Obituary: Giuseppe Bellanca Passes Away At 48

By Nicole Kuchta

On Jul. 5, 2019, Teatro alla Scala announced the untimely death of tenor Giuseppe Bellanca. He was 48.

Italian news site ANSA reported that Bellanca died instantly when his Honda Hornet motorcycle crashed into a large vehicle, which, according to police, “did not respect a give way sign.” The accident occurred at Piazza Ovidio.

Born in Palermo in 1970, Bellanca studied violin and classical guitar before deciding to pursue voice. He joined the Massimo Choir in 2001, and completed his studies at the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory in Milan.

He appeared regularly at La Scala since 2004, when he won the company’s International Competition for Chorus Artists. Bellanca took on several solo parts over the course of his career, including Brabantische Edle in Wagner’s “Lohengrin” under Daniele Gatti and Daniel Barenboim, Amelia’s Servant in Verdi’s “Un Ballo in Maschera” under Daniele Rustioni, and Messo in Verdi’s “Il Trovatore.” He also sang Rodolfo in Puccini’s “La Bohème” at the Milan Conservatory and participated in Mozart’s “Requiem” at Milan Cathedral under Donato Renzetti.

Maestro del Coro Bruno Casoni remembers Bellanca as “a sensitive and passionate artist, animated by inexhaustible love for music, dedication to his work and extraordinary vitality.”

La Scala describes him as a “beloved character in the theater, capable of playing various instruments with a musical versatility that ranged from jazz to the classical repertoire.” They also noted that he was active in the theater’s soccer team, where he played as a striker.

A moment of silence was held for the departed tenor on July 7, 2019, before a performance of Verdi’s “I Masnadieri.” The company also announced that Bellanca’s funeral will be held on July 10 at the Church of Carmine Piazza del Carmine.