Category Archives: Baritones

Recording of the Week – Hvorostovsky as Rigoletto

Tweet Dmitri Hvorostovsky did not record the Verdi baritone’s summa, Rigoletto, until 2016 – a year after he was diagnosed with brain cancer. This recording was released by Delos near the end of last year shortly before the singer’s death. Rigoletto was not at the core of the great baritone’s repertoire. Of his 182 performances…


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Pavel Lisitsian

Tweet Pavel Lisitsian (1911-2004) was a Russian baritone of Armenian heritage. He started work as a laborer. When his vocal talent was recognized he trained at the Leningrad Conservatory. His vocal career started in that city at the Maly Leningrad State Opera. From 1940 until his retirement from the opera stage in 1966 he was…


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Dmitri Hvorostovsky – Arias and Duets

Tweet The great Russian baritone died on Nov 22, 2017, two and a half years after announcing that he was suffering from a brain tumor. He was born in 1962 and escaped a difficult environment by virtue of his singing ability. The Siberian singer was clearly the best Italian style baritone of his era. His…


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Finale 15 – Rigoletto Act 2

Tweet Rigoletto is an opera the marks the beginning of a new style of composing for Verdi. It is a work filled with invention, but the end of Act 2 reprises the Verdi of Nabucco and Ernani. Just belt it out and sweep the audience away. Of course, no one sings the concluding duet between…


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Riccardo Stracciari

Tweet Recently, I posted an article about my choices for the 10 best baritones of the 20th century. Absent from this list was Ricardo Stracciari (1875-1955). Stracciari was such a great singer that I am uncertain why I omitted him. He was born in Casalecchio di Reno and died in Rome. In between he sang…


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The 10 Best Baritones of the 20th Century

Tweet My piece on the 10 best tenors of the 20th century proved popular, so here’s a go at the 10 best baritones of the same epoch. Again, I emphasize that what follows is merely a personal opinion. I make no claim to omniscience. Readers are encouraged to make their own list. Actually, there are…


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Recording of the Week: Leonard Warren 10 CD Set

Tweet Leonard Warren (1911-60) was the greatest baritone I ever heard. In the major Verdi parts no one else was close. He had everything. A voice of immense size, incomparable high notes, and a velvet control over his great instrument. He made his career at the Met, appearing at that great house 657 times between 1938…


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Robert Merrill Rareties

Tweet Robert Merrill (1917-2004) was one of the 20th centuries greatest baritones. His career at the Metropolitan Opera  overlapped those of all the other great American baritones. When he debuted at the Met in 1945 Lawrence Tibbett was still singing at the New York house while Leonard Warren was beginning his tenure as the world’s…


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Lawrence Tibbett

Tweet Lawrence Tibbett (1896-1960) – born in Bakersfield, California – was the first in a succession of great American baritones who have been dominant performers at the Metropolitan Opera and throughout the world during much of the 20th century. He made his Met debut in 1923 as Lavitsky in Boris Godunov. For the next few years…


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Antenore Reali – Italian Baritone

Tweet Antenore Reali (1897-1960)) was a baritone active from 1921 until 1952 when he was forced to retire because of ill health. Even serious opera lovers may not have heard of him. After listening to his recordings you will likely share my surprise at his obscurity. He may have gone relatively unnoticed for several reasons….


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