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Great Voices - Francesco Tamagno
28.11.2009, 16:40


Francesco Tamagno (28 December 1850 – 31 August 1905) was an Italian opera singer who performed to enormous acclaim in Europe and America.
The most famous heroic tenor of his age, Tamagno was celebrated throughout the operatic world for the extreme power of his singing, especially in the upper register. Indeed, music critics often likened the sound of his voice to that of a trumpet or even a cannon. (This rare type of singer is called a "tenore robusto" or "tenore di forza" by Italians.)
Tamagno's vocal range extended effortlessly up to the high C-sharp during his prime. He was no mere 'belter' of high notes, however; his recordings provide evidence of his ability, even at career's end, to modulate the dynamic levels of his clarion instrument with remarkable skill.
Best known as the creator of the protagonist's role in Giuseppe Verdi's Otello at La Scala in 1887, he also was the first Gabriele Adorno in the 1881 version of Simon Boccanegra, a far more lyrical Verdi part. He participated, too, in the premiere performance of Verdi's revised version of Don Carlo when it was staged at La Scala in 1884, singing the part of the eponymous Infante. Five other operas (now largely forgotten) in which Tamagno created lead roles were Carlos Gomes' Maria Tudor (1879), Amilcare Ponchielli's Il figliuol prodigo (1880) and Marion Delorme (1885), Ruggero Leoncavallo's I Medici (1893) and Isidore de Lara's Messaline (1899).
Tamagno was renowned also for his potent performances as Radames in Aida, Manrico in Il trovatore, the title role in Ernani, the title role in Poliuto, Samson in Samson et Dalila, Arnold in Guillaume Tell, John of Leyden in Le Prophete, Raoul in Les Huguenots, Vasco in L'Africaine and John the Baptist in Herodiade. It is estimated that he appeared in a total of about 55 different operas and sacred works during his lifetime. Interestingly enough, with one notable exception he almost completely eschewed verismo opera. That notable exception was Umberto Giordano's Andrea Chenier, composed in 1896. He studied the score of this work with Giordano and was lauded for his authoratative singing of Chenier's impassioned music.

Massenet - HВrodiade_Adieu donc, vains objects
Massenet - HВrodiade_Quand nos jours s'Вteindront
 Saint-Saens - Samson et D_Figli miei 
Rossini - Guglielmo Tell_O muto asil del pianto
Rossini - Guglielmo Tell_Corriam, voliam
Verdi - Otello_Esultate
Verdi - Otello_Niun mi tema
Verdi - Otello_Ora e persempre addio
Giordano - Andrea ChВnier_Un di, all'azzurro spazio
Meyerbeer - Il Profeta_Re del cielo
Meyerbeer - Il Profeta_Sopra Berta
Verdi - Il Trovatore_Deserto sulla terra
Verdi - Otello_Niun mii tema
Verdi - Otello_Esultate
Otello_Ora e per sempre addio
Giordano - Andrea ChВnier_Un di, all'azzurro spazio
Rossini - Guglielmo Tell_O muto asil del pianto

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