V2619. DINO BORGIOLI: Songs by Padilla & Borgioli; Arias & Duets (w. Pampanini, Zamboni, Gentile, Rettore & Vanelli), from L'Elisir d'Amore, La Sonnambula, Barbiere, Don Pasquale, Rigoletto, La Boheme, Lohengrin, Manon, Faust, Les Pêcheurs de Perles, L'Amico Fritz & Sadko. (France) Malibran AMR 192. [This is a treasure of unadulterated delight of exquisite singing!] [AMR titles are issued without rear tray-cards]
“‘Cultivated’ and ‘stylish’ are the words you come across most frequently when reading about the performances and records of Dino Borgioli….His main rivals in [his] repertoire at the time were Tito Schipa and Heddle Nash, both possessors of more inherently attractive voices, but neither perhaps quite as alert as Borgioli to the niceties at hand….We listen to his discs and long for tenors today to imitate Borgioli’s fastidious and charming ways.”
- Alan Blyth
“An artist like Dino Borgioli, whom I have many a time had occasion to refer to in enthusiastic terms, is the rarest of rare exceptions. A 'Borgioli' is very rare anywhere, and even more so in Italy.”
- Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji. THE MUSICAL TIMES, June, 1937.
"The great Florentine lyric tenor was born in 1891 and on 23 September 1917, Borgioli made his official opera debut in Donizetti’s LA FAVORITA at Milan’s Teatro dal Verme with Nini Frascani as Leonora. The engagement was an enormous success and he was almost immediately engaged for revivals of I PURITANI at Genoa, Rome and Palermo during the winter of 1918. So well received were these and several other subsequent engagements that before the year was spent, he debuted at the pinnacle of Italian theaters, La Scala, in DON PASQUALE with Rosina Storchio and Ernesto Badini under the direction of Tullio Serafin. After the Great War ended in November Naples San Carlo mounted a splendid five month season in which both Borgioli and Tito Schipa were featured, though their paths would not cross again. Borgioli concentrated on the roles that rose to a top C and beyond, while Schipa wisely concentrated on those operas whose tessiture remained solidly in the middle of the voice.
During the winter season of 1919-20 Madrid, Barcelona and Lisbon presented Borgioli to wildly enthusiastic audiences, and he was invited to return to Spain for important engagements over several additional seasons. Borgioli’s first visit to South America was indeed an auspicious one. The Colon of Buenos Aires offered Dino a thirty performance season in eight roles, and on 23 May 1921 he debuted in MANON with Ninon Vallin, one of South America’s reigning stars. At season’s end, Dino and Maria Barrientos along with other members of the company toured to Rosario, Cordoba, Tucuman, Santa Fe, Parana and La Plata. Borgioli returned to La Scala in January of 1924 for performances of IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA and LA SONNAMBULA with Toti dal Monte and it was during this engagement that he was contracted for a sixth month tour to Australia with the Melba/Williamson company. Borgioli debuted at Melbourne’s His Majesty’s Theater in LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR on 31 March 1924 and was to appear in six other operas as well as several concerts.
The summer of 1926 occupied Borgioli’s time with a visit to Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo. The Municipal of Santiago engaged him for a two month season and on 17 Septmember 1927 he debuted in LA BOHEME to excellent notices and intense audience response. When Borgioli appeared as Des Grieux, EL MERCURIO reported Le Rêve was rewarded with a prolonged and justified ovation’ and when he sang in FAUST, he was described as ‘the darling of the audience’. So impressive were his critical receptions that Borgioli was persuaded to sign a contract for the following season before leaving Chile, and he did return in August of 1928.
Borgioli participated in several concert tours of the United States before finally making his ‘American’ opera debut on 15 October 1932 at San Franciso. The evening inaugurated the War Memorial Opera House and Dino sang Cavaradossi to the unforgettable Tosca of Claudia Muzio. The Chicago Auditorium welcomed him on its opening night, 26 December, when he sang Cavaradossi with another of the greatest Toscas of the time, Maria Jeritza. He wisely avoided heavier roles and completed a very successful season with Rodolfo, the Duke and Des Grieux. In June 1934 Borgioli returned to Covent Garden for LA BOHEME and a universally praised production of LA CENERENTOLA. His partnership with Conchita Supervia in the Rossini opera has become the stuff of legends, and critics gasped with astonishment, declaring that it had not seemed possible that reviews of the production at Florence the previous year would possibly be confirmed. If anything, Londoners were even more lavish in their unbridled superlatives. In August, Borgioli arrived at Salzburg, where he had debuted in 1930, for performances of Don Ottavio under the leadership of Bruno Walter. 1935 brought with it a debut at the Paris Opéra and return engagements at Salzburg and London’s Covent Garden. In 1939, at Glyndebourne, Borgioli sang his opera farewell as Don Ottavio but he continued to give concerts for another ten years, with great success.
Borgioli’s recorded legacy is not only impressive as pure vocalism, but is enormous in its breadth. Aside from a large number of selections from the lyric tenor opera repertoire, he left cherished mementos of songs from the Germany, France, England and Italy.”
- Bob Rideout