Greatest Opera Singers

Greatest Opera Singers

Friday, May 4, 2012

Giacomo Rimini (Baritone) (Verona 1887 - Chicago 1952)

He was an Italian-born, naturalized-American operatic baritone. He was most admired for his interpretations of the works of Giuseppe Verdi. Born and raised in Verona, Rimini studied at the Verona Music Conservatory with Conti Foroni. He began his operatic career in Italy in his early twenties. His first lead role was as Escamillo in Bizet's Carmen at the age of 22. In 1910 he sang the role of Albert in Massenet's Werther at the municipal theatre of Desenzano. He sang with many notable Italian opera houses over the next several years including the Teatro Regio (Turin), the Teatro Massimo in Palermo, and at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome. In 1915, Rimini was chosen by Arturo Toscanini to sing the title role in Verdi's Falstaff at the Teatro del Verme in Milan. He reprised the role later that year with Toscanini at La Scala in the presence of King Victor Emmanuel III. Also in 1915, Rimini met Polish opera singer Rosa Raisa and the two of them fell in love with each other. They married in 1916 and moved to Chicago, Illinois shortly thereafter where they would both establish a long association with the Chicago City Opera Company, the Chicago Civic Opera, and the Ravinia Festival. Rimini had been married once previously to a woman from Rome, Rafaelle Bettei. Rimini and Raisa became naturalized citizens of the United States a few years after moving to Chicago. Although Rimini primarily worked in Chicago, he and his wife did occasionally travel to other parts of the United States for performances, usually performing together. They also maintained a villa in Verona where they would spend their summers and occasionally appear in operas. Most notably, Rimini originated the role of Ping in Puccini's Turandot at La Scala in 1926 opposite his wife in the title role. He also was the first person to completely record the role of Falstaff, which he also did with La Scala forces in 1932. In addition to Falstaff and Escamillo, Rimini was admired for his portrayals of the title role in Verdi's Rigoletto, Iago in Verdi's Otello, Amonasro in Verdi's Aida, Renato in Verdi's Un ballo in maschera, Figaro in Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia, Tonio in Pagliacci, Barnaba in Amilcare Ponchielli's La Gioconda among others. In addition to frequently singing opposite his wife on the operatic and concert stage, Rimini also performed frequently with Amelita Galli-Curci. The two of them sang their first Figaro and Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia together with the Chicago Opera Company among many other performances. Rimini and his wife both retired from the operatic stage in 1938, deciding to dedicate their time to teaching the next generation of opera singers. They opened a voice/opera school in Chicago which they ran for two decades. As a part of the school, students would travel to Italy with Rimini and his wife to study in Verona, often staying at their teacher's villa. Rimini and Raisa had one daughter, Rosa Guilietta Segala, who was born in July 1931. Giacomo Rimini died in his sleep on March 6, 1952 at his home in Chicago.

Chronology of some appearances

1910 Pistoia  Politeama Mabellini Ballo in maschera (Riccardo)
1913 Stoccolma  Teatro Reale Barbiere di Siviglia (Figaro)
1913 Stoccolma  Teatro Reale Boheme (Marcello)
1915 Piacenza  Teatro Municipale Ballo in maschera (Riccardo)
1916 Roma  Teatro Costanzi Ballo in maschera (Riccardo)
1916 Roma  Teatro Costanzi Boheme (Marcello)
1916 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Colon Ballo in maschera (Riccardo)
1916 Roma  Teatro Costanzi Andrea Cheneir (Gerard)
1916 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Colon Andrea Cheneir (Gerard)
1916 Montevideo  Teatro Solis Andrea Cheneir (Gerard)
1916 San Paolo  Teatro Municipal Andrea Cheneir (Gerard)
1916 Chicago  Civic Opera House Andrea Cheneir (Gerard)
1916 Chicago  Civic Opera House Boheme (Marcello)
1917 Chicago  Civic Opera House Barbiere di Siviglia (Figaro)
1918 Chicago  Civic Opera House Barbiere di Siviglia (Figaro)
1918 Rio de Janeiro  Teatro Municipal Andrea Cheneir (Gerard)
1918 Rio de Janeiro Teatro Municipal Andrea Cheneir (Gerard)
1918 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Colon Ballo in maschera (Riccardo)
1919 Chicago  Civic Opera House Ballo in maschera (Riccardo)
1919 New York  Lexington Theater Barbiere di Siviglia (Figaro)
1923 Chicago  Civic Opera House Andrea Cheneir (Gerard)
1923 Chicago  Civic Opera House Barbiere di Siviglia (Figaro)
1925 Chiacago Ravinia Park Barbiere di Siviglia (Figaro)
1925 Chicago  Civic Opera House Barbiere di Siviglia (Figaro)
1926 Los Angeles  Shrine Auditorium Barbiere di Siviglia (Figaro)
1926 Chicago  Civic Opera House Barbiere di Siviglia (Figaro)
1927 Chicago  Civic Opera House Barbiere di Siviglia (Figaro)
1928 Chicago  Civic Opera House Barbiere di Siviglia (Figaro)
1929 Buenos Ayres  Teatro Colon Barbiere di Siviglia (Figaro)
1930 Chicago  Civic Opera House Barbiere di Siviglia (Figaro)
1931 Chicago  Civic Opera House Barbiere di Siviglia (Figaro)
1933 Treviso  Teatro Sociale Andrea Cheneir (Gerard)
1933 Modena  Teatro Municipale Ballo in maschera (Riccardo)
1933 Viareggio Teatro Eden Barbiere di Siviglia (Figaro)



Odeon, Milano 1911/1912
Rigoletto (Verdi): Lassu in cielo with Maria Alessandrovich  82556
Rigoletto (Verdi): Piangi, piangi fanciulla with Maria Alessandrovich 82487

Vocalion, New York 1920-02?
Gioielli della Madonna (Wolf-Ferrari): Apri, bella, la finistrella (Serenade) 55009   60012

Vocalion, New York 1920-03?
Don Giovanni (Mozart): Là, ci darem la mano with Rosa Raisa 30108 A60019

Vocalion, New York 1921-03?
Africana (Meyerbeer): Adamastor re dell’acqua profonda 52050 A70053
Crucifix (Faure) (Fr.) with Rosa Raisa 52031 A70032

Vocalion, New York 1922?
Allegro, Il Penseroso ed Il Moderato (Handel): Cme and trip it as you go 9035 30169
Two Grenadiers (Schumann) (in Italian) 52039 A70029

Vocalion, New York 1923?
Fedora (Giordano): La donna russa  10931 A60051
Danza (Tarantella Napolitana) 52049   B70029
Trovatore (Verdi): Mira d’acerbe lagrime  with Rosa Raisa 11095   A70030

Brunswick, New York 1927-04-15/16
Otello (Verdi): Era la notte   XE22448 50108

Brunswick, New York 1927-04-20
Barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini): Largo al factotum XE22552 50108A

Brunswick, New York 1929-02-08/11
Cavalleria Rusticana (Mascagni): Turiddu mi tolse l’onore  with Rosa Raisa 90004 XE 29230A
Trovatore (Verdi): Mira d’acerbe lagrime  with Rosa Raisa XE29231 90004
Amleto (Thomas): Brindisi15201 E29232

Rimini by Stampanoni

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