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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Icilio Calleja (Tenor) (Corfu / island, Greece 1882 - Milan, Italy 1941)




He was born in Corfù, but raised by his banker father in Alexandria. He studied law at the Paris Sorbonne before finally turning to singing. He took vocal lessons from M. Foà in Milan. Debuted in 1906 at the Teatro Verdi in Firenze as Canio in ‘’Pagliacci’’. Already in 1907 he appeared at La Scala in ‘’La Wally’’ under Arturo Toscanini. In 1908 he sang again at La Scala, this time as Don Alvaro in ‘’La forza del destino’’ and came back in 1913 to sing Otello. In 1914 he repeated the role of Otello at the Teatro Regio in Parma. In 1908 he guested at the Teatro Comunale in Bologna as Radames in ‘’Aida’’, then also at the Teatro Massimo in Palermo. In 1912 he appeared in Chicago as Radames in ‘’Aida’’, ‘’I Gioielli della Madonna’’ and ‘’Pagliacci’’. In 1913 he helped at the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa in the Italian première of ‘’ I Gioielli della Madonna ‘’, in 1914 he guested at the Teatro Liceo in Barcelona, in 1915 at the Teatro Real in Madrid as Otello, in 1914 he sang at La Scala in the premiere of Smareglia’s opera ‘’Abisso’’. In 1916 he again appeared at La Scala in 'Fernando G. Spontini’s opera ‘’ Fernando Cortez’’. He sang his favorite role Otello also in 1915 at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome and at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples. Temporarily he appeared in 1917 in the baritone field, thus as Tonio in ‘’Pagliacci’’ and at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome as Gérard in ‘’Andrea Chénier’’, however, returned soon again to his tenor repertoire. In the 1922-23 season at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples he appeared as Tristan in Wagner’s opera ‘’ Tristano e Isotta’’. 1923 at the Teatro Donizetti in Bergamo he sang as Siegfried in the première there of this Wagner's opera, in 1923 at the Teatro Comunale in Bologna he appeared in ‘’Walkiria’’. He stopped with Siegfried at Parma 1929 retiring to Alexandria. Calleja was the first to sing Otello at La Scala since Tamagno 26 years before!. 

Chronology of some appearances

1908 Ferrara Teatro Comunale Siberia (Vassili)
1908 Palermo Teatro Massimo Ballo in maschera (Riccardo)
1910 Bari Teatro Petruzzelli Ballo in maschera (Riccardo)
1910 Firenze Teatro Verdi Loreley (Walter)
1911 Genova Teatro Carlo Felice Germania (Federico)
1912 Chicago Civic Opera House Pagliacci (Canio)
1912 Philadelphia Teatro Metropolitan Pagliacci (Canio)
1913 Milano Teatro La Scala Otello (Otello)
1914 Madrid Teatro Reale Norma (Pollione)
1914 Parma  Teatro Regio Otello (Otello)
1915 Brescia  Teatro Grande Otello (Otello)
1915 Barcellona Teatro Liceo Otello (Otello)
1916 Napoli Teatro San Carlo Otello (Otello)
1917 Roma Teatro Costanzi Otello (Otello)
1917 Brescia Teatro Sociale Pagliacci (Canio)
1919 Catania  Teatro Bellini Otello (Otello)
1921 Reggio Emilia Teatro Municipale Tristano e Isotta (Tristano)
1922 Firenze Politeama Fiorentino Tristano e Isotta (Tristano)
1923 Napoli Teatro San Carlo Otello (Otello)
1923 Bergamo Teatro Donizetti Tristano e Isotta (Tristano)
1923 La Valletta/Malta Teatro Reale Otello (Otello)
1924 Trieste Teatro Verdi Tristano e Isotta (Tristano)

RECORDINGS FOR SALE








Fonotipia, Milano 1909-07-02
Aida (Verdi): Gran Concertato Finale Atto II with Armida Parsi-Pettinella, Lina Pasini-Vitale, Antonio Magini-Coletti, Ferruccio Corradetti and Oreste Luppi 69022 XXXPh 4036

Fonotipia, Milano 1909-10-30
Otello (Verdi): Ora e per sempre addio 92674 XPh 4124

Fonotipia, Milano 1910-10-10
Aida (Verdi): Di Napata Le gole with Domenico Viglione Borghese, Ester Mazzoleni and  Laura delLungo 92673 XPh 4366



















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