Piero Cappuccilli is one of the great baritones of the 20th century. Born on Nov. 9, 1926, the Italian was noted for his rich and abundant voice, which was so perfect for the Verdi repertoire.
The Trieste native made his official operatic debut in 1957 at the Teatro Nuovo in Milan as Tonio in “Pagliacci.” From there he would build his career as a respected “Verdi baritone” and perform with the world’s greatest artists, including Maria Callas, Plácido Domingo, Montserrat Caballé, Ileana Cortrubas, Nicolai Ghiaurov, and many, many more.
A look at his discography and repertory at large reveals a man invested not only in Verdi but also in the classics of Bellini, Donizetti, Puccini, and other staples of the Italian repertory.
But he also had the tendency to take a stab at some of the lesser-known works of the Italian repertoire and beyond. Here is a look at some operas you didn’t know Cappuccilli took on at different points in his career.
The baritone recorded the Salvatore Allegra opera for RAI on Oct. 23, 1962 alongside Luigi Infantino, Germana Paolieri, Anna Maria Frati, and Paolo Mantovani, under the baton of the conductor himself. The recording has yet to be released.
The baritone also recorded this Catalani opera in 1968 alongside Elena Suliotis, Gianfranco Cecchele, Rita Talarico, and Agostino Ferrin. The recording also featured the Coro e Orquesta del Teatro alla Scala di Milano under the musical direction of Gianandrea Gavazzeni.
A live performance recording exists of the baritone taking on the famed Carlos Gomes opera from Rio de Janeiro in 1964. He performs alongside Joao Gibin, Gianna D’Angelo, Massimiliano Malaspina, Nicola Zaccaria, Victor Prochet, and Nino Crimi under the musical direction of Francesco Molinari-Pradelli.
Cappuccilli’s Wikipedia page also lists him as having performed Lorenzo Perosi’s “La Resurrezione Di Lazzaro” and Ildebrando Pizzetti’s “La Figlia di Iorio.”