Tag Archives: baritone

Apollo Granforte

If you need more proof that good luck is the greatest gift a person can possess look no further than at the life and career of Apollo Granforte (1886-1975). Start at the beginning. When he was two days old he was left in a basket at the Ospedale Civile in Legnano – how it was…


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Dmitri Hvorostovsky – RIP

The great Russian baritone died yesterday at a hospice near London. He announced he had a brain tumor in 2105. Hvorostovsky made a surprise appearance at the Met Gala last May celebrating 50 years at its Lincoln Center House. The NY Times has a fine obituary here. A video of his last appearance at the…


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The 10 Best Baritones of the 20th Century

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 11…


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Eri Tu

No composer gave the baritone so many great gifts as did Giuseppe Verdi. Renato, the baritone, has an aria in Act 3 of Un Ballo in Maschera that is a masterpiece of conflicted feelings, pain, betrayal, and revenge. Renato’s wife, Amelia, is in love with his best friend Riccardo the governor of colonial Massachusetts or…


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Pagliacci – Il Prologo

Leoncavallo’s opera Pagliacci is a vehicle for the tenor, yet every baritone wants to sing the relatively minor role of Tonio. The reason is simple – the prologue. It’s a sensational aria for a Verdi style baritone that ends in a high A-flat followed by a high G. It’s sung in front of the curtains with the…


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Antenore Reali – Italian Baritone

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. His…


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Il Balen

No composer wrote so much great music for baritone as did Giuseppe Verdi. In Italian opera the baritone is usually a villain, or the guy who doesn’t get the girl, or an older protagonist. But regardless, Verdi usually has him sing like an angel. Nowhere is this more so than in the second act of Il…


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Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau

Dietrich Fisher-Dieskau, who died May 18, was a unique performer. In a very long career he managed to sing and record almost anything that a classically trained baritone could possibly sing. While best known as the foremost interpreter of German art songs he appeared almost as often in the opera house as in the concert hall. The facts…


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Leonard Warren – The Great Verdi Baritone

Before the sound of Leonard Warren’s great baritone fades from living memory, I thought I’d try to recollect the impression he made on me during the 20 or so times I heard him sing at the old Met. Born Leonard Warenoff in 1911, he was the son of Russian-Jewish immigrants. Like his colleague Rubin Ticker,…


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