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Francesco Marconi (14 May 1853 – 5 February 1916) was an operatic tenor from Rome who enjoyed an important international career. In 1924, a reputable biographical dictionary of musicians called him 'one of the most renowned and esteemed singers of the last 50 years'. Along with his great contemporary Francesco Tamagno (1850–1905), he is the earliest Italian tenor to have left a representative legacy of acoustic recordings.
Born of humble origins in Rome, "Cecco" Marconi worked as a carpenter during his youth. The promising quality of his voice came to the attention of a singing teacher, Ottavio Bartolini, who gave him his first lessons. Later, he studied with a much more prominent pedagogue, Venceslao Persichini, at the Rome Conservatory. Persichini also taught Marconi's coevals Antonio Magini-Coletti (1855–1912) and Mattia Battistini (1856–1928)—both of whom were baritones with outstanding voices and, like Marconi, international reputations.
Marconi made his operatic debut in the Spanish capital of Madrid in 1878 at the Teatro Real, singing the title role in Faust by Charles Gounod. His debut was a success, and he was soon appearing regularly at Italy's premier opera house, La Scala, Milan, with lucrative summer seasons spent performing in South America, mainly at Buenos Aires. He also sang with distinction at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London, for two seasons: 1883 and 1884.