Monday, November 27, 2006

Italo Cristalli (1879-1932)

Italo Cristalli was a spinto tenor from Piacenza, Italy who made his opera debut in "La Boheme" in Torino in the year 1900. He studied at the Musical High School of Piacenza with Tito Piroli and he studied in Florence with singer-composer Corrado Pavesi-Negri.

Cristalli enjoyed a substantial international career for many years. He was successful as a verismo singer, with a distinct sense of style, clarity and command in his voice. He was one of the few Italian singers who had a voice for the works of Wagner. He performed throughout Italy and in 1911 he joined Pietro Mascagni for a series of concerts in South America. He came to the United States and sang with the Metropolitan Opera of New York from 1913 to 1914.

During his year with The Met Cristalli was one of the few tenors who had the honor of singing with the great conductor Toscanini, the other tenors being Enrico Caruso and Giovanni Martinelli. He sang tenor in an opening act preceding Caruso’s performance on several nights, including his last performance with The Met in Atlanta, Georgia on May 2, 1914.

By the mid-1920's Cristalli returned to his home town of Piacenza and only gave performances in smaller, out-of-the-way locations. He died at the early age of 52.

Italo Cristalli was the singing teacher of Julian Miller.

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