Obituary: Italian Baritone Giorgio Gatti Dies at 72

By Francisco Salazar

Baritone Giorgio Gatti has died at the age of 72 of COVID-19.

The baritone was intensive care in Rome after contracting a severe case of the illness.

Born in 1948 in Poggio a Caiano, Province of Prato, Tuscany, Italy, Gatti studied in Florence with tenor Vincenzo Guerrieri and went to the Conservatorio Santa Cecilia in Rome.

Following his studies in 1971, he won the Teatro lirico sperimentale “Adriano Belli” competition in Spoleto and made his debut at the Teatro Nuovo as Taddeo in “L’Italiana in Algeri,” Silvio in “Pagliacci,” and “Sigismondo.”

In 1972 he won the “Voci nuove rossiniane” and went on to participate in a number of world premiere works. His other accomplishments included working on “Piccolo Teatro Musicale della città di Roma” with “I Virtuosi di Roma” and the “Gruppo Recitar Cantando.”

He also worked on various televised productions. In 1992 he was cast in “Tosca” alongside Catherine Malfitano, Placido Domingo, and Ruggero Raimondi, and in 2000 he was cast in a filmed “La Traviata.”

Gatti also performed at all the great opera houses in Italy and was well known for his versatile repertoire that spanned baroque to the great verismo works.

He also worked with such conductors as Zubin Mehta, Semyon Bychkov, and Alberto Erede, among others, and appeared in a theatrical staging of the Julie Andrews film, “Victor Victoria.”

He also worked extensively with his wife pianist and harpsichordist Maria Teresa Conti, and they would tour together in recitals.

Gatti left a huge recording legacy that included “La cambiale di matrimonio,” “L’Ormindo” “Il barone di Rocca Antica,” “Tosca, “La Traviata,” “Il campanello,” and “Don Pasquale.”

He is survived by his mother of 100 years, his wife Maria Teresa, two children, and his grandchildren.