Artist Profile: Nicola Martinucci, Noted Spinto Tenor of the 20th Century

By David Salazar

Tenor Nicola Martinucci enjoyed a potent career throughout the middle of the 20th century.

Born on March 28, 1941 in Taranto, he actually got off to a late start as a singer, kickstarting his vocal career in his 20s. He made his debut in 1966 at the Teatro Nuovo di Milano in “Il Trovatore,” the same year he won the Viotti International Music Competition.

In 1976, he debuted at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires before heading to La Scala in 1983; he also debuted at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in 1985 and gave his first Met performances in 1988. He also debuted at the Arena di Verona in 1982.

After completing his performance career, he took to teaching masterclasses. His daughter Leyla Martinucci is also a noted mezzo soprano, performing all around the world.

Signature Works

The tenor was renowned for his work in the Italian repertory, but he dominated the operas of Verdi and Puccini. He championed many of Verdi’s most famed works, but also performed lesser-known operas such as “Il Lombardi” and “Attila.”

He frequently performed the lead roles in “Andrea Chénier,” “Aida,” and “Turandot;” in fact, these roles made up a number of major debuts and repertory at some of the most famed houses in the world.

Watch and Listen

Here are a few albums featuring a number of his signature aria interpretations.


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