|Year of Birth:||1890|
|Year of Death:||1957|
Beniamino Gigli (pronounced ; 20 March 1890 – 30 November 1957) was an Italian opera singer. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest tenors of his generation.
Gigli was born in Recanati, in the Marche, the son of a shoemaker who loved opera. His parents did not, however, view music as a secure career. Beniamino's brother Lorenzo became a famous Italian painter.
In 1914, he won first prize in an international singing competition in Parma. His operatic debut came on 15 October 1914, when he played Enzo in Amilcare Ponchielli's La Gioconda in Rovigo, following which he was in great demand.
Gigli made many important debuts in quick succession, and always in Mefistofele: Teatro Massimo in Palermo (31 March 1915), Teatro di San Carlo in Naples (26 December 1915), Teatro Costanzi di Roma (26 December 1916), La Scala, Milan (19 November 1918) and finally the Metropolitan Opera, New York (26 November 1920). Two other great Italian tenors present on the roster of Met singers during the 1920s also happened to be Gigli's chief contemporary rivals for tenor supremacy in the Italian repertory—namely, Giovanni Martinelli and Giacomo Lauri-Volpi.
Some of the roles with which Gigli became particularly associated during this period included Edgardo in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, Rodolfo in Giacomo Puccini's La Bohème and the title role in Umberto Giordano's Andrea Chénier, both of which he would later record in full.