Piero Cappuccilli (November 9, 1926 -- July 11, 2005) was an Italian operatic baritone. Best known for his interpretations of Verdi roles, he was widely regarded as one of the finest Italian baritones of the second half of the 20th century. He was enormously admired within the field of opera for his rich and abundant voice, fine vocal technique and exceptional breath control. In the great Italian tradition he fused words and music into elegant phrases. He focused on Italian repertory, particularly the operas of Verdi, singing 17 major roles. Born in Trieste, Cappuccilli originally intended to become an architect. He auditioned at a local opera house in 1949, where Luciano Donnaggio (a retired singer beginning a second career as a teacher) heard him and urged him to study. Cappuccilli was still reluctant, believing he had a better potential career as an architect, and even briefly discontinued his lessons, until Donnaggio's urging and the offer of free lessons persuaded him to resume studies in 1950. He studied with Luciano Donaggio in his native city. After encouragement from relatives decided to pursue a career in opera and made his stage debut there in 1951, singing small parts. In 1955, Cappuccilli auditioned for La Scala in Milan, where the auditioners, deeply impressed, encourage him to enter the Viotti competition. After his first place award, he made his official operatic debut in 1957 at the Teatro Nuovo in Milan, singing Tonio in Pagliacci. In 1960, he made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera, singing Giorgio Germont in La traviata, which was to be his only performance at the Met. Cappuccilli spent most of his career singing in Europe, with only infrequent travels to North and South America. He made his debut at the Teatro alla Scala in 1964, as Enrico, at the Royal Opera House in London as Germont in 1967, and his Opéra de Paris debut took place in 1978, as Amonasro. He also appeared at the Vienna State Opera and the Salzburg Festival. He worked with the greatest European conductors of his time (Karajan, Gavazzeni, Abbado, Kleiber) and became one of the finest interpreters of the Italian repertoire. Cappuccilli was highly respected as a "Verdi baritone", where his beautiful voice, fine vocal technique, musical elegance and dignified stage presence were shown to their best advantage. He left an impressive discography, he recorded Lucia di Lammermoor twice, first with Maria Callas in 1959, and with Beverly Sills in 1970. Other notable recordings include; Rigoletto, opposite Ileana Cotrubas and Plácido Domingo, under Carlo Maria Giulini, Macbeth, opposite Shirley Verrett, and Simon Boccanegra, opposite Mirella Freni and Nicolai Ghiaurov, both under Claudio Abbado. He also recorded Don Carlo, Il trovatore and Aida under Herbert von Karajan Cappuccilli sang until his mid-sixties; an automobile accident in 1992 ended his stage career. He died in his native Trieste, at the age of 78...
Lyrics & English Translation
Daring, they asked me
about maddening love
and wounded pride.
My rival dead,
when every hindrance seemed removed
from the achievent of my wishes
she now lies out a new and a most
The altar! Oh no, let not
Leonora be but mine!
Leonora is mine!
The flashing of her smile
shines more than a star!
The radiance of her beautiful features
Gives me new courage!
Ah! Let the love that burns inside me
speak to her in my favour!
Let the sun's glance clear up
the tempest raging in my heart.
What a noise!...oh heavens...
A link to this wonderful artists personal website:
I send my kind and warm regards,