearances

1930 Rome Opera House Trovatore (Manrico)
1930 Florence Teatro Comunale Aida (Radames)
1933 Monte Carlo Opera House Un ballo in maschera (Riccardo)
1933 London Covent Garden Aida (Radames)
1936 Milano Teatro Alla Scala Siberia (Vasili)
1937 Verona Arena Turandot (Calaf)


Nordisk Polyphon Aktieselskab, Berlin 1925?
Trovatore (Verdi): Di quella pira J2022 L.70700
Pagliacci (Leoncavallo): Vesti la giubba J22079 L.72962

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