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Carlo Bergonzi

Carlo Bergonzi

Carlo BergonziCarlo Bergonzi has been the most stylish Italian tenor to emerge since World War II. Always proud of being born in the vicinity of Giuseppe Verdi’s hometown, Bergonzi has had one of the longest and most distinguished careers of any singer of the past sixty years. He has been renowned for his interpretations of his beloved Verdi, but verismo roles and some of the lighter lyric parts suited him as well.

Bergonzi actually began his career as a baritone, in 1948 with Rossini’s Figaro. Only in 1951 did he retrain his voice and made his second debut, now as a tenor in nothing less than Andrea Chenier a heavy part for a beginner. But Bergonzi always knew his voice best and throughout a career that has spanned six decades he has produced a beautiful sound with a musicianship that is the envy of all. He has been a generous colleague and counts many tenors as real personal friends!

He has always been close to his native soil and more than twenty years ago he put down roots in Verdi’s town of Busseto with a hotel he named after one of Verdi’s most fiery early operas I Due Foscari. When Bergonzi is not teaching or (still!) singing he can be found acting as the genial ‘padrone’ of the hotel and its excellent restaurant, keeping a watchful eye on his sons who actually run the establishment.

Bergonzi’s vocal longevity is legendary. Even at the age of seventy he stopped the show at James Levine’s twenty-fifth anniversary gala at the Metropolitan Opera with a type of singing which has nearly vanished. Bergonzi has recorded many roles for the Universal labels both on Decca and in Philips pioneering series of early Verdi operas.

 
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