daniele barioni 
Daniele Barioni, tenor

Daniele Barioni, tenor

Daniele Barioni was born in Copparo (Ferrara, Italy) on 6 September 1930. At the beginning he studied in the baritone key, but soon his true tenor voice was discovered. He made his debut in 1949 at the Circolo Italia, in Milan, in a concert with the Chilean soprano Claudia Parada. His operatic debut was in 1954 as Turiddu in "Cavalleria Rusticana" at the Teatro Nuovo, in Milan. During his first year of career he also sang in "Tosca" and "Madama Butterfly", In 1955 he sang in Egypt and South Africa, and on 20 February 1956 he made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, in "Tosca" with Delia Rigal and George London. Next season he added "Boheme", "Madama Butterfly" and "Traviata", and in the season 1958/9 "Cavalleria Rusticana" with such a success that it was taken in a tour for different cities in U.S.A. and Canada. He sang at the MET for seven years , a total of 54 performances. His last role there was in the 1962/3 season, the Italian Tenor in "Der Rosenkavalier".

Though for many years his career was mostly developed in the United States, he sang in Italy in different cities and theaters, and also in Brazil, Mexico , Argentina, Canada, Portugal, France, Germany and Ireland. In 1958 he appeared in an Italian film, "Carosello di Canzoni". Though he was a favorite in Rome where he sang for many years at the Opera and Caracalla, he sang at the famous La Scala only in 1966, as Pinkerton and Turiddu. Though his repertory was basically that of a spinto tenor and he was always asked to repeat his justly famous roles in Tosca, Fanciulla del West or Cavalleria Rusticana, he also obtained acclaim in Nabucco, Macbeth, Fedora, Andrea Chenier, Turandot and Gioconda. And in some operas not associated with his type of voice, such as "Lucia di Lammermoor" and "Rigoletto" , or rarely performed like, "Lucrezia" by Respighi, "La Rondine" by Puccini or "La Vida Breve" by De Falla. His repertory included a total of 31 different operas.

After 1962 he did not return to the MET but sang continiously in other cities in U.S.A., until 1975. From 1975 to 1980 he appeared in opera and concerts, but not with the frequence of previous years. His last appearance was in a concert with Renata Tebaldi at the Teatro Comunale, in Ferrara, in 1981, to receive the Premio Frescobaldi 1980. His only commercial recording was "La Rondine" with Anna Moffo (RCA-1966). But he cannot be judged by this performance. Far better are his live performances issued on several private labels.

Of his recorded legacy, he appears as Calaf in Leontyne Price's "In questa reggia" on  RCA's "Prima Donna" series, and his only commercial studio recording was La Rondine with Anna Moffo for RCA in 1966. But he cannot be judged by this performance; far better are his live performances issued on several private labels, counting:

  • Omaggio a Caruso (LP)

  • Davanti a lui tremó il Metropolitan (LP)

  • Il tenore Daniele Barioni e Napoli (LP)

  • Daniele Barioni, Bongiovanni's Il Mito dell'Opera Series (CD), live recordings and radio shows 1962-68

  • La Fanciulla del West, Opera d'Oro, taped live in 1961 with Tebaldi and Guelfi.

  • Madama Butterfly, VAI Music, live from New Orleans, 1960, with Dorothy Kirsten.

Mario del Monaco gave the following commentaries on Barioni :
"Sei la piú bella voce di tenore dei nostri giorni". Vai sicuro, che nessuno ti puó fregare" (1959)
"Per fortuna che Barioni si é defilato, altrimenti ci mandava tutti a rapanelli"

There were rumors that he left the Metropolitan for imposition of Maria Callas. That is far from true. Barioni and Callas sang together only once, a single performance of "La Traviata" on 6 February 1958 with Mario Zanasi as Germont. Anyway in all the other performances that year, Callas sang with other tenors : Campora, Bergonzi, Fernandi and Tucker. Good tenors all of them, but none with the glorious tone of Barioni. Inspite of this, Barioni sang at the Met for five years more.

Daniele Barioni married in 1957 the already famous pianist Vera Franceschi, born in U.S.A. in 1929 of Italian parents. She recorded the complete Chopin piano music for R.C.A. In 1958 their son Giulio Barioni was born. She died prematurely of leukemia in 1966. Her death also meant practically the end of Barioni career as a singer.

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