Ruggero Raimondi’s Appearance in Non-Operatic Media

By David Salazar

Bass Ruggero Raimondi built a great career that saw him dominate in the great Italian repertoire. Born on Oct. 3, 1941, Raimondi was a student at the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory in Milan, would go on to a win the National Competition for young singers in Spoleto, and then become one of the best in the world.

Besides having a world class voice, he was also a tremendous actor, his work so good that he was the first choice for many video recordings of famous operas. Among these is his portrayal of Escamillo in Francesco Rosi’s “Carmen” and then the live performance of “Tosca” in real time all around real locations.

This would inevitably allow him to gain even greater opportunities on the small and big screen. Here are some of the major video appearances of the great bass.

La Truite

Raimondi’s first appearance in a non-operatic work is Joseph Losey’s film, which stars Isabelle Huppert. It tells the story of Frederique, played by Huppert, who leaves her small-town home to embark on a journey through Japan. Raimondi appears as a party guest in the film.

La vie est un roman

In 1983, the bass appeared in Alain Renais’ film, which interweaves three different stories in the forest of Ardennes. The bass appears as Count Forbek in the second of these stories, set in 1914. It relates his desire to build a castle for his beloved Livia, but ultimately their relationship takes a turn for the worst when he invites his guests to drink a potion.

Les Couleurs du Diable

In 1997, the singer appeared in Alain Jessua’s film about a young painter who trades his soul and talent for a chance at glory. Raimondi stars as Bellisle, the devil-like figure in this modern Faustian tale.

Le Sanglot des Anges 

The baritone appeared in this mini-series from 2008, taking on the role of Carlo di Vanelli.


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