Obituary: Famed Director Tito Capobianco Passes Away

By Francisco Salazar

Tito Capobianco has died at the age of 87.

The famed director died of lung cancer in Florida. Born in Argentina, Capobianco grew up in a family of musicians and studied at the Teatro Argentino de la Plata, where he graduated from being a super to singing baritone roles and also learned stage managing. He would make his debut with the Teatro Argentino de la Plata and would go on to work with the Teatro Colón.

In 1964, Capobianco made his American debut with the Philadelphia Grand Opera Company, directing a production of “Carmen.” After that, he would become the artistic director of the Cincinnati Opera and would later take up a residency with the New York City Opera where he ended up working extensively with Beverly Sills. The two would collaborate in the famous Tudor trilogy and would also work together on “Giulio Cesare” and  “Manon.”

Following his with the New York City Opera, Capobianco became the General Director of the San Diego Opera where he extended the number of productions the company would show per season and was able to bring Luciano Pavarotti, Joan Sutherland, and Beverly Sills to the stage. The company was also where Sills gave her last performance and where Sills and Sutherland collaborated in “Die Fledermaus.” He also created the Verdi Festival, which showed numerous rarely performed Verdi works.

Capobianco also became General Director at the Pittsburgh Opera, where he served 17 years and would also go to make his Metropolitan Opera, where he directed Sills in “Thais” and Sherrill Milnes in “Simon Boccanegra.”

Here is a look at Capobianco’s “La Traviata” with Sills.

And here is his famed “Roberto Devereux.”