B1861. GIANNA PEDERZINI – Biography (Maurizio Tiberi). Roma, 2-TIMA Club, 2016. 439pp. in Two Volumes; Index; Exhaustive Chronology, 1923-72; Discography, 1928-49; Repertoire; copious Photos, many never before in print; Illustrated with concert & opera program reproductions, newspaper articles & reviews, plus delightful caricatures. (Italian Text) (Pictorial thick paper covers)
“[Pederzini’s] tone production, enunciation and acting skills were in perfect balance for many years and were enhanced by a vivid imaginative identification with each of the seventy characters that she performed, ranging chronologically from Mozart to Poulenc….[She employed] a fascinating grasp of character highlighted by an exceptionally expressive enunciation unmatched by any Italian mezzo in recent decades….the female equivalent of Tito Schipa….[this pair of books presents] a detailed chronology and discography (which includes live recordings) in volume two, [plus] numerous and often rare illustrations….Fernando de Lucia immediately recognized her talent and provided her with a technique with which she could fully exploit the potential of a voice that was less naturally endowed in volume and rich overtones than those of her contemporaries Ebe Stignani and Bruna Castagna….The books contain indices of names for both the career chronology and main text and is every bit as recommendable as Tiberi’s earlier volumes on Giovanni Martinelli [B0120] and Giacomo Lauri-Volpi [B0743].”
- Stephen Hastings, THE RECORD COLLECTOR, 2017
“Pederzini’s private life excited considerable attention. Breaking up with her husband she became the mistress of a fascist bigshot, the notoriously brutal Roberto Farinacci, before whom all Italy trembled. On July 28, 1945, he was shot to death by partisans. For a time she continued her career in Argentina, to huge acclaim. In Italy she took up with a professor who wanted to marry her but couldn’t because she was still married. He married another and raised a family but continued with Pederzini.
Gianna Pederzini was celebrated not only for her singing but also for her acting and for her allure. A student of Fernando De Lucia, Pederzini was noted for Carmen (she was buried in her fourth-act costume), Mignon, Amneris, Santuzza, Rosa (ARLESIANA), Charlotte, Fedora, Madame Flora (THE MEDIUM), also for the trouser roles Cherubino and Octavian. She performed a wide repertoire, she took part in the 1930s in revivals of rare operas by Rossini and Donizetti, while singing the standard mezzo roles. She also often sang Charlotte in Massenet's WERTHER with Tito Schipa. A live recording exists of one such performance. Although she said she was ‘born for verismo’, she was renowned for the leads in ITALIANA, BARBIERE and CENERENTOLA. In the 1950s, she began concentrating on ‘character roles’ such as the Countess in PIQUE DAME, Mistress Quickly in FALSTAFF, Madame Flora in THE MEDIUM, and took part in the creation of DIALOGUES DES CARMÉLITES at La Scala, in 1957. She sang in many radio broadcasts and made a considerable quantity of records. Her career, which lasted from 1923-1960, was based at the Rome Opera and extended to Milan, London, Berlin and Buenos Aires.”
- Stefan Zucker, OPERA FANATIC
"...Pederzini [was] one of the best mezzos of my whole experience. Hers was not perhaps one of the greatest vocal organs, but she used it splendidly and had a beautiful vocal intensity onstage which made her performances riviting."
- Tito Gobbi, MY LIFE, p.156
“Gianna Pederzini had personality and charisma and was a great artist. Her voice was beautiful: round and dark. When I sang CARMEN with her, in 1953, she was no longer young, but she still had an exceptional figure. She had strong eyes, green, the color of steel. She was a beautiful woman—beautiful face, beautiful nose, the most beautiful legs in opera. She knew how to be beautiful and to impose her beauty in the theater. She was a real woman. I was lost in her arms.”
- Franco Corelli, OPERA FANATIC, 20 July, 1991
“Pederzini studied in Naples with Fernando de Lucia, and made her stage début in Messina, as Preziosilla, in 1923. She sang widely in Italy, notably as Mignon and Carmen, and made her début at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples, as Adalgisa, in 1928, and at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, in 1930. Abroad, she appeared at the Royal Opera House in London in 1931, the Opéra de Paris in 1935, the Teatro Colón in 1938, and the Berlin State Opera in 1941. She took part in the 1930s’ revivals of rare operas by Rossini and Donizetti, while singing the standard mezzo roles; Azucena, Ulrica, Amneris, Laura, but also a few dramatic soprano roles such as Santuzza and Fedora, etc. In the 1950s, she began concentrating on ‘character rôles’ such as the Countess in PIQUE DAME, Mistress Quickly in FALSTAFF, Madame Flora in THE MEDIUM, and took part in the creation of LES DIALOGUES DES CARMÉLITES at La Scala, in 1957.”
- Ned Ludd