|Year of Birth:||1918|
|Year of Death:||2006|
Anselmo Colzani (March 28, 1918, Budrio – March 19, 2006, Milan) was an Italian operatic baritone who had an international opera career from the late 1940s through 1980. He particularly excelled in the Italian repertory and was most associated with the works of Giuseppe Verdi and Giacomo Puccini. He began his career in Italy in 1947 where he quickly became a regular presence at that country's best opera houses, including La Scala. In the mid-1950s he began appearing at major opera houses throughout Europe and the United States. In 1960 he joined the roster at the Metropolitan Opera where he spent most of his time through 1978. Opera News commented that while his voice may have "lacked the sheer beauty , his performances had an Italianate urgency and forthright thrust that were unique, which established himself as a powerful, striking presence."
Leandro was born in Budrio, near Bologna, Italy into a family of talented amateur musicians. His parents encouraged him in musical pursuits as a child but he did not pursue seriously until years later. In 1936, at the age of eighteen, he joined the Italian Army where he served during World War II. It wasn't until towards the end of the war that he started pursuing serious studies with Corrado Zambelli in Bologna.
Colzani made his stage debut in 1947 at the Teatro Comunale Bologna, as the Herald in Wagner's Lohengrin alongside Renata Tebaldi who was making her first appearance at that opera house singing Elsa. A few years later he was invited back to that house to sing the title role in Verdi's Rigoletto, a performance which greatly rose his profile as an opera singer. His career truly took off with his 1952 debut at La Scala in Milan, as Alfio in Mascagni's Cavalleria rusticana, other roles included de Sirex in Giordano's Fedora, Escamillo in Bizet's Carmen, Marcello in Puccini's La bohème, and Telramund in Lohengrin among others. He took part in the creation of Darius Milhaud's David, in 1955, and sang Thoas in Gluck's Iphigénie en Tauride, opposite Maria Callas in 1957. He made his first appearance at the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma in 1954 as Telramund and returned there many times throughout his career. In 1955 he made his first appearance at the Baths of Caracalla music festival as Severo in Donizetti's Poliuto. He also appeared regularly at the opera houses in Genoa, Naples, Palermo, and at the Verona Arena.