Alessandro Corbelli is one of the great baritones of the modern era, his refined bass style ideal for many of the comic roles that he has been so well-known for. Born on Sept. 21, 1952, the bass has become one of the great “Don Pasquale,” Dulcamara, and “Gianni Schicchi” interpreters of recent times.
But what makes his an incredible artist overall is his wide-range of repertoire. He has essayed dozens of roles over his career, including many that few people have ever heard of. For every “Elisir,” he has a “Rita” (an opera by Donizetti). He performed some repertory outsiders such as “Fedora,” “Linda di Chamounix,” and a number of Rossini operas, but those works can hardly be looked upon as “rare” or unknown.
With that clear, here are some of the rare operas you never knew that Corbelli performed.
Auber’s opera is getting somewhat of a revival, but Corbelli took on the role of Signore Rocburg back in the early 90s under Sabbatini and Sumi Jo.
This opera by Cherubini is certainly not among the composer’s most recognized works, but Corbelli performed the role of Varbel under Riccardo Muti at La Scala. Also in the cast was Mariella Devia, Thomas Moser, William Shimell, Mario Luperi, and Bernard Lombardo. It has been released on CD by Sony.
L’Ajo Nell’Imbarazzo & Rita
I included these two Donizetti works because the bottom-line is that both of these operas are major unknowns. The baritone recorded “Rita” under Federico Amendola and did the same for the other opera under Bruno Campanella alongside Luciana Serra and Enzo Dara. The latter is also available as a DVD from Torino.
Paisiello’s ‘Il Barbiere di Siviglia’
The baritone was a famed interpreter of Rossini’s famous work, but he also took on the rarer Paisiello opera, recording it under Bruno Campanella with Enzo Dara.
Lo Frate ‘nnamorato
Another opera from Corbelli’s early year (noticing the trend?), he performed this one at La Scala with Muti (another pattern), Luciana D’Intino, and Nuccia Focile among others.
La Buona Figliola
Another opera that the great baritone performed alongside Enzo Dara at the Rome Opera. As you might expect, it is available on recording.
Crispino e la comare
Corbelli took on this rare work in 1977 alongside the likes of Mario Chaippi, Emilia Ravaglia, Bernardino Di Bagno, Dora Carral, and Angelo Nosotti, among others.
Le Serve Rivali
Yet another opera from the baritone’s early career, he performed alongside Fernando Mainardi and Daniella Dessì.