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Nineteenth Century Italian Tenors

Fiorello Giraud (1868 - 1928) had a highly successful career throughout Italy and parts of South America and was well-respected both in Wagnerian and verismo roles. He will be remembered for creating the role of Canio (Pagliacci). His strong, vibrant voice was first captured on eight very rare G&T records. In 1916 and 1917, he recorded an additional 12 sides for Italian HMV, all song titles. This compilation will include all 20 of his published sides. Giovanni Batista de Negri (1850 - 1923) was particularly associated with the role of Otello, toured throughout Italy, and had a career that was cut short (1896) due to a series of operations for an unmentioned “malady.” In 1902, however, he recorded for the Zonophone company, forever leaving his mark. Francesco Signorini (1860 - 1927) achieved success singing Turiddu (Cavalleria rusticana) in Florence in 1890; appeared at La Scala in 1897; and appeared in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and South America in 1907. He gave up singing in 1910 to teach in Rome. His HMV recordings are very rare, including the scenes from Chatterton, which were issued on an early Marston release. Leopoldo Signoretti's birth date ranges from 1840 to 1850, the former seeming more plausible. His earliest traced performances were in Il barbiere di Siviglia at the Teatro Solis, Montevideo in May 1875. In 1884 he went to Bologna for Tannhäuser and the world premiere of Isora di Provenza by Luigi Mancinelli. At Madrid, in the 1884-1885 season he sang La Gioconda, Faust, Aida, L’Africana, Lucia di Lammermoor (with Sembrich and Battistini), Il principe di Viana (Manuel Fernandez Grajal), Il trovatore, Ernani, Un ballo in maschera, and Lohengrin. He recorded only five documented Zonophone sides, and in many ways, these are the most impressive of this quartet of early Italian tenors.

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