Obituary: Legendary Bass Luigi Roni Dies of Coronavirus

By Francisco Salazar

Legendary bass Luigi Roni has died at the age of 78 of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Born on Feb. 22, 1942 in Vergemoli, Tuscany, Italy, the bass studied at the Boccherini di Lucca as a bassoonist with Professor Cenni. However, he ended up studying voice with Adriana Pizzorusso and soon after, he made his debut in Spoleto as Mefistolfele in Gounod’s “Faust.”

Roni went on to sing at some of the most important theaters in the world including the Teatro alla Scala from 1969 to 2010 and the Metropolitan Opera where he was featured in the Live HD performance of “La Traviata” alongside Natalie Dessay and Dimitri Hvorostovsky. He also worked under Claudio Abbado, Riccardo Muti, and Gianandrea Gavazzeni.

Among his most recognized roles were the Grand Inquisitor in “Don Carlo,” Ramfis in “Aida” and Samuel in “Un ballo in maschera.”

In 2002, he founded the Festival Il Serchio delle muse in Valle del Serchio.

Roni left a number of recordings and live performances in which was featured including “La Traviata” from La Scala with Angela Gheorghiu and from Salzburg with Anna Netrebko; and “Don Carlo” from Orange with Montserrat Caball√©. He is also featured on the recording of “Manon Lescaut” with Maria Guleghina and “I Due Foscari” from La Scala. He also appeared on recordings of “Otello” with Placido Domingo; “Zaira” with Renata Scotto; “Aida” with Montserat Caballe and Domingo; “Il Barbiere di Siviglia” with Hermann Prey; and “Don Giovanni.”