The tenor Mario Filippeschi (1907-1979) was born
in Montefoscoli, Pisa. At the age of seventeen he studied
the clarinet before joining the army in 1927 for a three
year period. After study with various vocal teachers, he
made his début as Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor at
Colorno, near Busseto in 1937 and this was followed by
two seasons singing in Holland, followed by further
engagements in Germany and Italy during the war years.
His Roman début was as Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly
in March 1942. Filippeschi’s first La Scala appearance
was in September 1948 as Maurizio in Adriana
Lecouvreur. He soon appeared regularly in Rome,
Naples, Spain, France, Mexico and South America. He
received considerable acclaim in Rossini’s Armide
opposite Maria Callas at the 1952 Florence May Festival.
His single London season was in 1958 with a visiting
Italian company at the Drury Lane Theatre singing
Manrico and Arnold in Guglielmo Tell. There his robust
spinto tenor voice, with its fine upper register, was
generously displayed. His repertoire included all the
main Verdi, Puccini and a large number of verismo rôles.
After retiring in 1965 he became a stage director. He died
in Florence on Christmas Day 1979.