Personalities | Giovanni Martinelli | Modern Era | Opera

1885–1969, Italian

Born in a small Italian village, Martinelli scaled the heights of operatic fame, becoming Caruso’s successor in verismo repertoire at the Met. After making his operatic debut in the title role of Verdi’s Ernani, he achieved his breakthrough when engaged by Puccini to sing Dick Johnson in the 1911 European premiere of La fanciulla del West. In 1913, Martinelli joined the Met, where he eventually gave a total of 926 performances in 38 operas. His amazing stamina lent itself to taxing roles of high tessitura, such as Canio (Pagliacci), Radamès (Aida), Manrico (Il trovatore), Samson (Samson et Dalila) and Otello. Although his voice was failing by the 1930s, Martinelli continued to sing well into his seventies, making his final performance as the emperor in Turandot at the age of 81.

Introduction | Modern Era | Opera
Personalities | Bohuslav Martinu | Modern Era | Opera
Houses & Companies | The Birth of the Metropolitan Opera | Turn of the Century | Opera
Techniques | Realism, Naturalisme & Verismo | High Romantic | Opera
Techniques | Verismo | Turn of the Century | Opera


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