Personalities | Carlo Bergonzi | Modern Era | Opera

1924–2014, Italian

Known as ‘the tenor of all tenors’, Bergonzi had a lyrical voice that was both refined and intense. Vocal lessons were interrupted when he was interred in a prisoner-of-war camp, but resumed upon his release and in 1947 he began to make a series of debuts as a baritone. Retraining his voice, he emerged four years later as a tenor in the title role of Andrea Chénier. Acclaimed as the foremost Verdi singer of his generation, Bergonzi sang with amazing technical fluency, although his high notes had a baritonal timbre. By the 1970s his voice showed signs of wear, but he continued to perform and then teach until the end of his life, much loved by his students.

Introduction | Modern Era | Opera
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