Obituary: Italian Baritone Carlo Meliciani Dies at 92

By Francisco Salazar

On Jan. 6, 2022, Italian baritone Carlo Meliciani died at the age of 92.

The baritone died at his home in Empoli, Italy

Born on Jan. 27, 1929, in Arezzo, Italy, and Meliciani began his career in the mid-1950s performing with a touring Italian opera company in Great Britain.

During the 1958–1959 season, he performed with the Teatro Nuovo di Torino in “Aida and “Ernani.” That same year, he joined the roster of singers at the Teatro alla Scala, making his debut at that opera house as Ping in Giacomo Puccini’s “Turandot.” He would remain a regular singer with the company into the late 1970s and went onto to perform lead roles in “Cavalleria Rusticana,” “La favorite,” “Il trovatore,” “Boris Godunov,” Aida,” “Tosca,” “Ernani,” Un Ballo in Maschera,” “la Forza del Destino” and “Jenůfa.” He also became well known for the title roles in “Nabucco” and “Rigoletto” and appeared in the world premieres of Ildebrando Pizzetti’s “Il calzare d’argento” and Guido Turchi’s “Il buon soldato Svejk.”

Outside of La Scala, the baritone sang at many of the prestigious Italian theaters including the Teatro Massimo, Teatro Comunale Florence, Arena di Verona, the Teatro Donizetti, Teatro Lirico Giuseppe Verdi, the Teatro Massimo, the Teatro Petruzzelli,  and the Teatro Sociale in Rovigo, among others.

He would also perform internationally at the Gran Teatre del Liceu, the Wiesbaden Opera House, the Greek National Opera, the Philadelphia Grand Opera Company, and the Connecticut Opera.

Known as one of the great Verdi interpreters of his generation, he went on to teach Luca Salsi and Franco Vassallo.