Obituary: Baritone Claudio Desderi Passes Away

By Francisco Salazar

Italian baritone Claudio Desderi has passed away.

The baritone, known for his buffo roles, was the son of Italian composer Ettore Desderi and came to fame after his 1969 debut at the Edinburgh Festival in Rossini’s “Il Signor Bruschino.” From there he became a fixture at Salzburg, Glyndebourne, and Pesaro in Mozart and Rossini roles.

However, he would have his biggest breaks at the Teatro alla Scala, Milan, where he sang in “La Cenerentola” and “l’Italiana in Algeri,” conducted by Claudio Abbado and directed by Jean-Pierre Ponnelle. He would also perform Mozart’s Da Ponte trilogy conducted by Riccardo Muti and directed by G. Strehler.

After retiring from his singing career, he would become the artistic director of the Teatro Verdi from 1991 to 1998 and the Teatro Regio from 1999 to 2001. He would also become the superintendent of the Teatro Massimo from 2002 to 2003. He would also become a formidable teacher.

Desderi left many recordings and DVDs including Donizetti’s “Don Pasquale” from the Ravenna Festival with Riccardo Muti, as well as Mozart’s “Così Fan Tutte” and “Don Giovanni” from La Scala with Muti, and Rossini’s “La  Cenerentola” with Claudio Abbado.

Here is a look at the baritone in ‘Il Barbiere di Siviglia”

And here is a look at the baritone as Leporello in “Don Giovanni.”