Personalities | Francesco Tamagno | High Romantic | Opera
The Italian tenor Francesco Tamagno was idolized for his powerful voice and dramatic delivery. Tamagno thrilled his many admirers with his effortless top C, which not all tenors were able to reach, and his passionate on-stage performances. His voice was described as ‘enduring brass’. Otello, the eponymous hero of Verdi’s penultimate opera, which he created in 1887, was arguably the most demanding tenor role outside the work of Richard Wagner; however, Tamagno was considered incomparable as the tortured Moor, by Verdi himself as well as by many others. After his debut in Turin in 1870, Tamagno scored one success after another in Venice, Milan, Chicago, New York, London, Buenos Aires, Madrid and St Petersburg. Among Tamagno’s numerous roles were Radamès in Verdi’s Aida, Don José in Bizet’s Carmen, Samson in Saint-Saëns’ Samson et Dalila and Gabriele Adorno in the revised version of Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra, in 1881.
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