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Leone Giraldoni, photographed circa 1865

Leone Giraldoni (born circa 1824, Paris; died September 19, 1897, Moscow) was a celebrated Italian operatic baritone. He created the title roles of Gaetano Donizetti's Il duca d'Alba (1882) and Verdi's Simon Boccanegra (1857) as well as the role of Renato in Verdi's Un ballo in maschera (1859).

Giraldoni studied in Florence with Luigi Ronzi and made his début as the High Priest in Pacini's Saffò (Lodi, 1847). He made his La Scala début as Il Conte di Luna in Il trovatore in 1850 and during his long career sang throughout Europe with considerable success. His final performance was in Filippo Marchetti's Don Giovanni d'Austria at Rome's Teatro Costanzi in 1885. After his retirement he taught voice and singing, first in Milan, and from 1891 at the Moscow Conservatory.[1].

Contemporary accounts describe his voice as warm, smooth and evenly produced. He also was considered to be an effective actor, with a noble and dignified stage presence and beautiful phrasing, qualities which made him one of Verdi's favourite baritones.[2]

Indeed, Giraldoni belonged to a distinguished generation of baritones able to perform the then demanding new works of Verdi, as well as the existing bel canto operatic repertoire, with exemplary style and technical skill. (The finest of Giraldoni's Italian contemporaries were probably Francesco Graziani, Antonio Cotogni, Francesco Pandolfini and Adriano Pantaleoni.)

Giraldoni was married to the well-known soprano and violinist Carolina Ferni. Their son, Eugenio Giraldoni (1870-1924), became a leading baritone like his father. In Rome in 1900, Eugenio created the role of Baron Scarpia in Puccini's Tosca.

It is worth noting that Leone Giraldoni was the author of two works on singing:

  • Guida teorico-pratica ad uso dell'artista-cantante, Bologna, 1864 (with a revised and expanded edition published in 1884)
  • Compendium, Metodo analitico, filosofico e fisiologico per la educazione della voce, Milan, Ricordi, 1889.

References

  1. ^ H. Rosenthal, and J. Warrack, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Opera, 2nd Edition, Oxford University Press, 1979, p. 195
  2. ^ Gaspare Vetro, Dizionario della musica e dei musicisti dei territori del Ducato di Parma e Piacenza, Istituzione Casa della Musica, Parma, 2002.
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