Gabriella Tucci is one of the hidden Italian treasures of the 20th century.
The soprano, born on August 4, 1929 in Rome, studied at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia and eventually made her debut at Spoleto in 1951. The opera? “La Forza del Destino.” Her stage partner? Beniamino Gigli. But her career took a bigger step forward when she shared the stage with Maria Callas in “Medea” as Glauce in 1953.
A La Scala debut followed in 1959 and the soprano was up and running around the world, singing at the Royal Opera House and Metropolitan Opera. She had a storied career at the Met, singing with the company until 1972 in 260 performances.
While she sang all around the world, she surprisingly only made two commercial recordings in her career. Both of those recordings appear in recent motion pictures – “The Immigrant” and “Marguerite.”
There are also a few live performances available through which listeners can enjoy her voice.
The soprano sang a wide range of Italian repertoire, though the roles she performed most often at the Met include the title role in “Aida” as well as Leonora in “Il Trovatore,” which is featured on one of her commercial recordings.
“She has a nice voice, she can color it to a certain extent… it shone through the ensemble rather commendably,” said the Herald Tribute’s review of her early interpretations at the Met of “Aida.”
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Watch and Listen
Watch Tucci in action in a performance of “Aida” from Toyko.