|Year of Birth:||1920|
|Year of Death:||1991|
Nicola Rossi-Lemeni (November 6, 1920 – March 12, 1991), was a basso opera singer of mixed Italian-Russian parentage.
Rossi-Lemeni was born in Istanbul, Turkey, the son of an Italian colonel and a Russian mother. In his prime he was one of the most respected bassos in Italy. The composer Ildebrando Pizzetti wrote the opera Assassinio nella cattedrale (1958) specifically for Rossi-Lemeni. He was also a prize-winning poet and a painter.
The basso made his debut as Varlaam in Boris Godunov at La Fenice, Venice, in 1946. He sang at the Teatro alla Scala from 1947 to 1960, the Teatro Colón (1949) and Covent Garden (1952). He appeared at the Metropolitan Opera, opening the 1953/54 season, in Faust (with Jussi Björling, Victoria de los Ángeles and Robert Merrill, conducted by Pierre Monteux and directed by Peter Brook in his Met debut), followed by the title roles of Don Giovanni and Boris Godunov.
He sang Don Giovanni to open the newly established Lyric Theatre of Chicago in February 1954 (renamed two years later as Lyric Opera of Chicago), and returned that fall for Norma with Callas in her American debut, and Basilio in The Barber of Seville. The following season he appeared in Puritani with Callas, Boheme with Tebaldi, Faust with Bjoerling, Elisir with Carteri, and L'amore dei tre re with Kirsten.
He created the roles of Thomas Beckett in Assassinio nella cattedrale (Murder in the Cathedral) by Ildebrando Pizzetti (based on the T.S. Eliot play), and Eddie Carbone in Uno sguardo dal ponte (A View from the Bridge) by Renzo Rossellini (based on the Arthur Miller play).