Giuseppe Di Stefano

Giuseppe Di Stefano

Giuseppe Di Stefano

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Giuseppe Di Stefano (24 July 1921 – 3 March 2008) was an Italian operatic tenor who sang professionally from the late 1940s until the early 1990s. He was known as the "Golden voice" or "The most beautiful voice", as the true successor of Beniamino Gigli. He was also known for his long-term performance and recording association and brief romantic episode with the soprano Maria Callas.

Biography

Giuseppe di Stefano was born in Motta Sant'Anastasia, a village near Catania, Sicily. He was the only son of a carabiniere turned cobbler and his dressmaker wife. Di Stefano was educated at a Jesuit seminary and briefly contemplated entering the priesthood.

After serving in the Italian military (and briefly taking lessons from the Swiss tenor Hugues Cuénod), di Stefano made his operatic debut in 1946 in Reggio Emilia as Des Grieux in Massenet's Manon, the role in which he made his La Scala debut the following year. The great beauty of his lyric tenor voice quickly won him international attention and he was duly engaged by the Metropolitan Opera in New York. He made his New York debut in 1948 as the Duke of Mantua in Verdi's Rigoletto. He went on to perform regularly in New York for many years. In 1957, di Stefano made his British debut at the Edinburgh Festival as Nemorino in L'Elisir d'Amore and his Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, debut in 1961, as Cavaradossi in Tosca.

As a singer, di Stefano was admired for his excellent diction, unique timbre, passionate...
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