Born in Mariano Comense near Milan Carlo Tagliabue (1898-1978) studied in Milan with Gennai and Guidotti and made his début at Lodi in 1922 as Amonasro. During the 20s he appeared in provincial seasons, in Florence, Palermo and Verona Arena, before making his debut at La Scala, Milan in 1930, as Kurvenal in Wagner’s Tristano e Isotta. He remained with the company for twenty-three years and sang under de Sabata, Serafin, Guarnieri, Votto, Marinuzzi and Böhm in thirty-nine operas, including not only principal Verdi rôles in Nabucco, Rigoletto, Traviata, Trovatore, Vespri siciliani and Forza del destino, and in the standard repertory, Gioconda, Cavalleria rusticana, Pagliacci and L’amico Fritz, but also in Italian performances of Tannhauser, Lohengrin and Parsifal.
At Rome in 1934 he created Basilio in Respighi’s Fiamma. As was the way then he also took part in a number of new operas, such as Lattuada’s Sandra, Pizzetti’s Lo straniero and Rocca’s Morte di Frine. His last appearance at La Scala was in 1955 deputising for Bastianini as Germont in a performance of Visconti’s legendary Traviata with Callas.