RIP Carlo Bergonzi
(via BBC) – Italian opera singer Carlo Bergonzi, considered a leading performer of Verdi’s work, has died aged 90.
During a career spanning 40 years, Bergonzi performed a string of stage roles, making his debut as a tenor at Milan’s La Scala in 1953.
His voice was captured on numerous recordings, including one of every major Verdi operatic aria, which was made in 1976.
After his retirement, he continued to work as a teacher.
He also ran a Verdi singing competition and managed a hotel.
He was regularly performing well into his 60s, and at the age of 75 undertook the demanding title role in Verdi’s Otello at New York’s Carnegie Hall, amongst a roster of stars including Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras.
But the role was too challenging and Bergonzi withdrew part way into the performance and was replaced by his understudy.
Gramophone magazine praised the performer’s ”power and longevity” but added it was “never at the expense of a sweet legato line, near-perfect diction and beauty of sound”.