Giuseppe Di Stefano (24 July 1921 -- 3 March 2008) was an Italian operatic tenor who sang professionally from the late 1940s until the early 1990s. He was known as the "Golden voice" or "The most beautiful voice", as the true successor of Beniamino Gigli. He was also known for his long-term performance and recording association with soprano Maria Callas. Giuseppe di Stefano was born in Motta Sant'Anastasia, a village near Catania, Sicily. He was the only son of a carabiniere turned cobbler and his dressmaker wife. After serving in the Italian military (and briefly taking lessons from the Swiss tenor Hugues Cuénod), di Stefano made his operatic debut in 1946 in Reggio Emilia as Des Grieux in Massenet's Manon, the role in which he made his La Scala debut the following year. The great beauty of his lyric tenor voice quickly won him international attention and he was duly engaged by the Metropolitan Opera in New York. He made his New York debut in 1948 as the Duke of Mantua in Verdi's Rigoletto after singing the role in Riccione with Hjördis Schymberg that summer. He went on to perform regularly in New York for many years. In 1957, di Stefano made his British debut at the Edinburgh Festival as Nemorino in L'elisir d'amore and his Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, debut in 1961, as Cavaradossi in Tosca. As a singer, di Stefano was admired for his excellent diction, unique timbre, passionate delivery and, in particular, for the sweetness of his soft singing. In his Metropolitan Opera radio broadcast debut in Faust, he attacked the high C forte and then softened to a pianissimo. Sir Rudolf Bing said in his memoirs that this was the most beautiful sound he had heard come out of a human throat during his many years as general manager of the Metropolitan Opera. In a documentary aired on PBS entitled Pavarotti and the Italian Tenor, a critic remarked that "di Stefano's [singing] technique was not good", due to the fact that he apparently misused the passagio of his voice. Luciano Pavarotti said he modeled himself after di Stefano, a fact that gained much attention after Pavarotti's death in September 2007. He was also the tenor who most inspired José Carreras. Di Stefano sang the tenor leads in several of the most famous recordings of Maria Callas, all of which were for EMI...
Lyrics & English Translation
This girl or that girl are just
the same to me,
to all the others around me
I won't give away my heart
to this beauty nor to the others.
Their charm is a gift
Given by destiny to embellish their lives
If today I love this one
I'll probably love someone else tomorrow.
We hate constancy, the heart's tyrant,
as if it were a cruel plague,
Let those who wish to be faithful
keep their fidelity alive;
There is no love without freedom.
The rage of jealous husbands
and lovers' woes I despise,
I can defy Argo's hundred eyes
If I fancy a beautiful girl.
A link to this wonderful artists personal Website:
I send my kind and warm regards,