Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

May 28, 2020

Licinio Francardi (Tenor) (Pitigliano December 13, 1920 – Roma March 31, 1994)

He was the third of four children, who was born into a family of barber. In 1939 he began his education at the school of Manfredo Polverosi, an excellent tenor and, at the time, director of the Experimental School of Singing and Dance at the Teatro dell'Opera in Roma and later with Beniamino Gigli, who was an enthusiastic about his vocal qualities and became his protector and friend.  In 1948 he was presented by Gigli himself on the radio with this statement: "authentic golden voice, a voice where you hear not only a beautiful sound but, above all, a soul". In 1949 he took part in "Viotti" International Singing Competition and was the winner. On 11 August 1949 he made his debut as Elvino in "Sonnambula" by Vincenzo Bellini at the Teatro Lirico Sperimentale in Spoleto and on November 3 at the Teatro “Morlacchi” in Perugia as Nemorino in G. Donizetti’s "Elisir d'amore". In 1950 he won the International Singing Competition in Spoleto. Then he appeared in "Sonnambula" and "Puritani" at the major Roman theaters: Teatro dell’Opera, Teatro Argentina, Teatro Costanzi, sharing the scene with singers of the first orders such as the bass Boris Christoff and the soprano Margherita Carosio under the direction of Vincenzo Bellezza and Gianandrea Gavazzeni. He added to his repertoire also "Favorita", "Werther", "Manon Lescaut", "Boheme", "Tosca" and "Il Signor Bruschino" by G. Rossini. In 1953, still on the recommendation of Beniamino Gigli, he signed the contract with CETRA for the recording of operatic arias with the Lyric Orchestra conducted by Arturo Basile. In the 1950-1954 seasons he appeared at the Teatro dell'Opera in Roma, at the Teatro “Pergolesi” in Jesi and other minor performances as well as concerts for various institutions including National Academy of Santa Cecilia in Roma. At the same time and until 1957 he participated in the radio lyric seasons of RAI ("Monte Ivnor" by L. Rocca, "Morte dell'Aria" by Goffredo Petrassi, "Luisa" by Gustave Charpentier, "Antigone" by Lino Liviabella, " From the House of the Dead " by Leos Janacek). Starting in the 60s, he decided to devote himself almost entirely to teaching. From 1973 to 1982 he taught singing in Tampere (Finland). In 1975 he was invited again as vocal pedagogue at the Tokyo College of Music and at the Showa College of Music in Tokyo (Japan). In 1978, at the height of his artistic maturity, his last solo concert was held at Tokyo's Aoyama Tower Hall. On October 1, 1988 he received In Roma, along with other famous Italian opera singers, the award organized by the OIPEC (International Organization for Economic and Cultural Programming) - "Targa d'Oro - Tribute to Beniamino Gigli" at the Sala Borromini and on January 21, 1989 the "Tito Schipa" award (OIPEC) at the Sala della Protomoteca in Campidoglio. He died suddenly in Roma on March 31, 1994.

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