Greatest Opera Singers

Greatest Opera Singers

Friday, December 9, 2011

Giuseppe Anselmi (Tenor) (Catania 1876 – Zoagli presso Rapallo 1929)



He was born Antonio Giuseppe Anselmi in Nicolosi, near Catania, and entered the Naples Conservatory when he was only 12 years old. There he studied composition, violin and piano before he became interested in singing. Exactly when Anselmi turned his attention to voice, or whether he studied with someone or was primarily self-taught, is not clear, but he is generally credited with touring in an operetta company by the time he was only 16 years old. At one point in his travels, he was heard by Giulio Ricordi, who sensed operatic possibilities and referred the young man to Luigi Mancinelli for further vocal training. Anselmi is generally credited by the "authoritative" sources as having made his operatic debut at the Royal Opera in Athens (1896), as Turiddu in ‘’Cavalleria Rusticana’’, but there is no surviving documentation to support this claim. In a 1918 interview, Anselmi remembered the year as being a bit later, and the location being Patras, Greece, where his repertoire did include Turiddu, but the tenor roles in ‘’La Traviata’’, ‘’Rigoletto’’ and ‘’Il Barbiere di Siviglia’’ as well. In late 1898, Anselmi appeared at Smyrna with an opera company headed by an impressario named Gonzalez, and toured with the company to Athens, Istanbul and Alexandria. As a principal tenor with this company, he sometimes sang as many as five times a week. In 1900, Anselmi made his debut in Genoa, singing Rodolfo, the Duke and Edgardo (to Fanny Toresella’s Lucia). That same year he appeared at the San Carlo in Naples, where he sang with Angelica Pandolfini and Rina Giachetti (the sister of Caruso’s mistress) in ‘’Le Maschere’’, a new work by Mascagni. Anselmi made his London debut at Covent Garden (1901) as the Duke in ‘’Rigoletto’’ (with Suzanne Adams as Gilda). His other performances that summer in London included Rodolfo (with Melba and Scotti) and the tenor solo in Verdi’s Messa da Requiem (with Gadski, Brema and Plançon). The London critics were for the most part unimpressed, and spoke of "bad habits" and a "disagreeable bleating tone that is characteristic of Italian tenors." The Times critic predicted that Anselmi’s voice would be "permanently ruined" within a "few seasons." Then, as now, critics were frequently incorrect. He returned to London on several occasions, but was especially admired in St. Petersburg, Buenos Aires, Milan (La Scala), Warsaw and Madrid in a variety of rôles that included Cavaradossi, Loris in ‘’Fedora’’, Maurizio in ‘’Adriana Lecouvreur’’, Osaka in ‘’Iris’’, Lensky, Edgardo, Nadir in ‘’Pescatori di Perle’’ and many others. He also sang with great success in opera and concerts in Brussels, Vienna, Berlin, Monte Carlo and Paris (although his only known performance there took place in 1907 in the private theater of Jean de Reszke’s home; he sang Almalviva to Adelina Patti’s Rosina in her last ever operatic appearance). The First World War greatly curtailed his activities, and by the time it was over, so was, for the most part, Anselmi’s relatively short career. Like a great many other famous singers of his era, he turned to teaching (in Italy), and also did some composing of his own. His last appearance was at a benefit concert in Rapallo (1926), when he not only sang, but played the violin and provided the piano accompaniment for some of his students as well. Pneumonia claimed him at a rather early age. Comments: Giuseppe Anselmi, a fine actor, was tall and handsome as well, and became very much a "matinée idol" in his day, more or less in the tradition of Jean de Reszke. But good looks in his case were merely an eye-pleasing ornamentation, for he possessed an equally lovely voice and was very musically intelligent. There are many aspects to his personal life that were shrouded in mystery even during his lifetime; he seems to have liked it that way. Anselmi was passionately devoted to his art, and in the end gave his heart to Madrid (quite literally), where it is preserved in that city’s theatrical museum.

Chronology of some appearances

1900 Smirne  Sporting Club Favorita (Fernando)
1900  Atene  Grand Theatre Favorita (Fernando)
1900 Cairo Teatro Ebekieh Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Almaviva)
1900 Cairo Teatro Esbekieh Favorita (Fernando)
1902 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Opera Favorita (Fernando)
1904 Naples Teatro San Carlo Adriana Lecouvreur (Maurizio)
1905 Montevideo  Teatro Solis Don Pasquale (Ernesto)
1905 Montevideo  Teatro Solis Amica (Giorgio)
1905 Odessa  Teatro Municipale Adriana Lecouvreur (Maurizio)
1906 Buenos Ayres  Teatro dell'Opera Don Pasquale (Ernesto)
1912 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Colon Don Pasquale (Ernesto)



Fonotipia, Milano 1907-04-22
Don Pasquale (Donizetti): Sogno soave e casto 62183 Xph 2559
Rigoletto (Verdi): Questa o quella 62148 Xph 2560
Pagliacci (Leoncavallo): Recitar…Vesti la giubba 62160 Xph 2561

Fonotipia, Milano 1907-04-23
Fedora (Giordano): Amor ti vieta 62164 Xph 2562

Fonotipia, Milano 1907-04-25
Werther (Massenet): Ah! non mi ridestar 62163 Xph 2567
Manon (Thomas): Sogno 62165 XPh 2568
Luisa Miller (Verdi): Qando le sere al placido 62166 XPh 2569
Don Giovanni (Mozart): Il mio tesoro 62167 XPh 2571
Rigoletto (Verdi): La donna e mobile 62149 Xph 2572
Cavalleria Rusticana (Mascagni): O Lola 62162 XPh 2573

Fonotipia, Milano 1907-04-29
Mignon (Thomas): Ah! non credevi tu 62161 XPh 
Che felicit
а (Davidov) (Ru)  62187 XPh2589
Ditele (Cociubel) (Ru) 62186 XPh2587

Fonotipia, Milano 1907-05-06
Tosca (Puccini): Recondita armonia 62185 Xph 2604
Iris (Mascagni): Apri la tua finestra 62184 Xph 2605

Fonotipia, Milano 1907-05-10
Ideale (Tosti) 62152 Xph 2630 
La mia canzone (Tosti) 62155 XPh2634
Occhi turchini (Denza) 62153 XPh 2637

Fonotipia, Milano 1907-11-04
Barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini): Ecco ridente in cielo 62268 XPh 2820
Gioconda (Ponchielli): Cielo e mar 74029 Xph
Boheme (Puccini): Che gelida manina 74032 XXPh2822
Eugenio Onegin (Tchaikovsky): Lontan, lontan da me 74035 XPh 2823
O sole mio (di Capua)  62284  XPh2825
Scetate (Costa) 62285 XPh2826

Fonotipia, Milano 1907-11-08
Lucia di Lammermoor (Donizetti): Fra poco a me ricovero 62287 XPh 2835
Luisa Miller (Verdi): Ah! fede negar potessi 62159 XPh 2836
Lucia di Lammermoor (Donizetti): Tombe degli avi miei 62286 XPh 2837
Lucrezia Borgia (Donizetti): Di pescatore ignobile 62273 XPh 2838
Elisir d’Amore (Donizetti): Una furtiva lagrima 62272 XPh 2839
Pescatori di Perle (Bizet): A quella voce 62270 Xph 2840
Pescatori di Perle (Bizet): Mi par d’udire ancor 62271 Xph 2841

Fonotipia, Milano 1907-11-13
Romeo e Giulietta (Massenet): Ah sorgi o luce in ciel 62267 XPh
Mignon (Thomas): Addio Mignon 62279 XPh 2870
Werther (Massenet): Ma come dopo il nembo 62276 Xph 2871
Werther (Massenet): Io non so se son desto…O natura 62277 Xph 2872

Fonotipia, Milano 1907-11-25
Mefistofele (Boito): Dai campi, dai prati 62282 XPh 2911
Marcella (Giordano): O mio Marcella 62169 XPh 2913-2
Mefistofele (Boito): Giunto sul passo estremo 62283 XPh 2914

Fonotipia, Milano 1908-03-12
Favorita (Donizetti): Una vergine un angio di Dio 62319 XPh 3068

Fonotipia, Milano 1909-10-02
Barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini): Se il mio nome 62394 XPh 4055
Don Giovanni (Mozart): Dalla tua pace 62392 XPh 4056
Cosi fan tutte (Mozart): Un’aurora amorosa 62393 XPh Xph4057
Manon Lescaut (Puccini): Donna non vidi mai 62396 XPh 4058

Fonotipia, Milano 1909-10-04
Duca d’alba (Donizetti): Angelo casto e bel 62471 XPh 4060
Maschere (Mascagni): Io sono come nube 62398 XPh 4061
Manon Lescaut (Puccini): Ah! Manon mi tradisce 62397 Xph 4062
Comm' o zuccaro (Fonzo) 62405 XPh4063
Ammore e’femmena (Nardella) 62404 Xph 4064

Fonotipia, Milano 1909-10-06
Serenata (Tosti) 62400 XPh 4075
Malia (Tosti) 62401 XPh 4076
Carmen (Bizet): Il fior che avevi a me tu dato 62399 XPh 4077
Maria Mari (di Capua) 62479 XPh4261
Infinito (Leopardi); Commento (Anselmi) 62407 XPh4081

Fonotipia, Milano 1909-12-20
Tre giorni son che Nina (Pergolesi)  62474 XPh4234
Canzuna Siciliana (Alagna) 62541 XPh4235
Uocchie nire! (Denza)  62432 XPh4236
Marechiare (Tosti)  62433  XPh4239

Fonotipia, Milano 1910-01-19
Carmela (de Curtis) 62478 XPh4260
Pagliacci (Leoncavallo): Un tal gioco 62472 XPh 4262

Fonotipia, Milano 1910-01-10
Non t'amo piu (Tosti) 62435 XPh4240
Pourquoi tardez-vous? (Denza) 62544 XPh4241

Fonotipia, Milano 1910-01-12
Serse: Vo godendu vezzoso e bella 62473 XPh 4246
Canto alla primavera (Mendelssohn) 62477 Xph 4251

Fonotipia, Milano 1910-01-17
Domani (R Strauss) 62436 XPh4253
Traviata (Verdi): Lungi da lei…De miei bollenti spiriti 62470 XPh 1257
Spes ultima Dea (Mugnone) 62540  XPh4439

Fonotipia, Milano 1910-12-05
Aida (Verdi): Celeste Aida 62561 Xph 
Mattinata (Mugnone) 62539 XPh4438

Edison, 1913-02

Pagliacci (Leoncavallo): Vesti la giubba 1372 83008-R
Gioconda (Ponchielli): Cielo e mar 1373 83004
Favorita (Donizetti): Spirto gentil 1374 83007
Pescatori di Perle (Bizet): Mi par d'udir ancor 1375 Unpubl.
Africana (Meyerbeer): O Paradiso 1376  83025-R
Lucia di Lammermoor (Donizetti): Tu che a Dio spiegasti l'ali 1377-B 83018
Mignon (Thomas): Ah! non credevi tu 1378-B 83015

1 comment:

  1. MOLTO BELLO!!! Thank you my Friend for sharing this Valuable Biographical information.