Obituary: Tenor Lando Bartolini Dies at 87

By Francisco Salazar

On June 28, 2024, Italian tenor Lando Bartolini died at the age of 87.

Born on April 11, 1937 in Prato, Italy, the tenor went on to study at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia after winning the Mario Lanza Award in 1968.

He began his career in Philadelphia debuting in Puccini’s “Il Tabarro” and made his international debut in 1973 as Osaka in Mascagni’s “Iris” at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona.

He became a naturalized American and established a career with the New York City Opera where he appeared in such roles as Turiddu in “Cavalleria Rusticana” at the New York City Opera.

Bartolini returned to Italy in January 1982 and went on to take on the title role of “Ernani” at the Teatro alla Scala. In 1983 he made his Arena di Verona debut and went on to perform internationally in Vienna, Munich, Hamburg, Berlin, Paris, Marseille, and London. He also performed in Asia and South America.

In 1986, he replaced Luciano Pavarotti in a production of “Ernani” at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. He made his house debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 1988 and performed with the company 56 times. He performed “Il Trovatore,” “Aida,” “Andrea Chenier,” “Tosca,” and “Turandot” with the company.

He continued his career into the early 2000s and went on to perform with some of the most important conductors including Riccardo Muti and Zubin Mehta.

His repertoire included 49 operas of works by Puccini, Verdi, and Giordano, among others.

While he recorded very few operas, he was the first to record the complete version of Franco Alfano’s ending to “Turandot.”