Thursday, July 24, 2014

Nazzareno Bertinelli (Baritone)

He studied singing under Antonio Cotogni and probably made his debut in 1921 at the Teatro Verdi of Salerno in G. Verdi’s ‘’Forza del Destino’’.

Chronology of some appearances

1921 Salerno Teatro Verdi Forza del Destino (Don Carlo)
1922 Roma Teatro Morgana Aida (Amonasro)
1923 Mantova Teatro Sociale Tannhauser (Wolframio)
1925 Castelsangiovanni Teatro Verdi Concerto
1927 Fano Teatro Della Fortuna Rigoletto (Rigoletto)
1931 Galatina  Teatro Comunale Cavalleria Rusticana (Alfio)
1932 Torino Teatro Vittorio Emanuele Barbiere di Siviglia (Figaro)
1933 Piombino Teatro Nuovo Trovatore (Conte)


Fonotipia, Milano 16-01-1931
Nerone (Boito): Vivete in pace e in concerto soave d'amor! 172169 XXP6684

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Conchita Supervia (Mezzo-Soprano) (Barcelona 1895 - London 1936)

She was educated at the local convent but at the age of twelve entered the Conservatori Superior de Música del Liceu in Barcelona to study singing.
She made her stage debut in 1910 at the young age of 15 at the Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires, Argentina in Stiattesi's Blanca de Beaulieu. Then she sang in Tomás Bretón's Los Amantes de Teruel and as Lola in Mascagni's Cavalleria rusticana.
In 1911 she sang the role of Octavian in the first Italian language production of Richard Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier at the Teatro Constanzi in Rome. In 1912 she appeared as Carmen at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in her native city, a role with which she would be associated for the rest of her career.
She made her American debut in 1915 as Charlotte in Massenet's Werther at the Chicago Opera, where she also sang in Mignon and Carmen. Back in Europe by the end of the First World War she was invited to Rome, where she started the Rossini revival that made her world-famous – as Angelina in La Cenerentola, Isabella in L'italiana in Algeri and Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, in the original keys.
All in all, she made more than 200 recordings mostly for the Fonotipia and Odeon labels, featuring not only her famous roles in opera but also a vast song repertory in Catalan, Spanish, French, Italian and English, as well as pieces from zarzuela and even operetta. (She had appeared in a legendary production of Franz Lehár's Frasquita at the Opéra Comique.)
In 1930, she made her London debut at the Queen's Hall. The following year she married a Jewish businessman from London, Ben Rubenstein, and settled there. (She already had a teenage son, George, from a previous association.)
Her Covent Garden debut was in 1934 in La Cenerentola and in 1935 she repeated that part, plus L'Italiana in Algeri and Carmen. In 1934, Supervía appeared in the Victor Saville British motion picture Evensong as a singer named Baba L'Etoile, opposite actor Fritz Kortner.
Later, during her career, pregnancy forced her to cancel her planned appearances in the autumn of 1935. On 29 March 1936 she entered a London clinic to await the birth of her baby, which was stillborn on 30 March; a few hours later she herself died. She was buried with her baby daughter, in a grave designed by Edwin Lutyens, in the Liberal Jewish Cemetery atWillesden in NW London. The grave, which had fallen into disrepair, was refurbished by a group of admirers and re-consecrated in October 2006.
She had a powerful chest register linked to a flexible upper voice that could cope easily with florid passages, allied to a musicianship of great individuality and infectious flair. Her voice is not without its critics; a pronounced vibrato that in the lower part of the voice became almost a machine-gun rattle, ‘as strong as the rattle of ice in a glass, or dice in a box’, in a comment attributed to the British critic, Philip Hope-Wallace.
Many who heard her in the flesh have said that this vibrato was more evident on records than on the stage – an example of the microphone exaggerating a singer's faults. In the 1920s Supervía sang at La Scala as Hänsel in Engelbert Humperdinck's Hänsel und Gretel but, strangely, she never sang the Rossini roles or Carmen at La Scala though she sang there in every season until 1929.

Chronology of some appearances

1910 Buenos Aires Teatro Colñn
1911 Rome Teatro Constanzi
1912 Barcelona Gran Teatre del Liceu
1915 Chicago Opera
1934 London Covent Garden


Fonotipia, Milano 1927-10-18
Carmen (Bizet): Quintetto, pt 1 with Apolloni, Mannarini, Nessi and Baracchi 168110 Pho6059
Carmen (Bizet): Quintetto, pt 2 with Apolloni, Mannarini, Nessi and Baracchi  168110 Pho6060

Fonotipia, Barcelona 1928-02-11
Italiana in Algeri (Rossini): Oh! che muso with Bettoni, on label as Scattola! 120200 XXS4598

Fonotipia, Barcelona 1928-02-13
Italiana in Algeri (Rossini): Per lui che adoro with  Ederle, Scattola and Bettoni 120200 XXS4617

Fonotipia, Milano 1928-06-20
Hänsel und Gretel (Humperdinck): Duetto del ballo, pt 1 with Ferraris 120166 XXPh6328
Hänsel und Gretel (Humperdinck): Duetto del ballo, pt 2 with Ferraris 120166 XXPh6329

Fonotipia, Milano 1929-02-08
Cenerentola (Rossini): Signore, una parola with Bettoni  120191
Mignon (Thomas): Leggiadre rondinelle with Bettoni 120191

Fonotipia, Barcelona 1928-02-13
Italiana in Algeri (Rossini): Per lui che adoro with Ederle, Scattola and Bettoni 120200 XXS4617

Fonotipia, Milano 1928-06-19
Barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini): Contro un cor with Manuritta 120167 XXPh6320
Barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini): Cara immagine ridente with Manuritta 120167 XXPh6321

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Carlo Scattola (Bass) (Vicenza 1878 - Milano 1947)

About the beginnings of his career is known a little, but probably he made his debut in 1899 at the Teatro Rossini of Venice in ‘’Carmen’’. In 1912 he appeared at the Teatro alla Scala in Mascagin’s ‘’Isabeau’’. After the First World War he began the second career as Bass-Buffo, which was very successful. In 1922 he again sang at the Teatro alla Scala, but this time in ‘’Gianni Schicchi’’. Here in 1934 he performed in the premiere of Lodovico Rocca’s ‘’Il Dibuk’’. Already in 1927 he took part at the Teatro Torino in Torino in the premiere of the opera ‘’Madonna Imperia’’ of Franco Alfano. In 1926 he sang opposite Conchita Supervia at the Teatro Argentina in Rome as Taddeo in ‘’L'Italiana in Algeri’’. In 1938 he sang at the Arena di Verona in Puccini’s ‘’Boheme’’. He also appeared in opera performances of the Italian broadcasting company EIAR. He retired from the stage in 1946.

Chronology of some appearances

1899 Venezia Teatro Rossini Carmen (Zuniga)
1905 Torino Teatro Vittorio Emanuele Giovanni Gallurese di I.Montemezzi
1913 Bari Teatro Petruzzelli Erodiade (Fanuel)
1916 Genova   Politeama Duca di Genova Figlia Del Reggimento (Ortensio)
1918 Genova Politeama Genovese Manon Lescaut (Geronte)
1920 Torino Teatro Verdi Andrea Chenier (Roucher)
1922 Milano Teatro La Scala Gianni Schicchi (Simone)
1925 Reggio Emilia Teatro Municipale Francesca da Rimini (Giullare)
1928 Madrid Teatro Zarzuela Italiana in Algeri (Mustafà)
1931 Cairo Teatro Kedivhiale Aida (Re)
1934 Milano Teatro La Scala Fra' Diavolo (Matteo)
1937 Milano Teatro La Scala Tosca (Sagrestano)
1941 Rovigo Teatro Sociale Il Campiello di E.Wolf Ferrari (Fabrizio)
1946 Rovigo Teatro Sociale Boheme (Benoit/Alcindoro)


Fonotipia, Barcelona (Madrid?) 1928-02-13
Italiana in Algeri (Rossini): Per lui che adoro with Bettoni, Supervia   and Ederle 120200 XXS4617

Giuseppe Menni (Bass)

In the 1916-1919 he sang seasons smaller bass parts at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires and appeared there among other things in 1918 in the premiere of the opera ‘’Jacquerie’’ of Gino Marinuzzi. Then in 1920’s and 1930’s he performed as Comprimario at the La Scala in Milano. He sang at the La Scala in the premieres of the operas ‘’Nerone’’ of A. Boito (1924) and ‘’La Cena delle Beffe’’ of U. Giordano (1924). In 1927 at the La Scala he performed in the premiere of E. Wolf-Ferrari’s opera ‘’Sly’’. In smaller Italian provincial theaters he appeared also in bigger roles. In 1929 with the society of Max Sauter he travelled around Germany and Austria.

Chronology of some appearances

1918 Buenos Aires Teatro Colón Jacquerie
1924 Milano La Scala Nerone
1924 Milano La Scala La Cena delle Beffe
1927 Milano La Scala Sly


Fonotipia, Milano 1927-10-19
Traviata (Verdi): Scena della borsa, pt 1 with Baracchi, Bardone, Ciniselli, Nessi, Mannarini and Fregosi 120076 XXPh6067
Traviata (Verdi): Scena della borsa, pt 2 with Baracchi, Bardone, Ciniselli, Nessi, Mannarini and Fregosi 120076 XXPh6068

Bruna Castagna (Mezzo-Soprano) (Bari 1896 – Pinamar 1983)

She began her study of music at age seven, training first as a pianist. By her early teens, she was recognized in her region as a player of real potential, but she elected at that point to forgo the piano in favor of pursuing a career as a singer. After voice studies in Milan, she made her stage debut rather hastily as Marina in Boris Godunov in 1925. She was only 20, but her success at Mantua's Teatro Sociale prompted conductor Tullio Serafin to offer a contract for performances at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. Castagna subsequently sang in the Argentine capital for three seasons. Meanwhile, La Scala offered the mezzo opportunities not usually made available to artists so young and she remained with that theater for the ensuing three years from 1925 to 1928. Arturo Toscanini, who had previously become familiar with her work, bid Castagna return to Milan, believing that he had found in her an artist able to do justice to the mezzo works of Rossini and the other bel canto composers. L'italiana in Algeri, unlike the composer's Il barbièri di Siviglia, could not be sung by a soprano. A true mezzo was required and, upon the staging of a new production in 1933, Castagna was hailed by the critics as one who could bring such important works back into the repertory. At Barcelona's Liceo, she undertook Carmen for the first time; it would soon become one of her signature roles. After triumphant stage performances in France, Germany, Romania, Egypt, and Australia, Castagna received invitations from Chicago and San Francisco and enjoyed a major success in a concert appearance at New York's Hippodrome in 1934. Finally given a contract by Metropolitan Opera general manager Edward Johnson, she made her New York stage debut on March 2, 1936, singing a strong Amneris and winning the approval of the city's music critics. Two other roles, following in quick succession, added to her reputation. Her Azucena in Il Trovatore was found a searing dramatic presence with voice to match and her Carmen, though Italianate in flavor, was a persuasive departure from the hands-on-hips excesses of previous interpreters. Critic Lawrence Gilman found in her an artist with "both temperament and artistic tact." A summer audience of 15,000 heard Castagna's Carmen that same year at Lewisohn Stadium. Assessing her approach to the role, Pitts Sanborn enthusiastically commented "always she is the accomplished musician. The mantle of the great Carmens has fallen upon her, and royally she wears it." Castagna continued to perform the role during the remainder of her career. Upon retirement, she returned to Italy to teach voice and interpretation.

Chronology of some appearances

Carmen 11/9/1934, Adalgisa 11/30/1937, Carmen 5/14/1938, Amneris 11/29/1938, Laura Adorno 1/23/1940, Amneris 5/17/1943, Carmen 5/21/1943, Amneris 9/27/1943, Carmen 10/1/1943, Azucena 10/3/1943, Adalgisa 2/1/1944, Amneris 3/7/1944, Carmen 5/3/1944, 5/5/1944, 9/26/1944, 9/28/1944, Azucena 9/30/1944, Amneris 10/2/1944, 10/7/1944, Carmen 10/25/1944, Amneris 1/9/1945, Laura Adorno 3/13/1945, Carmen 5/5/1945, 1/14/1946, 10/5/1946, Laura Adorno 2/21/1947, Carmen 3/7/1947, Adalgisa 4/23/1947, Carmen 5/20/1947, 2/12/1948, 9/27/1949, 10/5/1949, Amneris 10/8/1949, Carmen 10/13/1949 (in Filadelfia)


Fonotipia, Milano 1928-10-16
Mefistofele (Boito): Quartetto di giardino, pt 1 with Ciniselli, Righetti and Concato 120172 XXPh6376
Mefistofele (Boito): Quartetto di giardino, pt 2 with Ciniselli, Righetti and Concato 120173 XXPh6383
Mefistofele (Boito): Quartetto di giardino, pt3 with Ciniselli, Righetti and Concato 120173 XXPh6384

Rosetta Pampanini (Soprano) (Milano 1896 - Corbola 1973)


She was born in Milan into a musical family. She initiallly trained to become a teacher but eventually decided to study voice. She was taught by the couple Emma and Lorenzo Molajoli and made her debut in 1920 at the Teatro Nazionale in Rome as Micaela. Subsequently she appeared at numerous Italian opera houses. In the first years of her career she built up her repertory under Tullio Serafin’s guidance. Of great importance was her association with Pietro Mascagni who often conducted her in his opera Iris. Pampanini’s success in the role re-established the piece from 1898 in the contemporary repertoire. Another significant mentor was Arturo Toscanini. He conducted the revival of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly at La Scala in 1925, with Rosetta Pampanini in the title role. The 12 performances turned out to be a complete triumph - not least because of the heroine whose artistry ensured that Madame Butterfly soon became one of the most popular operas. Not only did Pampanini help to establish Madame Butterfly, the role of Cio-Cio-San also made her to one of the most splendid Italian artists of the time. She remained at La Scala as long as Toscanini stayed there (until 1930), appearing in a number of world premieres of then contemporary operas as well as in her Puccini repertoire. She also toured with the Scala ensemble. Toscanini invited her to Berlin to sing Manon Lescaut and Madame Butterfly (1929). Covent Garden saw her in her Puccini parts. From 1926 she was a regular guest at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. In the season 1931/32 she was engaged as Butterfly, Nedda and Mimì at the Chicago Opera, but was not reinvited later. Further performances at the opera houses of Vienna (1930-1932), Oslo (1933) and Prague (1935) followed. A special occasion was her performance of Mimì in a performance of La Bohème, conducted by Pietro Mascagni in Puccini’s home town Torre del Lago. From 1937 she turned to more dramatic roles such as Leonora in La Forza del destino, Aida and Maddalena. Rosetta Pampanini bade farewell to the stage in 1946. After her retirement she worked as a singing coach.

Chronology of some appearances

1920 Rome Teatro Nazionale Carmen  (Micaela)
1925 Milan La Scala Madame Butterfly (Cio-Cio-San)
1926 Buenos Aires Teatro Colón  (-)
1931 Chicago Chicago Opera (-)


Fonotipia, Milano 1926-04-08
Wally (Catalani): Ebben? Ne andrò lontana 152034 Pho5694
Manon Lescaut (Puccini): In quelle trine morbide 152035 Pho5695
Madama Butterfly (Puccini): Un bel dì, vedremo 74975 XXPh5696

Fonotipia, Milano 1926-04-09
Bohème (Puccini): Sì, mi chiamano Mimì 74976 XXPh5701
Otello (Verdi): Canzone del salce 74985 XXPh5705

Fonotipia, Milano 1926-04-10
Iris (Mascagni): Un dì 74986 XXPh5708
Otello (Verdi): Ave Maria unpubl. Pho5709

Fonotipia, Milano 1926-04-12
Carmen (Bizet): Io dico, no, non son paurosa 74989 XXPh5710
Tosca (Puccini): Vissi d'arte unpubl. Pho5711
Andrea Chénier (Giordano): La mamma morta 74990 XXPh5712

Fonotipia, Milano 1926-10-20
Bohème (Puccini): O soave fanciulla with Aureliano Pertile 120001 XXPh5775

Fonotipia, Milano 1926-10-26
Turandot (Puccini): Signore, ascolta 168014 Pho5789
Turandot (Puccini): Tanto amore segreto... Tu che di gel sei cinta 168015 Pho5790
Otello (Verdi): Ave Maria 168038 Pho5792

Fonotipia, Milano 1927-01-20
Pagliacci (Leoncavallo): Stridono lassù 168038 Pho5854
Faust (Gounod): C'era un re, un re di Thulé 120039 XXPh5855

Fonotipia, Milano 1927-01-24 
Madama Butterfly (Puccini): Un bel dì, vedremo 120043 XXPh5873
Wally (Catalani): Ebben? Ne andrò lontana 120043 XXPh5874

Fonotipia, Milano 1928-01-11
Manon Lescaut (Puccini): In quelle trine morbide 168191 Pho6096
Andrea Chénier (Giordano): La mamma morta 120165 XXPh6098

Fonotipia, Milano 1928-05-19
Madama Butterfly (Puccini): Bimba non piangere with Ferdinando  Ciniselli 120148  XXPh6239 
Madama Butterfly (Puccini): Quest'obi pomposa with Ferdinando Cinizelli 120148 XXPh6240

Fonotipia, Milano 1928-05-21
Madama Butterfly (Puccini): Adesso voi with Ferdinando  Ciniselli 120149 XXPh6247
Madama Butterfly (Puccini): Via dall'anima in pena with Ferdinando  Ciniselli 120149 XXPh6248

Jolanda Mazza (Soprano)

In 1929 she appeared at the Teatro Petruzzeli in Bari as Micaela in ''Carmen''.

Chronology of appearance

1929 Bari Teatro Petruzzeli Carmen (Micaela)


Odeon Fonotipia, Milano 1929-12-10
Piccolo Marat (Mascagni): Comprendi quello with Attilio Barbieri 172098 Xxpho 6517
Piccolo Marat (Mascagni): Va nella tua stanzetta with Attilio Barbieri 172098 XXpho  6514