Obituary: Tenor Daniele Barioni Dies at 92

By Francisco Salazar

On Nov. 5, 2022, Italian Tenor Daniele Barioni died at the age of 92.

Born on Sept. 6, 1930, Barioni was raised in Copparo, Ferrara, and began his singing studies in 1949 in Milan with Attilio Bordonali. He was initially studying as a baritone and made his professional singing debut that same year at the Circolo Italia, in Milan.

Following the concert, his teacher started to work with him as a tenor for the next five years and in 1954 he debuted as Turiddu in “Cavalleria rusticana” at the Teatro Nuovo, in Milan.

That year he sang Mario Cavaradossi in “Tosca” and Pinkerton in “Madama Butterfly.” In 1955 he sang on tour throughout Egypt and South Africa.

His career changed in 1956 when he made his Metropolitan Opera debut and joined the roster of the legendary company. He sang with the company for seven seasons for a total of 54 performances. He made his debut with the company on Feb. 20, 1956, as Mario Cavaradossi in “Tosca” with Delia Rigal in the title role and George London as Scarpia. Two days later he sang his first Rodolfo in Puccini’s “La bohème” opposite Licia Albanese, with whom he performed most frequently.

He went on to perform with Lucine Amara, Maria Callas, Mary Curtis Verna, Victoria de los Ángeles, Dorothy Kirsten, Zinka Milanov, Leonie Rysanek, Giulietta Simionato, Antonietta Stella, Anna Moffo and Renata Tebaldi.

Other roles at the New York house included Pinkerton in “Madama Butterfly,” Alfredo in Verdi’s “La traviata,” Turridu, Macduff in Verdi’s “Macbeth,” Dick Johnson in Puccini’s “La fanciulla del West,” and the title role in Umberto Giordano’s “Andrea Chénier.” He toured his Turridu throughout different cities in the United States and Canada during the 1958-1959 season.

His final performance with the company was on Nov. 27, 1962 as the Italian Singer in Richard Strauss’s “Der Rosenkavalier.”

After his career at the Met, the tenor sang in other American cities until 1975. He performed with the Philadelphia Grand Opera Company (PGOC), the Philadelphia Lyric Opera Company, and the Academy of Music. He also performed in Italy in different cities and theaters, and in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Canada, Portugal, France, Germany and Ireland. In all he sang 31 roles in his career.

Outside of the opera, he appeared in an Italian film, “Carosello di Canzoni.”

Barioni married Italian-American pianist Vera Franceschi and had a son Giulio Barioni was born His wife Franceschi died prematurely of leukemia in 1966 and her death also meant the decline of Barioni’s career as a singer.

From 1975 to 1980 he appeared in opera and concerts, but not so often as in previous years. His last appearance was in a concert with Renata Tebaldi at the Teatro Comunale, in Ferrara, in 1981, to receive the Premio Frescobaldi 1980.