Saturday, 18 June 2011

Interval acts - 1965: Mario del Monaco

Mario del Monaco (July 27, 1915 - October 16, 1982) was an Italian tenor and is regarded by his admirers as being one of the greatest dramatic tenors of the 20th century.

Mario was born in Florence to a musical upper-class family. As a young boy he studied the violin but had a passion for singing. He graduated from the Rossini Conservatory at Pesaro.

Mario's career began in earnest with his debut in 1940 in Milan. He sang in Italy during the Second World War and married, in 1941, Rina Filipini. In 1946, he appeared at London's Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, for the first time. During the ensuing years he became famous not only in London but also across the operatic world for his powerful, metallic voice.

Mario sang at the New York Metropolitan Opera from 1951 to 1959, enjoying particular success in dramatic parts. He soon established himself as one of a quartet of Italian tenor "superstars" who reached the peak of their fame in the 1950s and '60s.

Del Monaco made his first recordings in Milan in 1948. Later, he released several albums and appeared in many operas and concerts.

In 1965 Mario sang during the Interval act of the ESC in Naples. Mario del Monaco sang two Italian songs in old Neapolitan style. The orchestra was conducted by Maestro Gianni Ferrio.

In 1975 he retired from stage. He died in 1982 in Mestre as a result of nephritis.

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