Tenor Gianni Raimondi, born on April 17, 1923, had a solid career.
Born in Bologna, he studied at the Conservatorio Giovanni Battista Martini and made his stage debut in “Rigoletto” at the Teatro Conorziale in Budrio in 1947. He also debuted at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna the following year.
He appeared at La Scala in 1956, singing alongside Maria Callas in “La Traviata,” and then debuted at the Vienna State Opera a year later. In 1957, the tenor also debuted in San Francisco and made his Met Opera debut in 1965.
He didn’t make many studio recordings throughout his career, but many live performances have been captured on recording.
He died on Oct. 19, 2008.
Raimondi was a specialist of the Italian repertory, with a special emphasis on such composers as Verdi and Donizetti. He not only sang many of the better-known works by the composers, but also championed lesser known operas such as “I Vespri Siciliani,” “Luisa Miller,” “I Masnadieri,” “Lucrezia Borgia,” and “Linda Di Chamounix. He also performed a number of Rossini and Puccini works and some operas outside the Italian repertoire.
Watch and Listen
Here are two albums of Italian arias.