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ROLANDO PANERAI

The baritone Rolando Panerai (b.1924), born at Campi Bisenzio near Florence, had a long and distinguished career. After completing his studies in Florence and Milan with Armani and Tess, he made his début at the Communale, Florence, in 1946 as Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor. Thereafter his progress was rapid and extensive; in 1947 he appeared at the San Carlo, Naples; in 1952 at La Scala, Milan; in 1957 at the Salzburg Festival; in 1958 at San Francisco and in 1960 at Covent Garden, London. He sang elsewhere throughout Italy, and in Austria, Germany and France.

His substantial repertory included Apollo in Gluck’s Alceste, the High Priest in Samson et Dalila, Mozart’s and Rossini’s Figaro, Masetto in Don Giovanni, Guglielmo in Così fan tutte, Paolo in Simon Boccanegra, Marcello in La Bohème, di Luna in Il Trovatore, Silvio in Pagliacci, Germont in La traviata and in 1962 at La Scala he created the title-rôle in Turchi’s Il buon soldato Svejk.

Later in his career, in traditional fashion, he graduated from Ford to Falstaff and undertook Don Pasquale, and Dulcamara in L’elisir d’amore. In a 1950 RAI broadcast he is Amfortas in Parsifal with Callas’s Kundry and, nearly half a century later, Germont in a telecast of La traviata conducted by Mehta. His voice was an attractive sounding but lyric instrument. For EMI [Columbia/Angel] with Callas, he recorded, as well as di Luna, Silvio in Pagliacci, Alfio and Marcello.


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