Ettore Bastianini                     (Malibran 132)
Item# V2517
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Ettore Bastianini                     (Malibran 132)
V2517. ETTORE BASTIANINI, w.Mitropoulos, Previtali, Gavazzeni, Giulini, Tieri & Schüchter Cond.: Arias from Don Carlos, Otello, Ernani, Il Trovatore, La Traviata, Ballo, Tosca, Barbiere, La Gioconda & Andrea Chénier. (France) Malibran 132.


�While Ettore Bastianini's career was quite short, it was also distinguished. He was regarded as having one of the finest Verdi and verismo voices of his day, though his vocal gifts were not always matched by an equal musicianship.

Bastianini studied privately with Gaetano Vanni, and sang in the local choir. His professional solo d�but was in a concert in Siena early in 1945, and his operatic d�but was at the Ravenna Opera as Colline in Puccini's LA BOH�ME later that year. He sang at the smaller houses throughout Italy and even went abroad to Cairo with a touring company, still singing the bass repertoire, including Mephistopheles in Gounod's FAUST. His La Scala d�but was in 1948 as Tir�sias in Stravinsky's OEDIPUS REX. During these years, he began to wonder if he was truly a bass, and in 1951 he made his d�but as a baritone early in 1951 at the Bologna Opera as Germont in LA TRAVIATA. However, the performance was not especially successful, and he resumed intense studies over the next few months, giving special attention to developing his upper register. When he returned to the stage that summer, he had achieved just that goal, and his high notes were now considered his vocal glory. In 1953 Bastianini performed opposite Maria Callas for the first of many times, as Enrico Asthon in LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR at the Teatro Comunale Florence. That same year he sang the r�le of Carlo G�rard in Giordano's ANDREA CH�NIER for the first time at the Teatro Regio di Torino. He made his Metropolitan Opera d�but as Germont on 5 December, 1953, opposite Licia Albanese as Violetta and Richard Tucker as Alfredo. The following January he sang Enrico to Lily Pons' Lucia and Jan Peerce's Edgardo at the Met. On 10 May, 1954, he made his d�but as a baritone at La Scala, in the title r�le of Tchaikovsky's EUGENE ONEGIN with Renata Tebaldi as Tatyana.

In the Fall of 1954, Bastianini joined the roster of the Metropolitan Opera where he sang regularly through May 1957. His r�les at the Met during this time included Amonasro, Carlo G�rard, Count di Luna, Enrico, Germont, Marcello in LA BOH�ME, Rodrigo in Don Carlo, and the title r�le in RIGOLETTO. He later returned to the Met in the Spring of 1960 to portray several r�les including Don Carlo in LA FORZA DEL DESTINO. He returned to the Met again in January 1965 where he spent most of that year singing in several of his prior r�les with the company, as well as performing Scarpia in TOSCA. His 87th and final performance at the Met was as Rodrigo on 11 December, 1965. It was also coincidentally the last performance of his career.

In 1956, he made his Chicago d�but as Riccardo in Bellini's I PURITANI. In 1962, he made his Covent Garden d�but as Renato in UN BALLO IN MASCHERA. Early in 1963, he left the stage for a few months, letting it be understood that he was resting, but in fact, he was undergoing treatment for throat cancer. His return performances and subsequent performances were poorly received, often with booing from the audience, as he was often hoarse, off-pitch, and under-powered. While he was deeply dismayed at this, he still did not speak of his illness; for all except family and close friends it came as a complete surprise until after the announcement of his death. His last performance was in 1965 at the Metropolitan Opera.�

- Anne Feeney,